Restaurant Memes For Servers & Back of House Alike

If you’re an Anthony Bourdain fan, or have worked service, you may have seen this quote pop up during your internet travels: 

‘You can always tell when a person has worked in a restaurant. There’s an empathy that can only be cultivated by those who’ve stood between a hungry mouth and a $28 pork chop, a special understanding of the way a bunch of motley misfits can be a family.

Service industry work develops the “soft skills” recruiters talk about on LinkedIn — discipline, promptness, the ability to absorb criticism, and most important, how to read people like a book. The work is thankless and fun and messy, and the world would be a kinder place if more people tried it. With all due respect to my former professors, I’ve long believed I gained more knowledge in kitchens, bars, and dining rooms than any college could even hold.’

As a former server and bartender, I have to say he was absolutely right. Working at a restaurant exercises muscles that some people don’t seem to have anymore: empathy, social intuition, communication. Unfortunately, many customers don’t understand the patience, dedication, blood, sweat, and tears that go into restaurant work. And as Bourdain intimates, it’s true that the world would be a better place if everyone dabbled in the industry for a while. 

The personality-strengthening aspects of the job do come with frustration, however. Sometimes its the frustration of a table of Karens, or a manager that steals tips or refuses to cut people when there’s no work to be done. There are so many stupid questions, and sometimes even men leering at even the most disheveled servers. Then there’s the front of house vs. back of house politics. The creepy guys and the strange charm of line cooks. At the end of the day, through all the frustration, the hangovers, and the sore feet, there’s a lot to laugh about. That’s why we love Server Memes.