I love food. I love the farmer's market (weekly frequenter), buying ingredients, cooking food, eating food...food, food, food!!!
As Salt Lake City prepares to welcome another mouth-watering favorite it brings to mind the time I spent at Cheesecake Factory.
I started serving tables in college just to make a little extra money (and keep me out of trouble). It was hard work, but it taught me so many life lessons.
My first job was at O’Charley’s Steakhouse (kind of like Applebee’s in the Midwest), then an independently owned Italian bistro in the heart of Bloomington, Indiana (Go Hoosiers!).
Finally, while I was interning at WISH-TV in Indianapolis I got a job at Cheesecake Factory!
All three of these restaurants were completely different but all taught me the same core values:
1. Work Ethic: show up on time, know your responsibilities, work hard and continue to improve.
2. Social Graces: Smile, not everyone has a good day everyday. If you can brighten up their day or just let them have a pleasant dining experience you’ve done your job…
3. Patience: No matter how hard you try, how much you smile, or how well you think you’re doing your job…you can’t please everybody. Just pick up where you left off and don’t let it get you down (easier said than done!)
4. Resilience: No one’s perfect! I certainly had my fair share of failures…empty iced teas, forgotten appetizers, etc. But, I knew I was better than that so I picked up the pieces, learned from my mistakes, apologized, and tried to do better next time…
5. Teamwork: when I was in the weeds (restaurant lingo for not being able to keep up with your tables) there were always people I could count on to step up and help me out, and I them, even though the tips stayed with the respective server.
I encourage anyone with the opportunity to work in some type of service-industry job. It teaches you a lot about people and what makes the world go round.
When I go to restaurants now I understand how much work goes into that beautiful piece of soul-satisfying art on your plate. From the prep cooks, to the line chefs, management, servers, bussers, etc. it’s a well-oiled machine.
Let me tell ya, Cheesecake Factory knows what it’s doing…and it’s coming to a City Creek near you!!! In my next blog I’ll give you some inside scoop on what it’s like "behind the scenes." Stay tuned........