I grew up working in my mom’s deli shop. I was a terrible employee for many reasons, being the boss’ son didn’t help any of them. Regardless I did learn a few things while working there: make the customer happy, be quick, smile, and prep.
Before any restaurant, deli, cafe, or food truck opens there is prep. Prep is short for preparation and the shortness also implies speed. When you are doing prep its not for final presentation to the customer. At the most its a pasta salad in a bowl which is then scooped onto a plate or bowl. At the minimum it is dicing onions, and more onions, and always onions.
You do prep so that when you open you can give the customer their order real quick. You make the sandwich fresh but the ingredients may have been prepped up to 3 or 4 days ago (depending on the health codes in your area it may be more). The point is that the customer needs to get their food and get back to work.
It took me years to realize how important prep is. One thing I have learned to prep is my morning routine. Before I go to bed I try to have the kettle full and the coffee maker ready. My dry smoothie goods are next to the blender. I have my workout clothes ready to go.
When I wake up I know where everything is and I just go. I don’t have to think, which is good cause it takes me a few hours to fully wake up.