Why I love working in restaurants

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of work we can do in a day. Sometimes when our work becomes challenging, it’s important to slow down. It may feel like you don’t have a lot of time, but it’s important to take the time to appreciate what you’re doing. Because at the end of your day, don’t you want to remember why you do what you do and put in so much effort?

Make a gratitude list for your vocation

When I focus on the good that comes into my life because of what I do, the more happy I get. Making a gratitude list is a great daily practice and one that helps keep me grounded.

Here’s what I’m grateful for today:

why I love restaurants
The uniform may be the same, but no two days are the same.

Why Brooke Burton loves restaurantsUnlimited access to coffee.  Lots of coffee.

Foodwoolf.comThe surroundings are inspiring. Everywhere I look there’s something (or someone) I want to know more about. Ingredients, techniques, style, craft, food stories, and big personalities abound.

hardest working restaurant peopleRestaurant people are some of the hardest working, funny, dedicated, big-hearted people I have ever met. Every day they show me how to be brave, be strong, have faith, and be strong–no matter what.

If you pay attention, you can learn something wonderful every day.

why I love restaurantsMy husband and I met at a restaurant we worked at.

Because repetition of a simple act can bring mastery.

Every day is a huge challenge. Every day has its own big rewards.

Why I, Brooke Burton, love restaurantsI may not eat all day, but when I finally do get a meal, it’s usually pretty mind blowing.

The light.

I spend most of my time thinking about being of service to others.

It’s quiet in the chaos.

Being of service to othersI love food, knives, fire, movement, and the energy of a busy dining room. Oh, and I don’t do well in cubicles.

When service gets tough, the professionals step up.

Tasting beautiful things is a job requirement.

What I learn at work, I bring home to my kitchen.

What are you grateful for?


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Food Woolf Written by:

Brooke Burton is an Los Angeles-based restaurant professional and hospitality expert. She is a freelance food writer, speaker, and co-author of The Food Blog Code of Ethics.


  1. August 12

    I love the idea of a gratitude list–to be able to have a visual reminder of what you love about your job and to see areas that you can best serve. I’ve had a lot of jobs that some might consider menial, food jobs included, and it can be hard to be grateful when you’re elbows deep emptying a grease trap. But, recognizing how what you do serves others and seeing where you can best be of service is humbling and can completely alter your perspective. When I worked at a coffee shop making minimum wage after college, some of my coworkers were bitter about where they worked so it was hard to stay positive. I knew I wasn’t saving lives, but I reminded myself each shift that I was often the first person customers saw when they left their house each morning. I tried to give folks a good start to their day, even if it was as simple as being empathetic to the fact that they were probably crabby because they weren’t yet caffeinated :] Every job has its purpose and every employee has a perspective. Thanks for the reminder to keep mine in check!

  2. You’re absolutely right… we should all do this. I love how you can see the beauty in everything you do. It’s truly inspiring.

  3. August 13

    Love love this post. The service industry certainly is its own animal, but I love that every day is different, that people who work by my side in restaurants are weird and smart and hard working and inspiring, and that I have a freedom and beauty in my day to day that would be hard come by in a traditional office. Your writing always brings me back to square one, thank you!

    • August 16

      Thank you Ruthy for your words. Nice to know a sister in the business appreciates my words! Have a great service!

  4. August 16

    thanks for sharing what you’re thankful for. It is often that we only hear the ugly side of the restaurant biz. I used to manage one and miss it for a lot of the reasons you mentioned!

  5. August 18

    I’m so glad to have found your blog. Thank you for the refreshing reminders to be grateful and mindful. I’ll definitely be following your work.

  6. August 23

    The beauty, and pleasure, is in the details. Thank you for this wonderful reminder.

  7. September 15

    […] Reach out to a friend. Hug a tree. Make a bag of granola and send it to someone you love. Make a gratitude list. Step up the computer and […]

  8. September 25

    This post just shows how passionate you are in your work! A rare find, nowadays.
    I love it when you said, “Because repetition of a simple act can bring mastery.”
    Most people do give up in the beginning because it’s such a new and challenging task to overcome. But just practicing a skill everyday is the key to becoming better.

    • September 25

      Thanks for the support Yuli! It’s nice to get such great feedback from someone in the business!

  9. […] but after twelve months of meditation and mindful action–I find that I have much more joy and gratitude for the little and big things that happen throughout my […]

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