Waiter with a hangover

How to survive a hangover at work – Waiter edition

It’s happened to the best of us, this post will detail how to survive a hangover at work (for those waiting tables)  As always, it’s a point to make that you should’ve taken it easy the night before / made sure you had a day off before agreeing to that extra round of jagerbombs. But at the end of the day – we’re all human and mistakes get made.  The good thing about the hospitality industry is that the actual work isn’t that difficult and can be completed to a satisfactory manner in the worst of states. 

1) Preventative measures 

  • Make sure you get at least 5/6 hours sleep, worst case scenario 4.  DO NOT go to work without any sleep, in this situation to just admit that you screwed up and call in sick. 
  • Eat when you get home & drink a lot of water to follow it up (This means you can skip breakfast, you might be nauseous in the morning)
  • Brush your teeth as soon as you get home as well, trust me – It’ll make it a lot easier to get rid of the smell of alcohol if it hasn’t festered. 
  • Make sure your work uniform is washed and smells fresh, this will help disguise your hangover from your coworkers & boss (Just because you feel like shit, doesn’t mean you have to look like shit)

2) Appearance 

  • This is phenomenally important, since if you play it cool your outward appearance is the only thing that will give you away as soon as you walk in. 
  • As soon as you wake up, hazily haul your ass into the shower – this will help in waking you up and if you shampoo and use shower gel you’ll wash away the smell of any alcohol that may have been spilt on you (It’ll also help keep up the ruse that you’re a functioning human being) 
  • Brush your teeth again, this is incredibly important – since no one that’s at a cafe/restaurant wants to be served by someone that smells like a brewery, it’s a dead giveaway and if someone complains you might even lose your job.
  • If you wear your hair in a particular way, make sure you put the effort in and do so. You don’t want to arouse any suspicion after all. 

3) Attitude

As anyone with a hangover knows, you’ll be quite sensitive and ready to snap

  • You’re guaranteed to get a customer that makes your life living hell. If someone really pushes your buttons, take deep breaths and walk away – if they have a complaint regarding food or service direct them towards your manager.
  • The advice above goes for crossing wires with your manager & boss – Don’t take anything to heart that they say if they find out you’re hungover, everyone has been there.

4) Organisation

 Hangovers / sleep deprivation will gravely affect your cognitive abilities & short term memory, unfortunately working as a waiter requires you to have both of these, here’s some tips if you’re not feeling all there: 

  • Write every order down, being a waiter in its basest form is simply relaying information between the customer & the chef. By writing everything in shorthand you’ll be sure to not forget anything that people say. Be sure to get everything, including tiny alterations that if missed could lead to complaints.
  • Read back difficult orders, this is absolutely essential as it will prevent you from getting in trouble if there is something wrong with their order – this should be your number one priority before leaving a table!

5) Coworkers 

  • DO NOT tell your coworkers that you went out, there is the possibility that they will relay the information to your manager/ boss! This will look particularly bad if you’re denied going out.
  • If there’s a difficult customer you don’t want to serve, strategically pass it off to your co worker, by simply picking another table and taking your time. 

 6) Ask to leave early

  • If you’re feeling really horrendous, make up an excuse and get out of there – sure it looks bad but it’s not as bad as messing up a large amount of orders or vomiting in the workplace.