The Insane Waiter

Running wild on customers, chefs, owners and managers since 1997. I bring to you, The Insane Waiter. What do bring to your table? A crisp bottle of San Pellegrino ? Perhaps a lovely seared Sashimi Tuna? Start off with a wonderful bottle from Tuscany perhaps? Why I'll be more than happy to bring you your White Zinfandel and Chicken Caesar. No you can't order the mac and cheese off the kids menu and sorry no, we don't serve cheese sticks....

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Picking up the check.

So the other night I had some Hockey players in for dinner and another table wanted to pay for their dinner.

All nice and tidy except for the fact that every time I wind up having someone pick up the table they neglect to take care of me.

So as I was talking to the waiter who's table was picking up the bill, I told him to run the card on my table, but no way in hell was I sending it over without the automatic gratuity.

Especially since their bill was decent and no way was I going to risk either getting stiffed or a mediocre tip.

By twist of the serving gods he combined checks instead of just running the card on the two bills and while the grat carried over on my bill it was far less than 18-20% of the total bill and they left him nothing at all after the grat.

Even though it wasn't even 10% of both bills.

My table, while happy about their ticket getting picked up, predictably left me almost 5%.

Boy was my friend pissed as was I.

We servers take care of our own, I shared the combined tips, no matter how low they were.

So if you are kind enough to pick up the check, or lucky enough to have your tab picked up, think for just a moment about the person that also took care of you, it takes but a moment to figure out the tip between the parties and to make sure your server is included in your generosity.

I've got the joy in my heart!

So with much joy I am hear to report that the old upper management staff at my old company has all been sacked!

The Area Vice President along with "Problem Solver" Acting GM.

Yes these are the people who fired hostesses for being to fat or pregnant.

They ran the best General Manager I've ever known out of the company for not drinking their corporate Kool Aid.

Yes, the same people that either fired or forced out 90% of the staff so that they could have little corporate worker bee's rather than keep independent minded staff and people that actually show initiative and are innovative.

They cut sections to three tables and expected us to make a living, all while hiring more staff to cover the extra sections.

Staff with little to no experience or knowledge, how did they pay for the extra staff and their training?

Raising the prices.

And cutting our pay, according to my tip log my pay dropped 30% in the last two months I was there.

While firing the experienced and loyal servers that made that place...

I didn't work there for three years only to take a pay cut from my modest average.

How do you keep the peasants in their place?

By keeping them poor, controlling their income.

Shit, I'm starting to sound like Troskey here.

Sales started to plummet, service was horrible and the same management pushed their only decent chef out of the office and made him put his things on a little table in the food prep area.

Sound like Office Space anyone?

Of course he left along with half the kitchen, so not only was the service horrible, so went the food.

I was the last waiter to go, I'd been there from day one, they fired the other two originals a few weeks prior.

After asking them their opinions about the company changes, it was decided to let them go.

Didn't know that was a firing offense, good for them they, along with several others received their unemployment.

But not after the company fought it, after all, they didn't think being a waiter was a real job either, one worthy of benefits or unemployment.

This is how misguided these people are, one afternoon the Vice President of the company walked in an unrolled all the silverware in the bar.

He found one with water spots.

He told my GM to have me unroll all the silverware in the restaurant and polish them.

200+ seats along with all of the all of the backup, about 500 in all.

You should of seen the fit I threw, I was going to walk out that very day, but my GM talked me out of it, nonetheless I didn't polish one roll of silverware...

So the top guys in the company finally got tired of reduced profit margins, ridiculously high employee turnover and floundering expectations.

Who knows what other dirt they dug up, maybe a little sexual harassment and abuse of position, I don't want to speculate...

They had the VP drive up to Wisconsin to fire the "Problem Solver"

When he got back to corporate headquarters then he got the ax.

What goes around comes around.


Found a link to this for Craigslist...

A disgruntled Waiter's letter to the public.

