Emily Bain is a barista and florist living in Melbourne. She is also the founder of Hip Hop & Bloom floristry pop up and writes her own hospitality blog, Chips in the Waiters' Station.
Considering I’m writing this from my bedroom floor, wearing socks with holes in both heels and a jumper I found in a bar (definitely a male’s large), I’m not really sure what gives me the right to offer up my wisdom on motivation. I’m certainly not a success story of getting up at sunrise for a chia pot, a workout and an intellectual commute in a freshly ironed shirt. I literally cannot remember the last time I used an iron and have never in my life achieved anything before work other than the odd day when I somehow manage flawless eyeliner or great French braids. But 8 years, 4 countries, too many pairs of boots, a few workplace romances and the odd glass of wine later, I’ve realised (mostly through trial and error – and ‘fake it ‘til you make it’) that, in the hospitality industry, we all have our own tricks and methods to make it through a relentless day.
It’s no secret that we have to endure hours of listening to the kitchen porters compare history’s best football goals, embrace eating breakfast at 3pm, and suffer through steam-wand burns and creme fraiche smears down our aprons – all contributing factors to the daily battle to stay positive and motivated. So, as a slightly too sarcastic, more-concerned-with-the-current-playlist-than-coffee-I’m-pouring millennial in hospitality, with a firm belief that my opinion is worth broadcasting, I’ve come up with a cure.
A list which I have curated over years of tears in the dry store and chips in the waiters’ station, this guide will get you through the sweatiest of shifts and the general daily grind.
There is definitely a recurring theme of alcoholism, releasing the anger in the walk in fridge and gossip at the waiters’ station, but I have also realised that keeping positive is (although almost impossible at times) a vital part of motivation in hospitality. This inspo isn’t revolutionary nor Instagram worthy #alreadylostinterest but it’s honest – which is sometimes exactly what is needed. Also, in order to get the most from this advice, you’ll need to start the day with a dirty apron and glimpse of last night’s glitter party in your hair or else it’s not true to hospitality form.
The reality is, we take what we can get in this industry.
Whether it’s picking up an extra shift to pay for last night’s dinner, or a donut for breakfast, we make up for the lack of income, daylight hours and patience in our own ways. So, whether the rap in ‘Shake it off’ is the motivation you need to boost your sass during a shift or maybe you’re more of a therapeutical, polish the La Marzocco spotless kinda guy, embrace it. And if all else fails, Google ‘baby laughing at ripping paper’, it’s all the inspo you need.