Problems With Working In A Restaurant

There are many different parts of a restaurant someone could choose to work in. Hosting, serving, dishes, cooking, to-go servers, and more. For each role, there is a long list of problems and complaints that come with the job, stress that is bound to happen no matter how hard you try to avoid and look past it. 

This list contains restaurant problems that hosts and servers must deal with daily. 

1. Picky Guests

Sometimes it seems like guests don’t realize that hosts follow a specific table rotation and that you aren’t randomly sitting them at their table. This restaurant problem can affect servers and the rotation.


“Can I have that table over there?” They point to the section where a different guest was seated only a few seconds ago, and you nod but know that puts unnecessary stress on the server. 

When it’s extra busy, you may explain that the server was already sat, so it will take longer for them to be attended to, but they seem to brush it off. Maybe they enjoy seeing the stress of restaurant workers. Who knows, but they are annoyed that someone hasn’t seen them as quickly as they were expecting despite your warnings. 

Rotations void double sitting and ensure all the servers are getting their share of guests. Servers are not paid as well as other parts of the restaurant and make their living off tips, so it is important to ensure they can get the same number of guests in their section as everyone else. 


2. Dirty Uniform 

This is a given in the work environment, but it is still a pain. You can wash your apron or uniform that day but spill gravy on it within thirty minutes of your shift. It doesn’t matter how hard you try to clean a table carefully. It takes one lean over a table for you to spill something all over yourself or forget something is in your pocket before you squish it against the table. There’s always something happening. 

This can be especially problematic if your workplace wants clean, neat uniforms. That can be almost impossible. If your workplace doesn’t mind, this restaurant problem won’t be too much of an issue with your uniform. 


3. Guests Mad About Wait Time

We know waiting is the worst part of a restaurant during busy days, but we don’t always control the wait time.

Most of the time, it depends on how fast guests order, get their food, eat, and leave. A part of only two people could stay for two hours, and we still can’t ask them to leave just so you can have a table. It’s more of a waiting game. 


Sometimes, we implement a wait time when it isn’t busy so that it can ease the stress of the cooks and servers. This can result in better service and food. 

This is listed under the restaurant problems because guests often yell and argue with hosts over this. 

4. On Your Feet 

One thing about working in a restaurant, you definitely will get your steps in. There are days when you can get 7 miles of walking from work. Always being on your feet can cause pain if you aren’t wearing the right shoes. And, sometimes, you have to lift items constantly. Whether that lifting means moving chairs, highchairs, slings, tables, or more – you will get your arm workout along with your steps. 


Because of the physical labor you’ll experience, it is important to do stretches to help your muscles from not hurting after a shift. 

This is more of the physically negative aspect of these restaurant problems.


5. Guests Seating Themselves

A nice surprise for the host is when they go to sit with someone, and there’s already a group of people sitting there, and now the host is standing there with people expecting a table. Sometimes a guest will sit when the host is doing something else and can’t watch the podium for a few minutes, but the same action can affect sitting other people. 

Hosts need to keep up with who sits where so they can keep an accurate floor plan and always know where they can sit someone. As a guest, they don’t know what section is closed or if the server was already set and is struggling to stay ahead of everything. 

Even if you have to wait a few minutes for them to get done, waiting for the host to sit down can help, and they will appreciate it. 


6. The Same Old Jokes

Now, this restaurant problem isn’t the worst. More repetitive. No matter where you work, there are always the same jokes that come with the territory. 

Anyone working in public service has to deal with these jokes constantly, but at least you’ll get your acting skills in when you’ve laughed at it several times a day. 

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“Hi, how many are dining with us?” 

“Forty,” the guest will say. 

For a second, as hosts, they may be scared by the thought of getting the restaurant set up for that many people – if there’s room. The guest will laugh and tell you the real number of people, usually closer to three or four. 


And, of course, as a host, you need to laugh at the joke and ignore the mini heart attack you just received. 

7. Not Counting Your Baby In The Count

Some of the ordinary restaurant problems the hosts have to deal with is guests thinking their babies don’t count. Whether in a high chair or needing a sling, it still requires space at the table. 


If someone goes up to a host and says four, they will most likely sit you at a table that only fits five, which is fine unless the guests complain about their lack of room. Or, the host and servers may get a table ready that will fit seven, but two babies are not included in the count – meaning there’s not enough room without everyone being crammed. A lot of times, this results in the guest returning on the wait until we find more room. 

At the end of the day, working in a restaurant always has positives and negatives. And, if you aren’t someone who works in a restaurant, maybe you can use this article to gain some insight into restaurant employees and what they go through to ensure you have a comfortable eating experience. 


Despite these restaurant problems, you can still find enjoyable moments throughout your work day. Maybe you love the music being played, or your favorite regular comes in – whatever it is, try to think about the positives over the negatives!

What are restaurant problems you experience? Let us know in the comments below!