16 Lessons I’ve Learned Working at a Chinese Restaurant

Growing up in small Chinese restaurant has taught me several things in life. Here is a list of all the most important things that I must share with all you lovely Chinese-food lovers—and I’m sure that many other waiters can relate.

I have learned:

1. all the proper pronunciations for “General Tso’s Chicken”:

General Sose Chicken

General Toes Chicken

General Stoze Chicken

General Tee Sos Chicken

Colonel Sose Chicken

General Chicken

That chicken with that glaze

2. that there will always be a person that comes in five minutes before you close.

9:58 Hey, what time do you guys close?

Me: 10 o’ clock

9:59 Okay, I need an order to go.

3. to accept assumption that the restaurant only serves cat, dog, rats, etc.

Panda Garden, Chinese Restaurant: the best rat in town.

4. that the phone never stops ringing.

5. the difference between “Lo Mein” and “Chow Mein”, even though customers never will.

Chow Mein is vegetables; Lo Mein is noodles! 

6. that every friend you have will want a discount—even the ones you’ve never met.

I think there should actually be an up-charge when someone asks for a discount.

7. that tips are small angels from God.

57 cents! Yes! 

8. that Pepsi is not the same as Coke, nor is Mountain Dew the same as Mello-Yello.

And some are very particular about that difference…

9. that dishes are from the devil.

Just me, here. Washing my life away…

10. that no matter how many times you answer the phone with your restaurant’s name, the caller will never hear it.

Me: Panda Garden, how many I help you?

—-: Is this the Panda Garden?

11. to bite your tongue when a rude customers argues with you.

12. to run when a family of four tiny children come in to eat.

Should I go ahead and get the broom? 

13. to give anyone under the age of 18 a cup with a lid.

14. that Christmas is the only holiday of the year.

So, my next day off is…?

15. that you do not want to work on Valentine’s Day.

Oh…too much love…too many couples…can’t hold on…much…longer xP

16. that no matter how bad it sucks sometimes, it’s a job and you’re thankful. 

At least I’m making BANK.


So, a short, sweet, and to the point list. I hope that what I’ve shared will be of use in the future. If not, try your hand out at a restaurant; you’ll learn a lot! If you’ve got more, feel free to share in the comments below.



5 thoughts on “16 Lessons I’ve Learned Working at a Chinese Restaurant

  1. Just thought I would check your blog out! I love this post the most, by far.

    My favorite General Tso’s quotes that I actually typed up over a year and a half ago in a note?
    General “Itso, Ties, Torso, Taco, Taos, Tiso, and Toes.”
    Torso was the best, I think.

    Working there really taught me a lot, for sure.
    Awesome blog, Yin!

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