Working Break

Nearly three months in and I’m still occasionally baffled by the concept of mandatory “lunch” breaks. Who the heck has the time to take a half hour rest when you’ve only spent two hours prepping and dinner service is about to begin? Since I started working here, I’ve definitely had to learn how to hustle and get a lot done in a short period of time. (At the old restaurant, we’d have days where even coming in at 11am would not be enough to get ready for service 6 hours later.)

A day in the life typically looks like this: openers come in at 3, go on break at 5:30, then we open for dinner at 6 (except Saturday when we open at 5:30 so break time is at 5). Openers usually leave around 11pm. Closers come in at 4:30, go on break whenever the openers come back, and stay until about 12ish.

Anyway, I’m clarifying all this because today I experienced the workaround to this crazy system of being forced to take breaks: the working break. The concept is simple – clock out as if you were going on break, then come back to the kitchen to keep working because you’re in the weeds and you do what you gotta do to get shit done. Clock back in when you’re supposed to.

I had made a lengthy prep list for today with the intention of lightening the load for my station partner who, like everyone else who works on Sundays, is usually screwed over by Saturday night service. Better to get as much done as possible today when there are two of us. We both had to take working breaks to get everything done, and we were so hungry and exhausted before service even began… but we pushed through and handled over 450 covers! I was pretty proud of us at the end of the night. :)

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