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Time to Prep for Summer Service

stay cool

It’s been a while since we’ve had a typical summer service, so here are some tips on ensuring this season is successful!

The Summer busy season is back in full swing. Events are on the menu, fairs, concerts, weddings — all the fun and exciting things Summer has to offer that typically equate to a hectic restaurant season. While Summer is a fantastic time to work in hospitality, it certainly comes with challenges, especially if you work in the Kitchen.

If you’re new to the industry — this article is for you. Over the ages, seasoned Cooks, Bartenders, and Servers have passed down tried and true tricks to keep calm and, most importantly, stay cool during the busiest and warmest of nights, and we’re about to break them down for you.

Stay Hydrated

Restaurant work is already an intense job worthy of its own sport. Still, an increased temperature during a shift sandwiched between a stovetop and oven is basically like doing acrobats in a steam room. Focus on staying hydrated this summer.

We know during a rush, it can be easy to forget to breathe, let alone drink water, but do yourself a favor and set up reminders to drink plenty of water. Maybe throw a Redbull in there for energy, but remember to follow up with even more water since it’s dehydrating.

Plan for Late Crowds

When it gets warmer and the days get longer, people tend to eat a little later than usual — especially if an event or something is happening in your town. Reset your expectations of the 6-7 PM rush, and start planning for 7-8 PM rushes.

If your manager wants to cut someone early, that’s all good and fine, but just keep in mind you could get slammed an hour later! Make sure they set you up for success before clocking out. If you decide to go for it, mentally prepare for GO TIME.

Stay Cool

Not only do you need to stay hydrated, as mentioned earlier — you need to figure out how to get a break from the heat. The obvious go-to is taking a minute in the walk-in, which is fine if you’re not busy and actually work in the kitchen. But you’ll need a more sustainable solution once the shit hits the fan and what seems like a nightmarish wave of hungry beasts come toppling through the doors.

An age-old trick that takes a little bit of forethought but can be a solid solution is to put cold, wet dishtowels in the walk-in, ready to be slung over your neck when you most need it. Of course, you could also ask management to get some fans.

Plan time off, but do it in advance

Summer is a great time to work, but it’s also a great time to live — so make sure to take some time off and enjoy a weekend. Of course, you will need to plan in advance to coordinate with your coworkers and management.

You’re more likely to get approved for time off on weekends without big events or concerts if no one else asked for that same time off. So, before making any solid plans, do a little research and communicate with your team to see what’s going to be realistic. Also, don’t forget — Poached Shifts is here for you if you do take time off and need to make up some extra cash when you get back! Or, you could also persuade your boss to use Shifts to cover your shifts, who knows? The potential is limitless.

We’re sure there are far more beloved tricks out there — and we’d love to hear them in the comments! But follow these essential few, and you’re sure to be set for a successful and fun Summer working in hospitality. Stay cool and calm out there!

Ashley McNally

Ashley McNally likes to cook, loves to bake, and is always dreaming of her next meal. With over 13 years of experience working in various roles within a restaurant — McNally has made a home in hospitality.

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