As a woman in the food service industry, I have learned how much drive it takes to be successful. When I was 23, I was a waitress at a three-star restaurant in the suburbs. I worked hard, kept my head down and now, a decade later, I’m finally also a waitress at a second, slightly better restaurant.
I often get asked what my plans are for the future. No, I don’t plan on becoming a waitress at a third restaurant, too. I want to be the best waitress at these two restaurants before I take on an even bigger title. But who knows what the future holds! Hopefully it’s moving on from these two restaurant jobs to a single restaurant job with benefits and paid time off.
Many people have tried to tear me down, even in the same position as me – but I don’t let them get to my head. Sure, we’re both serving fries to guys who call us “sweetheart” tonight, but I’m also serving pizza tomorrow from 4-8pm to whoever comes into that restaurant during my shift. I didn’t get here without knowing when to pick my battles and keep my focus on what’s important. Also I respect my competition! We get paid almost entirely in tips, so you can bet we’re going to fight for the best sections and tables. It’s like a fun game!
Many view me as an inspiration because I’ve defied so many odds being a woman in this industry. Who starts out as a waitress at one restaurant and becomes a waitress at a second restaurant, too? Sometimes I have to pinch myself. How did I get so lucky? I don’t know, but I do know I’m not going to let this new platform go to waste.
Just last year I was working doubles at one restaurant. Now I get to work a regular shift at one restaurant, and then a second shift at the other. This is the kind of upward mobility that all Americans dream of. I did apply for a management position at the restaurant where I’ve worked for seven years, but they brought in someone from the outside instead. I guess they just couldn’t bare to lose me as a waitress and sometimes bartender. I’m so blessed!
Because I’ve had such success as a waitress – and am now still a waitress but with two jobs –I want to spend more of my energy growing other women’s careers. I just want to help the women who haven’t had the incredible success I’ve had. Dream big, ladies! You might be toiling away in the food service industry for now, but soon you could be toiling away in the food service industry forever! Hooray!