What I Learned From the Service Industry


Let’s start with why…We all have our reasons to join the service industry, mine was due to quitting my full-time job to pursue freelance work. The service industry became my buffer income as I built up clients.

I had a short 6-month stint as a line cook before working as a server at The Preservery who is like family now. From the year (and some change) that I spent in the industry, I learned a few lessons that I think anyone can take with them:


Set boundaries

Whatever this means to you, do it. For me it was realizing that just because you’re friends with someone, doesn’t mean you work well together. I made some incredible friends while serving but when your host just sat you 2 tables, your drinks aren’t out but your appetizers are about to be dropped and your friend/coworker gives you side eye for not doing roll-ups right, it’s hard to not take things personally. I worked hard to set boundaries for myself to keep my job and my friendships safe.


Look for additional opportunities

I mean this within the role. One of my first clients for my new freelancing career ended up being the restaurant I worked at! We partnered together to help build up their photo bank and marketing efforts to bring in more guests while also helping me grow my portfolio. Whatever your goals are in life, work with your management team to find value for both the company and your career.


Drinking culture is real

Have you ever tried Fernet? If you have, that’s probably because you’re in the industry. Something I had always known, but honestly didn’t experience until I was in it was how much drinking occurs. My only advice is to be careful. Careful not to let anyone take advantage of you, careful not to say/do the wrong thing, careful not to get too carried away. Mainly, be careful because…


Everyone is connected

I can’t go to a restaurant in Denver without the bartender knowing a server I worked with or a chef once working at the same kitchen as so-and-so. The industry is a small space, so don’t burn bridges because you never know who knows who in this world. Also, general rule of thumb – be kind to everyone.

The lessons I learned from working in the industry easily transfer to my marketing career. Networks are small and there’s always opportunities to be had! If you ever have a questions about the industry or want to chat more about this lifestyle, let’s chat!


Julie Rodriguez