Can't say I disagree with him much, if you have the time check it out at...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Asinine Question of the Day, Pt. 2

The "guest"

"I'd like to have the Shrimp Scampi with vegetables."


"I'm sorry, we don't offer Shrimp Scampi on our menu."

The "guest"

"Well are you sure???"

No I'm not sure, I only work here.

Variations are "guests" asking for half sandwiches and soup, sweet tea, raspberry tea and variations of entrees from chain restaurants they've seen on TV.

When said request is politely denied...

"Well are you sure???"

Is the requisite response.

Asinine Question of the Day

The "guest"

"Yah, do you have a bathroom?"

My response.

"I sure do, mine's at home, where's yours?"

As I walk into the kitchen with about 20lbs of plates and glasses on my shoulder.

Monday, February 20, 2006


So I was messing around online reading restaurant reviews from the customer's perspective and some of them were kinda funny to me, here's a few along with my comments.

The website is

Review for "Baratta's Trattoria & Pizzaria"

"A little overrated. They recently raised prices quite a bit and their food didn't improve w/ increase. Pizza a little greasy. Not real kid friendly - not a lot for them to see/do. Sandwiches were ok, but nothing to brag about. Not my favorite south side spot! Recommend others first."

Ok, it's a restaurant, we're not here to keep your kids entertained.

Isn't that why you throw cheerio's all over the table, and thus the kids throw them on the floor?

Ya, that happened to me today, nice and sanitary there parents of the year.

How about including them in your meal in the form of conversations, attention, even a book for them! Even if it is a picture book.

What do you expect, video games and TV sets?

Oh ya, that's probably how you keep them occupied at home.

Next up, the food...

Baratta's is a south side institution featuring excellent selections of steaks, seafoods and pastas, each with many variations of preparation.

Instead you go out to eat for pizza and a French dip.

How about you have an actual dinner that a 16 year old on her first date wouldn't order.

Mad about the prices?

I know its a pain in the ass to pay more than the value of a Red Baron or Tombstone.

I understand you feel slighted because you had to pay more than five bucks for a sandwich, go to Subway, I think maybe that's what you're looking for.

Prices don't change because the perceived quality will go up, they go up to pay overhead, payroll, vendors and other bills.

Next up is Court Ave. Brewing Company

"Pizza wasn't as good as expected - it also had a topping requested to be left off. Sandwich wasn't that good either. Kids weren't impressed, not a lot for them to do, they got bored easily. Food is overpriced for proportion and isn't that great. I'd recommend Rock Bottom 1st and Raccoon River 2nd = better."

Ah, this guy sounds familiar.

Once again, we're a restaurant, not a family fun center.

Chuck E. Cheese is on the other side of town, sorry we didn't impress your kids or entertain them, once again, that's your job

As far as the price, $9.99 for a pizza is about as cheap as you're gonna get, hell that's cheaper than most delivery joints!

I don't understand about overpriced for proportion, 90% of the menu is between eight and fifteen bucks!

And yes, the portions are generous.

In both cases I would summize you try for yourself...

The gentleman in question obviously doesn't like to pay even minimal dining out checks and probably was just disappointed there was no kids eat free day.

Check out

It's good for some head shaking and comedy at the very least, I'll leave serious reviews to those who are qualified.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Red Lobster

Well to show my love for corporate America here's a fun little blog for you.

Red Lobster Hates Its Employees

Well maybe they don't hate them, but they sure don't care about them or their ability to earn a living wage.

Does it affect you?

Read and see if it does, maybe the "obscene" price of food can be because some suit with stock options wants his portfolio to go up 1%.

Once again at the expense of the lowest paid employees.

Plus here's a bonus, Red Lobster biscuit recipe is one of the treasures hidden among his entries!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

St. Valentine's Day Massacre...

"Sir, what can you tell me about your desserts?" The lady asks with the menu set directly in front of her.

Her date rolls his eyes.

This isn't going well for me either, but at least I don't have to drive her home.

"Well miss what would you like to know?"

"What is this chocolate tort all about?"

