Beginners Guide: Quitting Your Restaurant Job

Quitting any job can be a stressful and exciting process, but it all starts with the first step.

I know it’s not easy just to get up and quit your restaurant job.

You ARE a valuable person in the workplace and you may feel that if you quit, you’re going to rock the boat.

This feeling will be more intense the more time and energy you’ve invested in it, however, there is still a way out without these guilty feelings being there anymore.

Well, many ways out in fact.

And in this article I’m going to help you get there and achieve your goals, whatever they may be.

Lets go!

Are You Ready To Quit?

Do you have a job lined up or at the very least have some savings to keep you afloat until you find your next job?

I don’t want you quitting and ending up on the streets cause you couldn’t pay rent.

But on the other hand, if this job is affecting your health then by all means, quitting on a whim may be an option.

Your health is priority over everything else, no matter how much money you’re making, because without health, life is pointless.

And if you do end up quitting without any savings or another job lined up, you better start applying for jobs right away.

That doesn’t mean BROWSING, it means putting yourself out there and applying.

The keyword is “applying” because most people look but never apply and it leads to a whole lot of doing nothing.

Action speaks louder than words and that goes with everything in life.

Getting You Prepared

Most of the time, people don’t want to leave their job because they feel guilty about leaving the company in hard or stressful times.

Well one way to combat this is to wait until everything is running smoothly and everyone is in positive and happy moods.

Usually this happens when it’s been a good month. The bosses moods are enhanced and it allows you to make your move.

I recommend you let your manager know that you are looking for a job and that you want to train your replacement before you leave.

This will soften the blow and they’ll be less likely to get upset with you.

It will also teach you some new skills that you can carry on to your new job.

It is up to you when you want to hand in your notice, but in my opinion, I think it’s best when you’ve finished training your replacement.

That way you have someone to take your place and all that’s left now is to leave on good terms.

Don’t Over Complicate Your Notice

Your 2 weeks notice should be short and effective.

You do not need to write a 500 word novel.

Just write 100 words thanking them for the opportunity and skills you got to learn, and that you’ve found something that is more suitable for you.

It is up to you to tell them your new career path but you don’t have to.

Maybe if you’re close to your boss then he might be interested in hearing about it so he can give you his blessing.

Don’t Slack Off

Once you’re notice is handed in, that doesn’t mean it’s time to slack off even though you’ll be tempted to half-ass your duties.

You’re just going to piss your employer off and stress him out which is the opposite of what you want to do.

You want to make the transition smooth and painless as possible, and that’s why staying professional is key and it will keep your current employer happy and in a good mood.

He’ll probably give you a great send off too.

There Are Some Exceptions

There are some exceptions to quitting without giving notice and that is if you haven’t been in the restaurant for long.

If you’ve been there for less than 3 months, then you’re probably not that valuable to them and still in the learning stage yourself.

You’ll be able to quit over the phone, just try to avoid doing it if you are scheduled to work that day/night.

Another exception to not train your replacement is if you’re just an average worker.

If you’re not in a high position such as manager, chef or cook, then you can probably get away with handing in your 2 weeks notice as soon as you want to.

The Restaurant Industry Teaches Many Skills That You Can Carry Onto Other Jobs

One good thing about working in a restaurant is that you’ve learned many new skills and don’t even know it.

Here are a few of my favorite:

Customer Service – You are constantly talking to people, listening to problems and coming up with solutions in a timely manner.

You have learned to talk with people in a good tone of voice and you make people like you and your hospitality.

This skill can be carried into many customer service jobs!

Sales – You answer peoples questions about what they should eat, how things taste and you give them recommendations on different foods.

You upsell them drinks and alcoholic beverages and know the needs of different people. You have learnt to sell my friend.

Operations – Even if you’re in a lower position such as a bus boy, waiter or host, you still pick up the operations skill simply by taking note of how the managers run the workplace.

You’ll quickly learn the best ways to do things so the restaurant is running smoothly and efficiently even at its peak hours.

Time Management – Time is of the essence at a restaurant no matter what position you’re in.

Over time you learn what has the most priority, how to finish jobs faster and how to manage your time more efficiently.

This is a skill you can apply to literally any area of your life.

Working Under Pressure – Restaurants are busy and full of people who are rude, nice and some even downright nasty.

You learn to handle high pressure situations and keep calm in the most difficult times.

Other high pressure jobs you could apply for are: referee, teacher, telephone operator, fast food restaurants, social worker, bartender and much more.


Quitting your restaurant job doesn’t have to be hard.

You don’t have to feel guilty.

As long as you follow my rules and steps in this article, your transition from leaving to do something else should be painless and stress-free.

You have passed the first step which is recognizing that you don’t want to be in your job anymore and you want to do something else with your life.

Well I have given you the blueprint, the rest is in your hands.

Please leave all your questions and concerns in the comments below. I’ll be happy to answer them!

