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Tips for the restaurant intern

Prepping for an internship in food service? TRIXIE VELASQUEZ shares some to-dos.

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08 Feb 2012 Print This Post Print This Post

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    Internship is the best part of college life. It’s the fun part where you get to experience what you have been learning about in books and lectures. It’s the opportunity to see firsthand what your choice of profession would be like.

    So if you’re studying to be a restaurateur, then pursue that restaurant internship and start learning the ins and outs of restaurant management.

    Primary prerequisites to seeking restaurant internship:

    Scout restaurants as early as possible, probably five or six months before your internship begins. It’s better to be the early bird in making arrangements with your preferred restaurants so you’ll have enough time to find other venues in case your restaurant of choice backs out.

    Look for restaurants that have a history of accepting interns and even immersing undergrads in every task involved in restaurant management. It is imperative that you learn as much as you can when you are doing your restaurant internship. Many students who worked as interns were unable to fully grasp the structure and mechanics of restaurant operations because management would only let them perform one or two tasks, which were menial at best.

    Learn from the experience of previous interns. Bea, an HRM student from UP Diliman, shares, “I was lucky enough to work for a restaurant manager who was just as eager to teach me everything about restaurant management as I was to learn about it. I was able to do every task there is to managing a restaurant, even if it was simply arranging the tables and chairs. I learned something new. You might find it trivial but if you have a small space for your restaurant, proper arrangement of tables and chairs is imperative so that you can optimize your space without overcrowding your customers. I was also tasked to handle the inventory and it’s a huge responsibility in managing a restaurant. Checking the inventory is like checking your ammo — if you’re not careful in ensuring that you have enough stock then it might prove disastrous for your restaurant.”

    Accept every task given to you with openness because this is how you will learn the ropes. Of course there would be times when you would be required to do menial chores like washing the dishes and sweeping the floor, but remember that all of these are essential ingredients to running a restaurant. So enjoy your time as an intern and come to work each day expecting to learn something new. What you make of this first experience will help you run your own successful restaurant in the future.



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