"Well miss it's a flourless chocolate tort, very rich, you'd love it." I say, pretty straightforward dessert.

"I don't understand, is it like a cake?" She continues.

"Miss, it's very rich, similar to a fudge cake."

She looks at me befuddled,"well is it a cake or isn't it?"

"Ma'am a torte is a type of cake, this one is made with no flour."

"I don't get it, is it like a pie, is that what a torte is?" She asks.

"Miss, that is a tart, this is like a fudge cake."

"Well what do you mean like a fudge cake, what's a fudge cake?"

My pager is buzzing furiously, I have about three tables of food to run, this is starting to get on my nerves.

Every table has been like this, I've always said I don't mind questions, but I prefer informed questions, like when people read the menu, which she clearly hasn't.

"Miss, its a rich chocolate cake, made with no flour."

"Well how can it be a cake if it hasn't any flour?" She manages to throw out all that I've tried to explain with this one for sure.

I just shrug.

"Well I don't like chocolate anyways, it makes me ill." She declares.

Then why the hell are you torturing me like this?!?

Is it your first time out?

It probably is, he date just holds his head in his hands.

Why would you want to know about something you don't even want?

"Miss is there anything else you might like?" I ask.

Her response is, "Are all Italian desserts so rich? I can't eat rich foods."

My short answer, "Yes they are."

If you want two sprigs of mint and a blueberry, well maybe down the street would be better off.

"Well what's this gelato all about, I saw something about it on the Olympics." Is her next query.

Before I can answer her date responds, "It's like ice cream."

Predictably she goes on, "Well what do you mean by like?"

Her date cuts her off, "Check Please."

I fled the scene much like Capone's men after the massacre of the North Siders.

This is one night that can't get any worse.

The managers didn't have the floor plan done until the first customers arrived, despite us having all reservations held in the book a week prior.

Of course they yelled at us all to hurry up and set up our section, once again despite the fact we didn't know where they were.

Once we got going it was clear that we underbooked as the restaurant was only full for about a half an hour period.

Incidentally this was a good thing because the kitchen fell apart about 7:30 or so because they couldn't handle the weak rush that was coming in.

I had over thirty minute ticket times for my two top diners, when the restaurant was half full.

Our expo was zoned out on Vikes and instead of getting another manager up there he just fucked around and yelled at us for not paying attention to our table's drink levels, all the while running obscene ticket times and not even bothering to communicate out concerns or trying to get the dinners out.

It's always nice getting cussed out for doing your job when they can't even handle theirs.

Talk about misplaced priorities, he can worry about the food, let me worry about my tables.

It was hell, diners that would be better off at IHOP or at the very most Applebee's were the rule, not the exception.

Rarely did one order any of the Valentine's Day features, but instead asked for salads, chicken fettuchini or the one sandwich we have on the menu, whatever was cheapest.

I had one good table for the night, thirty dollar two top that was a pleasure to wait on.

Beyond that 10% was the average, with my favorite tip being a couple of Euro-trash that left me $.85 on their $39.15 ticket.

White zinfandel and Coor's was the drink of choice.

I wish I had a great night, I wish I could come here and speak of all the fun I had and great guests and the good times had by all.

I can't.

I think its time for a bartending gig, this server shit isn't cutting it much longer, I can tell you that.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Oh Help Me!!!

So today is the worst day ever for a waiter.

Valentine's Day

Worse than prom, homecoming, Christmas eve, New Years and the day after Thanksgiving.

The worst amateur day of the year.

Its worse this year since the weekend was so close all the real diners already came out.

Most of what's left will come tonight, so no big spenders or drinkers.

Mostly those who feel obligated to go out rather than to enjoy themselves.

On a side note I went out Saturday night with my lovely lady and had a great dinner and fine time.

Hope everyone enjoys the holiday, and be decent to your waiter!

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Restaurant Species Guide

Part One: The "Rockstar" Server

This particular specimen displays both color (flair) and a loud obnoxious mating ritual.

