Green tea, number 40, the close down and other things you’ll understand if you work at Wagamama
Can I have a fork and a green tea, please?
When mentioning that you have a job while at uni, everybody seems that little bit more intrigued. When replying that you work in Wagamama, the usual response is, “omg that’s so cool, I bet it must be so much fun”.
Fun, is it? Is it really? If there is any word to describe working in hospitality I can reassure you it is definitely not fun. But despite this, Wagamama has been the only job with serious benefits, and boy there is a lot to be learnt as a kaizen.
PEOPLE LOVE A FREE DRINK
Green tea – it is free, half the people who order don’t actually like it but literally just get it because it is free. Do we blame them? Nope.
YOU ARE CONSTANTLY TELLING PEOPLE THAT STARTERS DO NOT EXIST HERE
Starters just aren’t a thing at Wagas, on the menu they are simply named sides. It’s one of the most important parts of your job as a kaizen to remind the punters of that. They might come before your main dish sometimes, they might come after your main. This is drummed into your head when serving people, hence why we usually ask if you have been to Wagamama before.
THE EMBARRASSED LOOK PEOPLE GIVE YOU WHEN THEY ASK FOR CUTLERY
It’s fine, eating with chopsticks is a talent that takes a lot of time to learn. And for those who don’t give into the moral high ground and insist that you can use them and refuse to use cutlery when you are trying to pick up every grain of rice with the wooden stick, you’re the worst kind of person.
RUNNING AROUND LIKE A MAD MAN ACTUALLY MAKES TIME GO FAST
At least you probs lost a bit of weight.
THE CLOSE DOWN IS PURE HELL
Long is the only word which comes close to describing the close down. You’ll start the close down before the evening rush has even begun, but on busy evenings when you don’t have time to start closing until about 10pm you know that you’re doomed and will be there for hours. When people try and eat at 10.50pm, all hell breaks loose.
THE DREADED SAUCES
So. Time. Consuming.
MOST CUSTOMERS ORDER AT LEAST THREE DRINKS IF NOT FOUR
Why? Three drinks, a bit excessive, am I wrong?
THE FOOD IS SO NICE THAT YOU’RE CONSTANTLY ENVIOUS OF CUSTOMERS EATING IT
Slaving away, running around, delivering the goods to you which smell sooo god damn nice. It’s just inevitable.
WE CAN TELL WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO ORDER BY LOOKING AT YOU
A skill that we pick up through time. For example, a group of girls age 15-18 all look exactly the same, channelling the Kylie Jenner lipstick – you’re all getting Katsu curries or a chicken and prawn yaki soba, probably without the prawns.
The dad of the group will always pick a classic – their wife drags them along for a romantic dinner and he has absolutely no idea what’s going on, would way rather be at Frankie and Bennies, cracks jokes to the waiter about the chopsticks and just looks bewildered by the whole experience. Usually ends up going for the Surrendra curry, the spiciest curry on the menu (obviously) leaves with sweat dribbling down their foreheads and their kids laughing at them.
YOU WILL KNOW WHAT EVERY NUMBER ON THE MENU MEANS
We will never use the number 40 and not think of a chicken and prawn yaki soba.
VEGETARIANS ABSOLUTELY LOVE WAGAS
Finally a restaurant where there are good veggie alternatives and a lot of them! We got tofu, sweet potato and more tofu.
YOU SIGH WHEN SOMEONE REQUESTS THE BASIC ORDER
Chicken katsu curry, chilli squid, a tap water and a green tea? Oh so adventurous.