10 Things You Should Know Before Dating Someone Who Works at a Restaurant

published Mar 26, 2015
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So, you’re ready to take the next step with that cutie you’ve been flirting with for some time who happens to work at a restaurant. You met them at a party, where they told you about their dream of opening a restaurant or winning Top Chef and now you’re totally smitten. You like food too, so you know it should be a perfect match, right?

Let’s step back for a second.

Whether the love of your life works front-of-house or back-of-house at a restaurant, you need to prepare yourself for your next relationship. From daily foot massages, to scary restaurant dreams, here are the 10 things you should know before you get in the weeds with that special someone.

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

1. Monday is the new Friday (when it comes to date night).

Holidays, birthdays, weekends — your partner will definitely work some of them, if not all of them. They will also work long hours. Monday-night date night may very well be the new norm. Are you OK with this?

2. Giving your partner a foot massage is the nicest thing you can possibly do.

Front-of-house or back-of-house — your partner will be on their feet for most of their long work day. Forget flowers or making them a home-cooked meal — the nicest thing you can possibly do for your partner is rub their feet when they get home.

3. Your partner’s home kitchen will be filled with quart containers and super-sharp knives.

Don’t even think about bringing your dull knife to their home for that cute dinner you guys wanted to make together; that’s a slap in the face. Do not suggest that your partner “get rid of a couple” quart containers — they’re so useful!

4. Respect starts with tipping.

Show your respect for what your partner does for a living by tipping well when you go out to eat. But really, just treat anyone who works in the service industry with a little more respect and kindness.

5. Embrace salt and butter.

You might think you use a lot of salt and butter when you’re cooking at home, but you really have no idea how much goes into a standard dish at any given restaurant. Learn to embrace this knowledge when you go out to eat — it’s what makes things taste good.

(Image credit: Pizza Lover)

6. Do not make fun of your partner for their banal restaurant nightmares.

Restaurant dreams are a real, cruel thing. Whether you forgot to fire an order, or sat a party at the wrong table, it’s not something you want to be be dreaming about. Don’t make fun of your partner for these bad dreams.

7. Become friends with the late-night bartender.

After a long dinner shift, it’s not uncommon for restaurant staff to go to a nearby bar. Bonus points if there’s excellent food at said bar. If you care to occasionally meet up with your S.O. after their shift, get to know the bartender so you can be a cool kid.

8. Eating at a restaurant is not about filling your stomach.

Sure, it doesn’t hurt to be hungry when you go out to eat at a restaurant, but that’s not really the whole point of eating out. It’s an experience – more like seeing a play or movie. Don’t get overwhelmed when your partner harshly judges a server for not filling your water glass when it’s been empty for over a minute.

9. You will learn to speak a new language.

There are small phrases or words that people who work in restaurants use all the time. In the weeds, 86, PITA, behind! – you’ll learn them all and use them in your everyday life.

10. You will never go out to brunch again.

Weekend brunch is usually the worst shift to work at a restaurant — especially if half the staff is hungover from the previous night. Learn how to make a mean avocado toast at home and make your partner happy.

All right, all you restaurant widows — what else would you add?