The more time you spend in restaurants and bars, the more it may cross your mind that it’d be pretty sweet to jump into that dating pool. Everyone’s young, they’re friendly (it’s their job), they’ve got good taste, and they have backstage access to some of the most desirable spots in the city.

But a restaurant industry partner isn’t all sunshine and free meals. Kitchen work is intensely high-pressure, with very little tangible reward for most of one’s career, and the people who thrive in this environment are driven by internal forces that are hard to understand for us normals. If you’re going to date one of them, there are a few things you’re going to need to understand. We’re here to help.

Let’s get one thing straight: We’re not here to tell you how to pick up a bartender. If you’re halfway off a barstool right now and wondering how to get that Irish-accented, pint-pulling babe/bro back to your place, we can’t help you (for a number of reasons, actually). But if you’ve managed to get someone out of the restaurant or bar and go on a date or two, we’ve got your back. Don’t be fooled by some of the shady information out therethese are the real rules of dating a restaurant pro.

Written by Regan Hofmann (@Regan_Hofmann)