Can be seen constantly waxing the General Manager's car, running to the store for light bulbs, copy paper or for the management's lunch from a better restaurant.

He normally has received one of several bogus promotions such as...


"Head Server"

"Corporate Trainer"


"Key Hourly"

Said promotions give none to little actual authority and only exist for moral purposes...

Think a placebo folks.

Said "promotion" may actually bump up the waiter's salary from $2.85 to the fabled minimum wage or even higher.

Although he/she will never see a red cent of this do to the fact that the raise usually serves to pay off the higher taxes and their paycheck will remain a big fat zero.

They will then find themselves training rookie servers and staying late nights closing while the "real" management run acrossed the street to Bennigans for a "Big Irish" burger and a Guinness or two.

Any attempt to exercise authority by these waiters will be met with contempt and distrust by the "real" servers on the staff.

So pretty much they're stuck doing the shit shifts and shit work with no respect from the staff and no pay, all so they can brown nose their way in with the assistant manager for the fabled "management" promotion that will be promptly given to a junior college graduate with a busboy job as his reference, over the "Rockstar" waiter of course.

Key signs that a "Rockstar" is in the house is that they'll actually sit down with your family and rattle off their "jalapeno shooter" spiel while a flashing Bacardi Limon button rest on their lapel along with a variety of buttons that denote their rank as the elite of a restaurant.

They actually believe the corporate hocus pocus that the company executives spout out and are rarely found at any sort of restaurant that anyone with good taste and or dignity will visit.

Habitats include: Bennigan's, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, TGI Friday's...

And of course, Applebee's.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


So its no secret that I hate coupons and I pretty much refuse to work in rinky dink corporate joints that have only trailer parks and public housing projects on their mailing list.

Well I have both bad and good news at work I suppose.

Well actually good, bad and funny.

To stimulate our take out business which is rather brisk as it is, we are doing a two for one promotion on take out only.

The bad new is there's quite a number of people that aren't reading the coupons and whipping them out at the end of the meal.

Upon learning, and this is a shocker, that they'll actually have to pay for their dinners who do they take it out on?

Not the manager or owner, but the only part of the payment that they actually have control over.

The tip.

And me, the lowest wage earner in the restaurant.

The funny part is that I've had two tables of John Deer hat wearing (Not Ashton BTW), flannel clad hicks that have ripped the bottom part of the coupon off.

The terms are listed on the bottom and they think they're being savvy shoppers (AK cheap scum) by trying to pull a trick on me and then getting all irate when I refuse their discount.

Now the terms are on the bottom for a reason, there would be no mistakes when pulling the coupon off the top as the terms would have no reason to be separated except for these wise asses trying to be tricky.

Personally, I would do just fine without their business.

Monday, February 06, 2006


So who is on myspace here?

I started an Insane Waiter page so I'll probably mess around on it when I'm bored, add me if you want!

I figured it'd be a fun way to correspond and maybe shill my blog out to Waiter Groups and such.

Look for more posts soon, including a Restaurant Species Guide!


So this lady came in today with an associate and sat in my buddy's section.

She pulled out all her business papers and decided to have a pow wow right there.

Her friend ordered a side Caesar salad.

The she ordered this, she claims to come here all the time and do it of course.

A water...

A bowl of free bread...

And a bowl of mayo to dip it in...

That's gross, cheap and a waste of time and a table.

So far the total bill for the table was $3.95

Thank God they weren't mine.

Although my buddy charged her for the bread.

This isn't your office, we are a place of business, order or leave, thank you.

The Late Rush

The place is going mad...

We were down to me and Rick, the closing waiters of the night.

Everyone else had split and it was an uncharacteristic slow night.

Shitty tips and few table turns was the name of the game so the shift manager cut everyone off the floor.

Except Rick and I.

We were finishing up the few tables we had in our section when one after another tables started flowing in.

Time to put on my hero boots.

I was triple sat, then quardrupled.

Then I had five, then six, then seven.

