At some point in your life, you may have been advised to leave any restaurant experience off of your resume. Just the other day, I saw another notable CEO on LinkedIn discourage its inclusion based on a lack of applicability. Because Cosmitto’s co-founder and Creative Director, Nikki Staley, has years of experience bartending and waiting tables under her belt, I wanted her very qualified opinion on the matter.
Here’s the takeaway from our conversation:
If you are job-searching and decide, after some research, to send a resume to Cosmitto, we encourage you to include any previous restaurant experience. While some companies might consider it unrelated, we think it’s applicable, important, and, honestly, pretty impressive. In other words, we know how hard it can be to work in the food industry.
More importantly, any number of the same skills you learned as a waiter, bartender, front of house employee, or line cook can help inform a positive relationship with digital marketing clients. You’ve learned how to prioritize tasks, handle pressure with grace (while still knowing when to defend yourself), make the best of lulls, and communicate with a team of equally busy individuals.
Nikki still compares the skills she learned during her time waiting tables and tending bars with the skills she now deems necessary to manage multiple accounts and run a successful business.
“You never know what each day will bring in a restaurant,” she says, “and still, you have to be prepared. Agency life and restaurant life have that in common –– they both require flexibility and preparedness for anything.”
She also learned the importance of systems and processes while serving, and that they “make the world go ‘round.” You have to be able to create them, live by them, and adjust them when necessary. It’s how business gets done in a team environment where the customer is, in some ways, always right.
“You listen to your customer to learn what they need,” she says, “and determine what they might not know. That allows you to educate them and provide the best service… or in the food industry, suggest the perfect beer.”
Sometimes, working in the service industry can be thankless, so we want to thank everyone who has spent time making food, waiting tables, pouring drinks, or cleaning up after meals. We especially want to thank all the service workers who have worked diligently during COVID and quarantine. We appreciate you!
While some people may believe there is little to no crossover between digital marketing and the food/service industry, Cosmitto knows better. And the same goes for any other experience that other people might not consider traditionally applicable. Make your case for its relevance –– we’re listening!