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Omar Torrijos shares his story on how working in the cafe impacts his life on the day to day.

High school senior Omar Torrijos gets a jump on the real world

Senior Omar Torrijos ties his apron on and pours the first pot of coffee; his long shift at his father’s cafe is about to start. Working in a family business might not be what you expect- Torrijos’s responsibilities there force him to take on many tasks such as working long hours from open to close, as well as keeping everything in check.

Torrijos followed in his father’s footsteps and decided to step up and help out at his family-owned restaurant Cafe Romeo at only 15 years old. Being the family-oriented person that he is, when opportunity arose, it seemed like the perfect way to help out the business.

“I was really happy about it. I was excited to be involved in the business and actually experience what my dad was used to… helping him out really meant a lot,” Torrijos said.

Regardless of the fact that this is Torrijos’ first official job, he is the son of the business owner, which means his responsibilities differ from most of the staff there.

“I have a lot of things to do there. It’s not like a normal job where you just come in and go; I have to make sure everything is okay and check up on clients and coworkers, kind of like a manager, and be there from open to close,” Torrijos said.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, small businesses around the world have been struggling to get back on their feet; this situation is no different for Torrijos and the cafe. When asked to reflect on his experience Torrijos looked up to the ceiling and sighed.

“COVID ruined a lot too- we are short on people, and I have to be overworked… I have to stay there and do way more things because of how much we were impacted with employment,” Torrijos said.

Pushing past these hardships, one day his seven to eight hour shifts could possibly turn into a full-time job if he inherits the cafe and becomes the new owner.

“There’s a chance that might happen, but nothing is for sure… COVID changed a lot, but I wouldn’t count it out,” Torrijos said.

Perhaps one day in the future Torrijos will be running a business of his very own.

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