5 Things I’ve Learnt Working In Hospitality


Hello and welcome back to another blog post. Today is going to be a slightly different one from the usual travel content, like I mentioned back in this blog post >> HERE << the content will be changing slightly as I make return to ByHarrison,com.

Today we’re going to be talking about the 5 Things I’ve Learnt Whilst Working In Hospitality. It’s not a career for the faint hearted and in my eyes, it’s definitely not viable for the long term. For now, it’s been a great source of income whilst I’ve been here in New Zealand. It’s meant I’ve managed to learn several new skills, meet some incredible people and have a fun, easy going job to see me through this chapter of my life. However saying that, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s hard going, long hours, tough schedules… like I said, not for the faint hearted. So let’s get started and shed some light on what it’s really like working in hospitality. 

// Fitness \\ 

Physically it’s not easy. You’re on your feet for 12, 13, 14 hours a day, 6 days a week. Easily doing 30000 steps a day and lifting a lot of heavy objects. Since being in New Zealand and working in the restaurant, I have lost an insane amount of weight. I’ve dropped 3 waist sizes and barely any of my old clothes fit me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great for the confidence and great for the figure, but it’s hard going. Get comfortable shoes, they’ll be the best thing you ever invest in. Working in hospitality, is like arm day, leg day & cardio all rolled into one. Who needs a gym membership when you can work in a restaurant? 

// Time vs Money \\

It’s no secret hospo work isn’t the highest paying career in the world. I’ve been lucky enough I’ve started at the bottom and worked my way to the top. I’m now a restaurant manager so the pressure for income is alleviated slightly due to the rise in my wage. However even sitting pretty at the top, with the management title, still doesn’t bare huge gratification at the end of the week when you get your pay check. Hospo work is relatively low paid… that is of course unless you work every hour under the sun. My week looks something along the lines of this: 1 day off each week, averaging at around 55 hours a week (It was a lot more in the height of summer) and more often than not, running around doing odd jobs, collecting stock or having meetings in the times the restaurant is closed. The time you give up for work, absolutely does not translate to the wage you receive at the end of the week. That’s not just the restaurant I work in (I’m way above minimum wage), it’s just an industry standard and the reality of hospitality work. 

// The Good Stuff \\ 

I never in a million years thought I would enjoy working in a restaurant and in all honesty, I think it’s something everyone should do at least once in their lives. You learn so much and gain so much life experience but above it all, it’s actually a really fun job. It’s one of the most social jobs, you make some great friends and at the end of the day, nobody really takes themselves too seriously. After a busy day, running around like a headless chicken, you and your team mates can sit down and enjoy a glass of wine (or two) and actually chill out. During shift, sometimes you’re running on such high adrenaline, it feels like a ‘fight or flight’ kind of situation. You all get stuck in, help each other out and hope you come out the other end alive. It’s fun. It’s a great way to gain a social life and for me, every friend I have in New Zealand has either worked at the restaurant or still works there. You become family more than just work colleagues. 

// Customers Are The Worst \\ 

And I thought working in a bank would expose me to some arsehole customers… oh boy, try working in a restaurant. I genuinely think people are more precious about their food than they are about their money. Complaints, questioning, asking where their food is, moving tables around (oh boy, that kills me the most… blog post on that coming soon), thinking they’re entitled to every waiters attention and because they’ve dined their more than once, think they should receive a loyalty discount. Customers really are the worst people and I’ve gained such an appreciation for waiters that whenever I go out to eat, even if it’s at a cafe, I make sure to help them out as much as I can and never ever complain about anything. They have a lot going on and the fact your coffee has taken longer than 2 minutes to come out, really is at the bottom of their priority list. If you’re someone who likes to eat out for dinner PLEASE BE KIND TO YOUR WAITER! After all, you never know what they’ve done to your food. Jokes, I’ve never done anything like that but all it takes is for one twat to push me over the edge and their meal might end up with some ‘off the menu extras’… 

// Poker Face \\ 

I’ve always said I need to get botox… I’m unfortunate in the sense I have such an expressive face that I literally cannot hide anything. You make me laugh, my face shows it, you piss me off, my face shows it. I cannot hide how I’m really feeling. Working in hospitality has really taught me to work on my Poker face. You could be stood at a table of drunken customers, with them telling the cheesiest of jokes and inside you’re thinking “Shut the fuck up, I have 20 other tables that need their order taking” when on the outside you’re fake laughing and pretending to give a shit about what they’re saying. Same goes for when they’re complaining. On the inside you’re thinking “Fuck off and go eat at the other 20 restaurants along this road if you don’t like it” whereas on the outside you’re apologetic and reassuring. Perfecting your pokerface really will become your best asset when working in hospitality. 


Above all, I do genuinely enjoy working in hospitality and love my job. I love the people I work with, I love the responsibility & the challenges that comes with managing a restaurant and I’ll forever look back at my time in New Zealand and have such fond memories of working in the restaurant. I now have under 8 weeks left until I leave New Zealand and I know I’m going to miss the restaurant a lot. I hinted at a blog post coming soon, a little hint for you: It’s going to be all about how you should behave when visiting a restaurant… I think some people need a reminder. For now I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post, I’ll see you in the next one. 

| By Harrison | 


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