Cinnabon president Kat Colewas hired to runthe billion-dollar cinnamon bun empire before she was 35.
Cole credits much of her incredible business sense to the years she spent waitressing at Hooters.
The executive worked as a server for the chain in her teens. By age 20, she was on the brand’s corporate side, training employees.
Cole shared some of her most important lessons learned while waitressing.
1. Connecting with many different kinds of people is crucial. “When you’re a server you get sweet people, people in a hurry, crazy people, all walks of life, and you have to learn to get along with all of them to get paid,” Cole said. “Learning to interact with everyone is a skill has paid off in every job I’ve had.”
2. Your actions always affect other people. “In waitressing, it’s completely up to you to make sure the customer has a good experience,” Cole told us. “I don’t know if there’s a better leadership lesson because it makes you realise that people expect a lot of you, and you have to do your best to deliver.”
3. Every day makes a difference. “You can’t be rude to customers for even one day as a waitress because your income is based on their experience at a restaurant,” Cole said. “Having to put forth that effort for every shift taught me the importance of consistency and trying your best.”
4. Don’t let anyone intimidate you. “We have perceptions about people based on their job or income, and might think those people act more fancy or are on another level from what we think is normal,” Cole told us. “But ultimately, people respond when you act like yourself and try your best to be kind and considerate.”
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