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....

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Nature of the Beast

Its 6:50, and I’m nervous.

My 6:30 ten top is running late, they didn’t answer their confirmation courtesy call, they didn’t answer when I called them fifteen minutes ago either.

I have had three of my tables blocked off for the first hour and if they don’t show I’m out a round of tables, and a round of income more importantly.

As well there is an eight o’clock reservation in my section for twelve, they are to be in the same section that my late party was to be in.

I’m pissed, this has happened all throughout the holiday season to both myself and many other servers. Sometimes the group never shows, other times like tonight they are late.

The party showed at five till, they were below my expectations, much like their tardiness foreshadowed.

No appetizers, no salads, only one or two drinks…

Management was all over me trying to have me move them out as fast as possible, we were booked and both the restaurant and myself needed that space open for the later party.

But they were campers, I did my best to hustle them out, abbreviated a desert spiel, meaning they didn’t get one, didn’t offer coffee either.

I almost had them out with ten minutes to spare.

I had the check in their hands, then the mom brought up the subject of dessert.

“Please just go, please just go, please just go,” was running through my mind while I stood there with a fake smile as they discussed the subject.

They didn’t go.

I watched bussers jam in tables from the party room to accommodate the other group, they had to wait in a crowded area while the table that was late held up their reservation.

Twenty minutes later the group finally left, I watched in envy as my other group was sat in another section.

I watched in envy their server opening bottles of wine, selling steak, appetizers and ports for dessert. Sometimes it’s the luck of the draw with these things.

The next night we were getting all set up and it looked like another good one. I had a couple eight tops to turn and burn and my friend Scott had two twenty tops back to back.

So we rocked out and set up the restaurant and got ready for our big night.

“So gonna break three bills tonight there Scotty?” I asked.

“Well I hope so, I better not get some bullshit like you had last night.” He said.

“Yeah that was crap, at least you have more than an hour and a half to burn out that first one.” I said.

“We’ll see…” He responded.

So around six or so I see Scott tearing apart his section.

“No show?” I asked as I helped him straighten tables and pull off sweat laden water glasses.

“Yeah, they’re a half an hour late, management didn’t even take a phone number.” He said.

“Jeeeeeeeeesus, not again, we really need a deposit or something on this type of thing.” I said.

“No shit, but that wouldn’t fly in this town, we have no backbone.” Scott pointed out.

“So what’s the story with your section?” I asked.

“Eh, they’re trying to throw me a couple four tops before the other group comes.” Scott replied.

“Well hope they spend five hundred buck,” I said.

“Humph! We’ll see.”

Scott didn’t get any four tops, just a couple two tops that at on the cheap, and apparently tipped that way as well.

“Fucking five dollars on fifty, what a stain!” Scott exclaimed after another stellar gratuity.

“Nature of the beast, nature of the beast.” I said

So we hurriedly threw his tables back together and put out twenty fresh setups and twenty fresh iced waters.

About twenty minutes later Scott was doing the time honored ritual of throwing shit and cursing in the kitchen.

“This place is run by fucking chimpanzees!” He declared.

“What, another no-show?” I asked.

“Fuck it, lets grab a cigarette.” He said.

“Yeah, but I quit…” I said.

“Lets. Have. A. Cigarette. Now.” Scott said firmly.

Another time honored tradition, smoking by the dumpster. (Don’t worry, we wash our hands before we serve you, snicker*)

“So what happened this time?” I asked.

“Apparently the first two couples sat down in the bar for half an hour before they bothered to notify the hostess that instead of twenty there would only be four of them.” Scott said.

“That’s crap.” I added.

“Yes, apparently they didn’t bother to see if the other sixteen people were going to show up, so yeah, now only four.” Scott said.

“People like that should be eviscerated. Assholes.” I said.

“Well fuck it, I’m going home, I don’t give a shit what the floor dicks (managers) say.” He said.

“So how much did you make on your three hundred dollar night?” I asked.

“Counting that last five bucks, well I made eighteen dollars.” Scott said.

“Ouch, that hurts, what the hell is up with these parties this week?.” I asked.

“Nature of the beast man, I’ll be down at the pub, drinks?” Scotty asked.

I responded with, “Yeah man, drinks.”


At 2:13 PM , Blogger Brad #1 said...

Nature of the Beast my ass!!

I don't know how the both of you haven't quit already. At the very least, the restaurant should have coughed up a few dollars to compensate, if not a few free meals.

We went through some of the same stuff this past holiday season. People making reservations at multiple places only to pick one at the last minute, and never saying a word to the places that they just shafted. I'm one for the deposit idea. I'm going to have to employ that when I get my own place.

Here's to hoping things are going to look up for ya.

At 2:11 AM , Blogger Ospite said...

I'm with you here bro. I no longer accept parties. I can't stand the mentality of people who lack the common sense to alert the people taking care of them as to how many will show. So my hosts know not to give me parties. Ever.

If these people stopped to think, they'd realize that giving the restaurant a heads up would better their service. And as for those that don't even show or go from 20 to 4, who the hell raised them to be that prickish?

I would LOVE to keep a list of no-call/no-show parties and no longer allow them to book anything....ever.

At 12:06 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have read your blog from start to finish, and find it to be pretty solid writing. Updates have slowed; which is fine it only takes me a minute to see if there is a new one. I will probably quit reading if the ad front page stays there though; there are other blogs with good writing where one doesn't have to click through that.....

At 2:54 PM , Blogger you'dneverguess said...

I'm super glad you're posting again! I really enjoy reading what you write, even though I've never been in the restaurant industry (unless you count stinkin' Starbucks, I don't). I love your stories though, they give me a new appreciation for everything that servers have to deal with. I've always been a good tipper, but I'm even more conscientious now.


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