Busting The Service Industry’s Biggest Myths

Working in the service industry is like a fraternity, even if you only waited tables for a summer, it’ll affect you for the rest of your life. The same thing goes for cooking food, slinging drinks or parking cars at the valet.

The lessons learned from dealing with people daily teaches you a lot about humility, kindness, and what to do when everything is going very, very wrong. But, while there are many hidden secrets when it comes to restaurants and bars, there are plenty of myths, too.  

What are some of these myths? Let’s go.


Working in a bar means free drinks for all of your friends!

When you work in a bar, you’re responsible for the register, but also making sure the stock accounted for matches what was sold. While there are perks of being a local like a “buy-back” when the bartender buys you a drink for being a loyal customer, that’s different from when a pack of your friends come expecting to drink on the cheap. In high traffic places like Las Vegas or Bourbon Street in New Orleans, many of the busiest bars weigh their liquor bottles to keep tabs on making sure bartenders aren’t over pouring, this maximizes the amount of liquor sold but also keeps bartenders accountable for what they’re pouring.

Don’t expect to get rounds of free drinks because many managers and bar owners know how many cases of Lone Star are moving every week.

Serving isn’t a real job, or you’re too dumb to work somewhere else

Serving is its own distinct animal. For some, it’s a part-time gig that they pick up in between other jobs, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. And if you decide to make a career out of bartending or serving, that’s cool, too. Many people like getting cash at the end of the day rather than waiting on a paycheck, it’s just a personal preference. Many service industry workers realize they’d rather pour drinks or wait tables than work in an office and the rigid schedules that go along with the environment.

Just remember: service industry jobs from cooking to waiting, or bartending require a mental toughness that many lack. It’s a hard job that’s hard on the body, and many people love it.  

That servers make minimum wage

Servers and bartenders live on tips. Sometimes, an establishment will pay above minimum wage, which is fantastic, but many of your favorite restaurants don’t. The average server only makes $2.13 an hour so your tips really do matter. 

A bartender’s life is a non-stop party

Ask anyone who works in a bar where’s the last place they want to be on their day off and it’ll be the same every time: the bar. Just because someone works in a bar doesn’t mean that every day it’s a big party. Being a bartender is a fun job, but just like everyone else’s job, a little peace and quiet go a long way.

What are some of the myths about your industry you wished people knew? Tweet us and tell us, we’d love to know! And for everything else, there’s the Adia blog.

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