Hooking Up With Coworkers

Is It Ever a Good Idea?



It’s actually potentially the worst idea ever. You already know the reasons why without me enumerating them for you. But just for fun, let’s chat about why hooking up with a co-worker is a huge mistake, and why most of us do it anyway. 

  1. If you catch feelings and the person doesn’t like you – work is going to be awkward. 
  2. If you break up- work is going to be awkward.
  3. If you’re the jealous type and see your dude chatting it up with hostesses or customers- work is going to be awkward. 

To summarize, if your hookup doesn’t work out the way you both want, work will be awkward at best and emotionally painful at worst. We don’t need that kind of drama in the workplace, especially when our profession is as high-stress as it is.

Sad Girl

Sad Girl | Image by Jerbear

The only dumber choice you could make would be to date your boss

 especially if there is a non-fraternization clause in your contract. Your boss-boo could give you great sections or completely screw you over to make sure they aren’t appearing to show favoritism. Coworkers will scrutinize your every move and both of you will be under a microscope.

Please don’t think I’m coming at you from a high horse. I fell off the high horse years ago and haven’t even been able to hop on a Shetland pony since then. I’ve made all the wrong choices when it comes to dating my bosses and co-workers. And then I made the same mistakes all over again. I had a relationship with one guy I worked with, then ended it with him and dated someone else at our job. Awkward. I don’t know how those two heroes managed it so gracefully. Props to you both- you know who you are. And years before either of them I stayed in a toxic relationship with my boss for way too long because every time we broke up we’d see each other at work the next day and then fall into old habits. 

Many of us working in F&B have crossed the line from coworkers to copulators.  

Perhaps not surprisingly, my Google search on statistics on F&B workers doinking each other came up empty, but 86’d Me did a poll, and almost 80% of responses have hooked up with at least one coworker. To help make me feel better about my own ill-advised choices, let’s look at why this is so common in F&B. Why, when it risks our sanity, our comfort, and potentially even our jobs, do we do it? 


Because it’s fun! It adds some intrigue to the F&B drudgery and it’s also pretty great for someone to have your back at work. Sometimes it even makes work (I can’t believe I’m saying this) enjoyable. Also, as referenced in my previous article, F&B workers are trauma-bonded- no one can relate to what you’re going through better than someone who is in the trenches with you. When you say, “The kitchen didn’t fire my food and I got so weeded,” they know what you’re talking about. 


Manager 1

Sex With Co-workers | Image by Jerbear

Scheduling is another huge factor. Have you ever tried to have a relationship (or more likely, situationship) with someone working at 9-5? Nearly impossible. When they’re getting off work you are just starting a dinner shift. When they want to go out to brunch, you’re working brunch. Then there’s always the same question from those 9-5ers: “When do you get off work?” “Well, I don’t know, Chad. Whenever these people fucking leave.” Is it just me or do they ask this question a million times, expecting you to have an exact answer every time? It’s just easier to get with someone who 1) gets it and 2) is on the same schedule. 


We all know the F&B couple who make it work despite all the odds. One friend of mine started dating our boss, and they’re still together two years later, with a couple of cats and a house. She had to switch locations because of the non-fraternization rule and then was run out of her new restaurant by toxic managers. Overall, though, she doesn’t regret her decision. Some other friends of mine are married and always work at the same restaurant. It just works for them. These are the unicorns, the exception rather than the rule. 

Despite all logic, I haven’t learned my lesson. 

To have someone in my corner, making work fun, has always outweighed the potential heartbreak or awkwardness. And as far as job security goes…there’s always another restaurant. Have fun out there, F&B’rs.