Fast food jobs will set you up for success in other roles, because the skills you can develop are transferable. First, let’s break down the skills required for food service roles. As a cashier, you will need interpersonal skills, such as conflict resolution, communication, processing payments, and attention to detail. In positions like cook and food assembly, attention to detail would still be key, alongside the ability to multitask. A general manager needs to have a wide range of skills, including the interpersonal skills of a cashier, leadership, and strong organizational skills. Strong interpersonal skills, attention to detail, and organizational skills can all be applied to other positions.
Food service can lead directly into retail, especially for food service cashiers. The interpersonal experience that you gain by working in food service will help you assist customers in a retail setting as well. A retail employee is generally expected to fill multiple roles simultaneously, whether that means restocking the shelves or displays, cashiering, or assisting customers. A job in retail can also help develop your communication and sales skills.
Fast food skills come in handy, specifically in the field of hospitality. One shining example of this is at hotels. Many positions in hotels benefit from the skills earned in fast food service, including a hotel front desk position. At the front desk, interpersonal skills are a main focus, as the day-to-day tasks involve directing guests to their rooms and resolving complaints. Also of note is the concierge, who generally acts as the guest services representative for hotels, taking requests from and performing tasks for hotel guests. A concierge needs the strong interpersonal skills and organizational skills developed in food service to keep up with the requests of guests and ensure their satisfaction. A hotel general manager has similar responsibilities, with the added duty of organizing staff, managing the budget, and ensuring the hotel is in top shape.
Event management also makes good use of the organizational skills required in food service positions. Event management is all about having the event come together right on time and squashing any complications before they become a problem. In this role, there is less interaction with guests, but much more interaction within the team. Great attention to detail and teamwork is the only way to succeed in event management, but it can be a fulfilling challenge.
The interpersonal skills developed in food service can be especially useful in a customer service position. Customer service can mean assisting a customer with a return, recommending features over the phone, helping a customer through a chat box, or any other position where there is direct communication between the employee and a customer. A differentiating feature of customer service is that it can often occur over the phone or online, instead of always face-to-face.
One customer service occupation that can benefit from the skills gained in a fast food position is a call center customer service representative. A similar expectation of employees is present in both of these positions: to respond to customers with a positive cadence, resolve any customer complaint or issue, and represent the company brand. A call center representative has a major impact on the overall experience for the customer. Since these conversations rely upon the interpersonal skills of a call center representative, having experience through a fast food service position can help greatly.
The skills in fast food service are highly transferable and can lead to opportunities in a number of different fields. If you are no longer satisfied with a food service position, there are certainly positions with similar skill sets. These skills can also be important to keep in mind if you have previously worked a fast food position. Knowing your skills and the type of work you are most comfortable doing will help you wherever you end up working.