Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Jan 8, 2014 08:41 AM

Question for service-people

So, since starting to work the dinner service at my restaurant, I've come to realize that I have to eat a really, really big lunch. We don't get family meal until after service is over at the restaurant, so I'm basically challenged to eat enough to keep me full for eight-plus hours at a time. So far, I've figured out that the chicken over rice combos from the local teriyaki stand are what keep me full longest, but I don't want to eat that every day. So, fellow hounds-who-double-as-service-staff, what's your favorite thing to eat to get you through service without wanting to eat the food you're serving to people? Just to throw another wrench in, I'm also gluten-intolerant, so your average monster sandwich (which would be my obvious go-to for a question like this normally) is not really an option unless I make it at home. And as always, mods, if you find another, more appropriate home for this topic, please feel free to move it! Thanks in advance.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You're not going to find a single meal that will hold you through eight hours of hard work on your feet without bloating you too much to want to work... you don't get any break time when you could scarf down a handful of trail mix or a protein bar to hold you over? Protein is much slower to digest than carbs so it'll keep you full longer but eight hours is a VERY long time to go between meals while you're working.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Kajikit

      I need to invest in protein bars, I keep reminding myself of this during service when I get a little hungry. It would be pretty easy for me to run down to the locker room and scarf one down during a bathroom break or something. Thanks!

      1. re: praisethelard

        Larabars and kind bars are gluten free, i find the fats from the nuts keeps me satisfied.
        If you bring a cup of frozen plain greek yogurt it will gradually defrost in your locker, keep a jar of nut butter in your locker and add a glob to the yogurt. Easy to eat quickly and also satisfying.

        1. re: praisethelard

          You could also make your own granola/protein bars if you have time on a day off.

          GF oats, nut butter, nuts, dried fruit?

          When I was 21, I took a job serving at private parties. We only worked a couple times per month, and were on our feet from 3 PM (setting up) to 3 AM with no real allotted breaks.

          I always packed snacks for myself to munch on whenever I could sneak away for a sec. A peanut butter sandwich (or PB&J) was always included. Easy to transport, won't spoil, and some quick protein and carbs. For you, how about GF bread and PB or almond butter? Or even GF crackers with some nut butter?

          I'd also pack fruit (apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, or chopped fruit salads, or dried fruit in Ziplocs), string cheese or chunks of cheddar, and other assorted nibbles for snacking (pretzels, nuts, trail mix, etc). And lots of drinks (water, Gatorade, Vitamin Water, juice, etc.).

          We worked under the table and really cleaned up; I'd make my rent and all bills in one night in tips, but I still remember how exhausted I'd be by the end of the night, and my calves would be sore the next day.

          Hope you find something that works for you.

      2. Keep some cheese on ice. It really fills you up, stays with you, and comes in a variety of flavors.

        1. I always brought in a protein drink. Quick and easy to drink and no worry about something stuck in your teeth.

          1. It was a long time ago, but I remember that the heavy physical work did a good job curbing my appetite, and I probably needed only a light meal beforehand (at around 3-4pm). What was needed the most was iced drinks to cool down and keep me going, usually iced tea or coffee.

            1. Could you ask your boss if the family meal could be served before the dinner service? I would've thought that having it after service wouldn't be as cost effective because kitchen staff then have to stay behind to clean down after staff have eaten instead of being able to start cleaning down immediately after service (while guests are finishing dessert, coffee etc). In saying this I'm assuming that family meal isn't served until all guests have gone and front-of-house staff have finished serving?