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....

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.


At 7:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

people who call to make reservations and show up really super late or in scattered groups (half show up early and half late). get your sh*t together people!
if you are late and it causes a problem make sure you leave a nice tip!


At 6:35 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why I'm glad I don't work in the main dining room at my job, Insane, because I'd end up going on a rampage. As it stands, in my seat yourself area of the game room, people try to fit huge parties into one little 4 top booth, or they'll spread out and take up my whole section with 2 people per table and the one big table I've got with like 10. 16 people in my 4 booths, and then they whine about the gratuity because they're not all sitting at the same table. Sorry people, you're still one big party and you're playing musical chairs. Pay the grat and stop whining.

At 8:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said and thanks for showing up. My friends Thom and JP have been worried sick about you.

A reservation is a verbal contract and these days it's ok to lie, cheat,and steal. I sure miss the old days, a hand shake, your name,and your word could get you a loan at the bank.

Stay focused

pay bills

At 3:23 PM , Blogger Eric said...

Hear Hear. Though I been out of the biz for almost 20 years (BOH) I do agree and this issue was a problem then too.

Too bad those that need to hear this are not reading it.

At 6:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never been in the biz, but I sympathize 100% on this issue. Why do people think politeness and common sense don't apply to restaurant reservations?

At 5:57 PM , Anonymous marco said...

I was supposed to have a party of 14 a couple of weeks ago; 5 showed up. I was pretty pissed until I found out it was this chick's birthday, then I ended up feeling sorry for her cause her friends flaked. But that didn't stop me from breaking up their table and squeezing them onto a four top so I could make some damn money.

At 7:22 PM , Blogger Tam said...

marco is my favourite :D

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