18 thoughts on “Beginners Guide: Quitting Your Restaurant Job”

  1. I could not agree with you more that a restaurant job is very effective and helps in teaching a lot of skills to which would be very valuable in any other area of work later on. Quitting can be daunting, to be honest. But doing it in the just and right way would guarantee everyone to be at peace with each other. The tips you gave here are spot on and can also be applied as a procedure used in quitting in other areas of work too. Thanks

    • Yep, the tips I share in this article don’t just apply to restaurant jobs, however, I know what restaurant workers hate and go through and so I’ve tailored this article specifically for them.

      To make the quitting process as smooth as can be 🙂

  2. For me these are really nice tips on how to get on with life on another job outside ones restaurant job. So many people forget the skill or lessons learned from a previous job which can be useful for another job all in the name of “its a new job”. I believe these tips are just what anyone need to be successful in a new business. 

  3. Ah, this comes in handy. I had a friend who actually worked at a restaurant very far from her place. She got a new job( a better one) where she needed to start her work very soon and had to hand her resignation about two days before she left. It wasn’t pleasant after that and her boss wasn’t happy with her. Sometimes one might not have up to two weeks to drop a notice, it might me another urgent issue. In your opinion,what does one do?

  4. Quitting a work generally can be a trouble at first especially in the work line such as a restaurant, with all the emotions flying about and the familiarity, but so far it is a decision one has made, then it is inevitable. Quitting the right way is the only solution to maintain cordial relationship after leaving the place of work. While I was at college, I worked at a local restaurant to support my financial needs. I got so used to everyone at the restaurant and after two years of working under them, I decided to leave. It was difficult at first and it took me another one month of work before I was able to submit my quit notice. Though I volunteered to help them till they got another person though.
    till now,, we still keeping contacts and that is the best way to go about it. Great post!

    • That’s awesome that you can continue to keep in contact. I bet they’ll have no issues offering you a job in the future if you ever need one 🙂 good going!

  5. You see, a few years back,  I worked at a restaurant selling coffee and some pastries to people who have lunch. It was a good job and I spent over a year. The customers were getting really used to me and the boss really liked me but I couldn’t be there forever. I needed to leave and so I told the boss who was very jovial. It didn’t take too long because he understood I had to get a better job. One thing I can advice is that quitting a job o er the phone isn’t really a good idea but again it depends on the situation at work. A person might already have some complications at work and knows that if I don’t quit, I might get sacked. Overall, this are really good tips and I’m happy you’re helping others. Nicely done. Cheers!

    • Hey John. A lot of the time people stay in a job they hate but don’t want to quit for those specific reasons.

      The customers love them and the bosses love them even more, because they are a valuable member of the workplace.

      Whenever they think of leaving, they gain massive guilt and sadly it crushes dreams. Knowing how to get out and actually apply this information is key to living your best life.

      I’m glad I can help 🙂

  6. You are absolutely right on this. We all know that health is the number one priority for anyone, but sometimes it is hard to make such decision to ensure our health is truly our number one task. I personally had a job for long time. By the end, I was so depressed that every time I walked into the office and building of working place, I had severe headache. The working environment is so toxic that I get sick and finally I took sick leave and quit the job.

    Look back, I should have quit this job long time ago and work on job I love.

    • I’m glad you quit before it was too late. When it’s that bad, you know you have to get out before compromising your health even more and doing permanent damage.

  7. This is great advice for any career transition. It is always best to have some savings while you look for a new career, but it is much better to have another job lined up before you quit your job. I have been working to leave my current job by mastering affiliate marketing with Wealthy Affiliate. I put in part-time hours while working my full-time job so that I will have a steady income when I am ready to quit. 

    • That is certainly not a bad idea. That’s what most people do because it’s the safe route but it’s also the slowest because you’re very limited on how much hours you can work on your business per day. However, at least it’s safe and you always have a backup plan. Great job so far Melinda.

  8. It’s great to know that even if you, like most people hate your job at a restaurant, it is still teaching you useful skills that you can use in so many other industries. When I got out of school I did waitress for about two years while I was studying so that I could afford to buy my first car. Even though I hated the job, there were good times, and I learnt a lot about working under pressure and people relations. I also learnt a lot about working behind a counter and making coffees, milkshakes and other drinks.

    I was glad when I could finally give it all up and start working for myself, but I did learn a lot, as well as earned enough to buy my car and furniture for my first flat.

    It’s odd that you only need give two weeks notice there. Most jobs here in South Africa require at least 4 weeks notice? I wonder why that is?

    Your tips for quitting your job were great and I am sure will come in useful for many people.

    • You only have to give 2 weeks notice in most parts of the world. I’m from New Zealand but it’s the same for countries like Australia and the United States.

      I’ve heard before that it’s 4 weeks in some parts of the world but didn’t know it was that common. I also don’t know why that is. It might be just the recommended notice duration and not the actual law.

  9. One contingency an employee should consider before giving a two-week notice, it to be prepared to leave immediately should the owner or management decide to terminate the employee immediately. The employer may decide to terminate an employee immediately if there is a concern the employee may sabotage or cause damage to the business or customers.   

    • That’s a good point you bring up there Glen. Although this is unlikely to happen, it is still possible.

      However, I think the employer will only do this if the employee has been unprofessional throughout their time in the workplace.

      Bosses usually have a good judge of character when it comes to this type of thing so if they do terminate immediately, it’s usually for a purpose and not for nothing.


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