My experience thus far in life includes writing for the Review and working in restaurants. After 8 months of hosting and now serving at Timothy’s of Newark, I find working in the service industry can teach one a good deal about public relations.
PRSA defines public relations as: “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
In the case of the service industry, the organization is the restaurant (the server by proxy) taking care of their public, the tables he or she is waiting on. In this situation, the server greets the table, answers any questions the customer may have, and ensures they get the best dining experience possible. This is mutually beneficial when the server receives a tip in the end.
Sometimes it’s not easy to put your best foot forward and put on a smile. Customers are difficult or rude sometimes. Sometimes the kitchen makes mistakes with the food ordered. The server, however, is the face for any problems that occur.
Furthermore, as a server, I have a team behind me to help ensure the customer has a great experience. The host greets them, and sits them in the seat they desire. The kitchen creates the delicious meal. The bar tenders concoct various drinks. Most importantly, my managers have the power to give discounts when crisis occurs.
A job in the service industry helps me understand and read people. I’ve began to pick up on the needs at a particular table. Someone may need constant refills. Someone may want to know all the seasonal beers. Working in the service industry keeps you on your feet (literally). This job helps me multitask and attend to many people at once.
At the end of my shift, if I have tables tell they enjoyed everything and tell me I did a great job, it’s worth it. Working as a server is not an easy job for everyone. When all my hard work translates into tips well, it is truly worth the hoops I jump through.
On a more public relations note, Timothy’s has recently launched a twitter (@timothysnewark) to gain more business and keep the public updated on all our wonderful specials.
By: Andrea Annal
Andrea is a junior majoring in mass communication. She is minoring in women’s studies and journalism. Andrea is from Delaware. One day, she aspires to work at a newspaper or magazine based in a big city someone in the Northeast.