Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work at the Grill, Den or Hillside? A few student employees share their experiences. 

The on-campus dining venues are constantly busy and experience a high volume of orders, especially after chapel. It can be a fun and convenient job for students, but it’s not as easy as it seems. 

After chapel on Mondays and Wednesdays, these dining venues are the busiest due to many students ordering simultaneously through Grubhub and in person after chapel. These busy shifts are called chapel rushes and last thirty minutes. 

I used to work the shifts during the chapel rushes at the Grill on West Campus last semester. Even though I had a fun and memorable experience working there, it was not easy multi-tasking and making different orders at the same time while attending to a long line of customers at once.  

Sometimes during the chapel rushes, employees from Hillside and the Market would come and help us serve customers. Due to too many orders and customers coming in at once to attend to, we didn’t have the manpower to cover it ourselves. 

Despite the stressful chapel rushes I learned valuable lessons about work ethic. These include how to work under pressure, handle conflict and deliver efficient customer service. I became less shy and more confident in how I communicate with people.

I made meaningful connections with my coworkers and met new people as they came by the Grill. Working at the Grill was convenient because it was on campus and my class afterward was less than a five-minute walk away.  

Plus, a perk was that I got a free meal on Wednesdays after working a five-hour shift from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. I also got to speak to my friends when they ordered during my shift and I made their bowls, burritos and tacos. I found it fun to make food for my friends and it made my shift go by quicker. 

Junior business major Jason Molina shared his experience working at the Grill and what a typical shift looks like. 

“My experience working for dining services, more specifically, The Grill, has been good. I have been able to attend and serve many people while also being one of the only student cooks there.”

Molina also shared that the Grill has its upsides with working with people who have great attitudes. Also, he has learned a lot being a student employee.

Some of the downsides of working at the Grill are standing for long hours, chapel rushes and some impatient customers.

Molina’s experience with customers is that the majority of them are patient and understand the stress of attending to many customers at once. But some customers don’t and that can be frustrating.

I relate to the upsides and downsides of my time working at the Grill. I only sat down for 15 minutes during my 11-4 shift on Wednesdays. Despite the aching feet, having kind and funny coworkers made it worthwhile.

A typical shift for Molina features a lot of walking back and forth, but it consists of serving and attending many people at certain times. Sometimes Molina transitions to the back to help out the chefs and start cooking. At the end of the day, we clean and make sure everything is prepared for the next day.

Another student employee who works for the Grill and Hillside Grounds shared her perspective. 

Sophomore engineer major Abigail Rojas has a positive experience working for both dining venues. “My overall experience has been good! The upsides would be that they are very flexible with working with student’s schedules and it’s very convenient to work on campus if you dorm!” she shared.

Rojas said that the cons are that it can become very busy during a rush. But she also sees it as an upside because she’s not bored. 

She also shared that she wished customers would be more patient during a rush especially at Hillside Grounds before chapel, since it’s their busiest time.

A typical shift for Rojas at the Grill includes doing meal prep in the back kitchen with the chefs. At Hillside it usually means staying at a station to make a specific kind of drink or preparing pastries during a rush. Also, restocking and cleaning when it’s slow.

Typically Rojas’ shifts are busy because she will go back and forth between the Grill and Hillside depending on which one is busier.

Working at the on-campus dining venues is convenient for students who dorm and offers an opportunity to cultivate more relationships with other students and staff. 

If you had the chance, would you work at the Grill or Hillside Grounds?