Basically it takes a certain kind of person to work in the restaurant world. If I knew then what I know now I wouldn't change my life, but I might have made better decisions based on what I know. I would like to explain what working in the restaurant can look like for you if you decide you're a long term kind of person:
Long hours: 50 a week or so. Which isn't horrible, but if you have family then its a little rough. Also, it limits when you'll be free and days you can get off. While that's not bad consider that in most of the rest of the work place you will only work 40 hours with paid holidays and vacation time that you can use without wondering if the building is burning to the ground. Other industies have better hours.
Pay: You'll work like a dog and get paid like one. If you're accustomed to the minimum wage or low shift manager pay a salary wage may look amazing, but when you divide it down its not stellar. In addition to the pay the benefits are typically rough too. All of this will depend on if you work at a mom and pop restaurant or a hotel or country club too though.
Public: Many jobs deal with the public but everyone eats. We see every kind in restaurants. These people love to complain and nag. If you go to a shoe store you don't ask to get a discount because they don't have your size in a certain style. Same goes for restaurants but people want something free.
No respect: Pretty much. This industry has earned a reputation for uneducated labor and as such even as a manager most people look down on you and there's little respect for the title.
Stress: Super high stress. Some people cope with it better than others and some are alcoholics.
It can't all be bad?
You will meet tons of people. You will see things that you never imagined, you will hear stories that may haunt your dreams, you will earn some respect from people that have been in your shoes. You will have a story to tell at nearly every occasion. You won't have as much trouble as some finding another job or a new job. You'll learn customer service skills, cash handling, problem solving, management skills, and all kinds of HR skills. Its not all bad, but for me I dont want to work until I am 80 because I can't make enough money to save any or my employer doesn't offer 401k. I don't want to be forced to retire because my body can keep up with the work pace. Its a hard life we live in the restaurant and the time we spend in is amazing, but there will come a time to decide on an exit strategy and then act on it.