As the Summer months roll in, and along with them, high temperatures, it is important to always be prepared for working outdoors. Working in a restaurant is hard enough without the extreme outdoor temperatures, but for anyone who has worked a patio shift, you already know it’s next-level. Here’s a few tips on how to keep your cool this Summer:
Stay hydrated. Drink water before, during, and after your shift to keep yourself from experiencing fatigue or headaches. A good way to know you are staying hydrated is to monitor your trips to the bathroom, or by tracking how much water you are drinking every hour. Remind co-workers to drink water, too. Working in a restaurant is a team effort, so making sure your team is in good shape will help keep things running smoothly. Avoid drinking caffeinated or sugary beverages like coffee or soda as they have dehydrating effects on the body and can actually work against you.
Practice patience. As easy as it is for you to become dehydrated, the same is true for your customers. People who experience dehydration and hunger may show significant lack of tolerance or patience. Keep your customers and yourself hydrated and remain calm. It is easy to work up a temper in the heat, but keeping your customer calm and happy is the best way to ensure that they will continue to frequent your business.
Apply sunscreen if you will be working in direct sunlight for extended length of time. Sunburn and dry skin are major contributors to dehydration and fatigue, and can make working all-around uncomfortable. That is important to remember in and out of the workplace. Wearing sunglasses might also seem ideal, but being unable to make eye contact with customers is a major disservice. If your restaurant will allow it, get permission to wear a hat to keep the sun out of your eyes, and off of your face and scalp.
Dress appropriately. Of course, as a restaurant employee, you must honor whatever dress code your business requires; but, during the Summer months, be sure to dress comfortably and modestly. Do not wear clothes that restrict you or make it difficult to breathe. Wear clothes that breathe easily and use bright colors to reflect light rather than dark colors that will absorb it.
Lastly, enjoy working in the outdoors! Being outside is good for morale and for your mood. Sun rays carry vitamins that, in the right doses, are good for your body and your brain and the fresh air can promote an all-around better mood!