Rick was running laps with a water pitcher and I was yelling at the backwaiters to get back on the floor with their bread baskets.

Literally fifteen tables had walked in for the two of us in about five minutes or so.

I saw the Katie, the hostess running back another table.

I was neck deep in the weeds.

"Hey, I can't take anymore!" I said running up to her after the table was sat.

She gave me a snotty look,"What do you mean by that?"

"Exactly what I said, no more tables!"

Exasperated she went on,"Well what am I supposed to tell them?"

"I don't care, put them on a wait!" I yelled.

About thirty seconds later I see her out of the corner of my eye, seating another table.

Rick runs up to me sweating like a whore in church,"I can't take another, can you?"

"Are you kidding me?" I said,"I've got like three tables I haven't even been to yet!"

The Katie approaches us and said,"You've been sat at 22."

"I can't take it!!" I shout.

She looks over at Rick, he pretty much sprints away from her.

Aw screw it, I think.

"I'll take it!"

I peer around the corner, no one at 22, but a two top at 23...

Probably the hair brain got her table numbers mixed.

I jump back into the chaos, I was finally catching up.

Late tables pretty much suck where I work, lots of appetizer and dessert only tables with marginal check averages and even lower tips.

So pretty much I'm bounding table to table...

The as I'm up at the expo station with my manager, Katie freaks out at me.

"I told you to take 22!!!" she said," They haven't even been helped!!!"

"There's no one at 22!" I yell back.

She points to a table, the gentlemen glare at us.

"Yah, that's table 40 the last time I checked." I said.

Katie stumbled over her words,"Well I told you to help them!"

"How long have they been there?" Asks the shift manager.

"Over five minutes, they came up and wondered why no one had been by." Said Katie.

The table had no silverware, no water glasses, no condiments.

They had moved from their assigned table apparently, didn't ask or tell the host, nothing.

They didn't even take their menus with them.

Once again I said, "I'll take them!"

If nothing else but to lecture them.

"Folks, can I start you off with something to drink?" I asked.

"We've been waiting here for quite a while," one of them responded with a femme accent.

"Well this is a closed section sir, maybe if you would have asked to move someone would have been with you."

This was met with a nasty look.

"Well we didn't like our table." His partner added.

"Sir, of you seat yourself no one is going to help you."

This isn't Denny's for fuck's sake!

Now I don't mind waiting on gays, they actually tip better than average for the most part.

But there is that group that I don't like, fussy like office ladies and very demanding, they're the bitchy, whiny types.

They are as trailer trash is akin to white folks, every group, color or religion has those we hate to wait on, and I hated these guys, shit I even recognized them.

Another group I don't like, regulars that think they own a place.

Well the dinner experience went off about as well as it could.

They commented on how good and hot everything was, and that it usually comes out cold and not as tasty.

If you don't like where you eat, don't go there!

I'd be happy to lose you as a customer...

btw, at my current job I have nothing but confidence in the menu and our kitchen, like I said, these guys were whiny and mega-particular.

Well at the end of dinner I saw them filling out a comment card, I made a mental not to intercept it at the end and file under T for trash.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Specialties of the House

"Miss would you like anything to..."

"First of all I want bread!" She exclaimed.

Oh I just love that classic, it never gets old.

Upon returning with her precious bread (which we don't normally serve at lunch) she queried, "Do you have any specialties?"

"Well today we are serving a Mediterranean angel hair pasta tossed with..."

"No, I mean specialties!" She rudely interrupted.

"Well at lunch some of the entrees we're known for are our pasta's such as..."

"Specialties! Specialties! I want to know about your specialties!" She cried.

"T E A S!" She spelled out.

"T E A S!!!" She repeated....

"I want to know about your special teas!!!"

Christ, just ask what kind of tea we have, Iced or Hot, not too difficult.

Special Teas, how special is Lipton Brisk?

Maybe if she wouldn't have been so high stung and rude it would have been funny.

Who asks for tea like that?!