01/07/2015 10:19 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

16 Reasons People Quit the Service Industry

Dan Gentile

By: Dan Gentile

The service industry can be a jumping point between other jobs or a lifelong vocation. But even some of the most hardened, battle-scarred servers eventually decide that they don't want their feet to hurt all the damn time. So they quit.

To find out what makes people clock out of the industry for good, we polled a group of veteran servers, bartenders, and cooks about what drove them to greener pastures. A big reason was more green! That one's easiest to understand. Read on to find out the other 15, which are not so simple.

More: 26 Restaurant Secrets Only Servers Know

Credit: Dan Gentile

Your income is too unpredictable

Strikes and gutters, ups and downs -- the Dude said it best. The instability of working as a tipped employee eventually weeds waiters out of the weeds.

People don't take your job seriously

Waiting tables or bartending is hard work, but a lot of people don't agree. If they ever stood 10 hours in a server's shoes, they might stop being so condescending.

You want to apply your education to more complex tasks

You'd be surprised to know that your favorite bartender has a master's degree. And after pouring a million Manhattans, he might just decide to use it.

Credit: Dan Gentile

Your feet hurt

Eventually your body doesn't want to stand up all day. And you become way too familiar with the latest trends in bunion prevention.

Customers treat you like a subhuman

Some customers are the worst. And at the end of a shift, the bad apples are the ones stuck in your teeth.

Your coworkers are subhumans

Some service industry folks are pros. Dedicated lifers who take their job very seriously. Others aren't. And if your team isn't full of A-players, it's likely you'll often be doing the work of two people. Or mopping up someone else's mistakes (literally and figuratively).

You miss everyone's birthday/wedding/funeral

"Special Occasion" is a great Smokey Robinson song, and if you work at a bar or restaurant, you'll be stuck humming it to yourself while your friends are off celebrating. Or mourning.

Credit: Dan Gentile

You aren't allowed to get sick

If your server looks like an extra from The Walking Dead, it's because calling in sick isn't an option. Combine that with a lack of health care and it doesn't make for a very healthy workforce.

From intoxicated people to restaurant drama, head to for 8 more reasons why people decide to check out of the service industry!

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