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....

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Diced or Sliced

“Um, like I want that salad that has cheese and tomatoes and stuff.” Asked picky drink girl.

Earlier she had asked for a Mudslide and when told we don’t offer blended drinks asked for a

Strawberry Daiquiri, she wound up ordering an iced tea with “a bowl of lemons.”
I brought her two lemons, but I digress…

“I’m sorry, we don’t offer a salad of that type maybe we can come up with one if you know what kind it is.” I said, knowing full well she wanted a Caprese salad. I just wanted to watch her struggle after she reacted like a little snot when informed she couldn’t have her TGI Friday’s drink special.

“Well I don’t know, it has some kind of weird mozzarella or something.” She spurted out.

“You must be thinking of buffalo mozzarella, you must mean a Caprese salad.” I replied.

“Yeah, well I want that.” She said.

I did a mental checklist, while we could do the salad theoretically, the presentation would blow as well as the flavor, fresh heirloom tomatoes are out of season and the romas we were getting wouldn’t cut it.

In other words chef won’t make it, I won’t serve it.

I offered her a similar dish.

“We could do our bruscetta mix as a salad, if I add oil and balsamic with some basil it would be very similar.” I said.

“That might be ok, is it chopped?” She asked.

“Well the cheese and tomatoes are cubed, but not chopped as if a relish.” I replied.

“Well I don’t want it chopped, why can’t I have it like at (insert random Italian restaurant here)?” She said in a bitchy tone.

I got to use one of my favorite lines…

“Because we’re not (insert random Italian restaurant here), I don‘t have the buffalo mozzarella to be sliced as our fresh mozzarella is either chopped or shredded.”

“So what, do you expect me to eat it with a spoon?” She shot back at me.

“Well you can always use a for.” I shot back.

She sat there thinking for a minute.

“How much would it cost?” She asked.

Normally alarm bells would be going off in my head about a shit tip, lucky for me it was an eight top with auto-gratuity.

“I would charge you the price for a bruscetta appetizer.” I replied.

“Well I don’t want the bread, I shouldn’t have to pay the full price.” She said, wanting a discount on one of are already inexpensive items.

It overjoyed me to deny her.

“Miss I will still have to charge you full price, the cost of the product isn’t in the bread, but our imported fresh mozzarella, plus I will be making additions to the salad so it would be in the lines of a true Caprese salad.”

“I don’t think so, I’ll just have the crab cakes then.” She said.

Chock another one up for Captain Insano!

Monday, November 26, 2007


This holiday season, and yes by that I mean Christmas. Do yourself and those at your favorite local restaurant a favor and learn how to make and keep a reservation.

I’m specifically thinking of those with groups of six or more.

Its easy to flip tables of two, four and such and maybe you can get squeezed in without a reservation.

However I’m getting a little tired of groups of six or more throwing some kind of tantrum when we tell them it could be an hour wait, that they won’t get a premium table or that frankly we won’t be able to serve them period.

It’s your responsibility to arrange your party with us, not ours.

A halfway accurate head count might be nice as well. Don’t say there’s going to be fifteen and twenty five show up. Saying there’s twenty five coming and fifteen showing up doesn’t work either. I can understand a variable of a few people adding or dropping out of a group, but this season things are getting ridiculous.

The other day we couldn’t fit a party in because eight additional people had showed up, oh yeah and the restaurant had no available tables or space into which to fit them.

So we improvised, naturally the group didn’t inform us before they were seated so they stood in both our way and other customers as we jammed in table extenders and made a “kiddie” table out of bastardized patio tops that we had to bring out of storage in the basement..

The opposite has happened as well. A friend of mine has a theory that people exaggerate the numbers of their group purposefully at times as a way to get a better and larger table so they can spread out.

At first I thought he was being paranoid, but there’s nothing quite like watching your available money making seats being eaten up as coat and purse racks as patron spread out over a table meant for twice their number. I’ve taken up a crusade to end this practice and have kicked people off tables that they clearly aren’t using and giving room to other guests and making sure
I see profit off every seat possible.

Then there’s the no-shows and people who double book restaurants.

Both can go to hell.

I find it unacceptable that people make a reservation and are to lazy to call to cancel. That screws the restaurant out of profit, the server out of tables and other guests out of their own intended reservations or available seating.

As for those who double book, screw that. I don’t care if you’re group is debating among three different restaurants and so you book at all three until whatever Head Bitch In Charge makes a decision.

What I care about is the restaurant running on all cylinders. Be adults and make a simple decision where to go. Its called an executive decision, something I make all the time when the management is too busy checking if the table legs are dusted as the kitchen is on fire.

So here’s what to do to involve any embarrassment or assholish behavior. Call in advance, be prepared to be flexible with the timing as many other people like to make plans ahead of time.

Don’t throw a fit if things don’t go your way. We’ll try to work something out as a compromise.

Personally if you’re an asshole with me on the phone I won’t work with you and will be far less than accommodating with your group.

Either you won’t get in at all or I’ll be sure to put you back by the shitter or kitchen door.