Do you ever look at a cast member in the park and wonder what their day is like? Or maybe you are interested in a role and are curious about how the role really is? This post will give you a glimpse into the life of a cast member working at a full service restaurant.
Before I walk you through my day, there were two different types of days I would have based on if I was breakfast/lunch shift, or if I was dinner shift. Both were very similar in what I would do and how my day went. For this walk through, I will be using a day shift as they were more common for my role.
My day would begin around 5:30am, yes it was an early morning! I would get up and try to be quiet as to not wake up my other roommates. I would grab my costume, fix my hair and do my makeup, then head out the door. I generally would catch my bus around 6:15am so I could make it to my 7am shift time. There were some variables here; I would always take the earlier bus, in case anything happened so I wouldn't be late. Sometimes my shift would start at 7:30 or 8:00, so I would take a later bus but would take the earlier of the two options that got me there on time.
After that joyous bus ride in the morning, I would head into the backstage area of the Yacht and Beach club. I was assigned a locker, so I would put my belongings away and get ready to clock in. Once my clock in time came, I would swipe my blue I.D. and head to our restaurant.
To start, I would get the podium ready and make sure all the correct menus are out. Once the front of house was prepped, I would make sure the servers didn’t need any assistance to get their sections ready. About 15 mins before our location would open, we would have a morning huddle to prep for the day. We would go over reservation numbers, if we had any large parties or if there was a convention at the resort.
Now the day had begun. As a seater, I generally was not working the podium. So I would stand to the side until someone needed to be seated in the restaurant. I would grab menus, walk them to their table and talk to them about their day so far and plans they had. While on my program, I was trained for extra responsibilities (given a proficiency) which allowed me to be the assigner. Essentially this meant I was in charge of placing people on the seating map, playing seat tetris and balancing our guest count between servers.
In a shift, I was given a 15 or 45 minute break, depending on the length of my shift. These breaks came during our changeover from breakfast to lunch. To prep for lunch, we would switch menus and reset tables. We would rotate through breaks, so we always had a handful of people still at the podium. The afternoon looked the same as breakfast, so we would simply continue to seat people.
At the end of this shift, we would switch everything over for dinner including new table settings, menus switched out and general cleanup. Whoever came in last would have to stay until the last table left. This would be variable depending on how busy the floor was. I typically would leave between 2-3pm.
A dinner shift was very similar and at the end of that shift you would change the restaurant over for breakfast the next day.
Overall, my role was very easy. I would help out in the restaurant as needed but my days were generally slow. Other locations are not this way (Be Our Guest), but resort restaurants are much quieter locations.