Often, working as a waiter or waitress can feel like a pretty dead-end job—but it doesn’t have to be. These 9 idols all worked in restaurants, cafés, and bakeries before making it big as the stars you see on stage.

1. Ong Seong Wu

Many fans of former Wanna One member Ong Seong Wu know he used to work as a model before debuting. But on top of that, he was also a café waiter for a while.

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2. Eunbi (IZ*ONE)

Eunbi had a long journey to becoming part of IZ*ONE, even debuting in another K-Pop group several years prior. Aside from her work as an idol, she was a server at famous bakery chain Paris Baguette.

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3. Heize

Before debuting as a hip-hop artist, Heize worked several part-time jobs to make ends meet. Some of her positions included waitressing and bakeries, cafés, and restaurants.

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4. Jaeyoon (SF9)

Prior to his debut, SF9’s Jaeyoon was a waiter at a spicy chicken stir-fry restaurant. Given how much he loves coffee and bread, it’s a shame he didn’t get a job at a bakery or café.

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5. New (The Boyz)

The Boyz’s New worked so many part-time jobs before he became a trainee, he can’t even count them all. Some of the ones he remembered clearly were waitering at a grill restaurant and a fish restaurant.

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6. U (ONF)

ONF’s U originally hails from Osaka, Japan. But rather than learning Korean in classes, he actually picked up the language by working as a waiter at a Korean pork belly restaurant.

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7. E-Tion (ONF)

Fellow ONF member E-Tion also worked as several restaurants before debuting, including a samgyetang restaurant, a Japanese restaurant, a Thai restaurant, and a donut shop.

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8. Ron (BIGFLO)

BIGFLO’s Ron was actually scouted by his company while working part-time as a waiter in a café.

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9. Changgyu (UNVS)

UNVS’s Changgyu says his special trait is being proficient at café work, since he used to be a server in one for a long time.

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