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....

Friday, January 25, 2008

Bread Nazis

I hate bread Nazis, they troll restaurants and bars solely to run their sever for complementary bread and freak out if anything gets in the way.

Their close cousins are the Tortilla Chip and Snack Mix fascists that inhabit Mexican joints and bars.

A fond memory of mine is running my ass for refills of chips and being balled out for charging for queso and guacamole when I was a working bar at a local sports bar. Chips and salsa are free, other sides cost us more money and they will cost you money as well.

But I digress, back to Nazis.

Lately I have taken a stand against them, this has been an off and on battle for me for years. The fact is we don’t serve bread and butter, or bread and oil for that matter during lunch service.

The reason is this, we don’t want to have the guest stay for any more time than necessary and since the cost of meals is lower, complementary items such as bread, olive oil and butter aren’t figured into the cost of the meal. Bread also takes away from money making appetizers and salads.

Try telling that to a customer.

Today for instance when I asked a table if they wanted any soup or salad before their dinner they responded with, “Well the bread you’ll be bringing us will take the place of that.”

I kindly informed them that I didn’t plan on bringing them bread ahead of time as we don’t offer bread service at lunch, if they wanted something while they waited for lunch I’d certainly offer them a cup of our delicious corn chowder.

They weren’t takers.

The secondary reason I’ve taken a stand is the domino effect. The second a neighboring table notices someone with bread service they feel they’ve been slighted and demand to know where their precious bread is.

“Why didn’t you bring us bread?!” They ask with an accusatory tone.

I’ve even had a group complain to a manager that I, “didn’t even offer us bread,” in their words.
That’s because we don’t serve it, give an entitlement junkie an inch, they’ll take a mile, something that this business is known for.

The other afternoon I had a fifteen top ask when I was bringing out their complementary bread.

My choice was round up butter that gets lost in the cooler, oil bottles that had been emptied and cleaned, oil for the bottles, baskets, bread and bread plates for all fifteen guest. That or I could say no.

Guess which choice I took.

Instead I used that time to get refills for my section, orders for a few other tables, I bussed a table and I also ran food for that fifteen top.

I suppose I could be chastised for denying the wishes of the guest, but what is better service? Attending to actual needs or attending to wants that aren’t even being offered at the time.

Now myself I occasionally make an exceptions, especially when people ask politely and just don’t assume I forgot to bring them something or that I’m somehow trying to slight them.

A, “may we please have some bread,” goes much further than asking ,“Aren’t you forgetting something? Our bread?” in a presumptuous and annoying tone.

Bread is not a right, its a privlage, act like children and I will take it away, even at the risk of a subpar tip.

Of course, one acting that way pretty much means I wouldn't expect much of one anyways

Friday, January 18, 2008

No taxes on tips?

Damn, I almost would have caucused for Ron Paul just based on this...

I never really minded paying my fair share, but I wouldn't mind my check actually coming to me with money on it instead of this.


Guess we'll see if this goes anywhere. I know some people have commented on here and other sites such as bitter waitress that we servers are somehow flush with riches due to us not declaring our tips.

Let me put it this way, most restaurants automatically claim charge and debit card tips as taxable. True, we might not always claim all of our cash tips, but saving a hundred bucks or so a year in gyping the government is hardly putting me or any other restaurant worker ahead of the next average worker.

Really we get the screws put to us because our substantially small wage rarely covers the taxes we do claim, giving us no idea where we sit at April 15th.

Some years I have received hundreds back, most others I've owed, the $1200 bill I received by the state was a nice surprise for this full time student.

It was also nice to be denied a Pell Grant because I made to much, I guess if I wouldn't have squandered all my tax free earnings on food, rent and heat my tuition would have been easier to pay this last year.

In related news our pay went up to a whopping $4.30 an hour, causing mass panic amongst restaurants used to exploiting cheap labor. There were all kinds of editorials about how prices would soar, wall would crumble and the doors would close.

Small businesses wouldn't be effected by the minimum wage and frankly all those restaurants owned by large chains can afford fifty more cents as a slight penance for their sins against both the working man as well as the palete of Americans in general.

Passing through Minneapolis this summer I couldn't help but notince restaurants about ever block or so, and yet their servers get paid in excess of the federal minimum wage.

A friend of mine lives in Oregon and they pay even more than that, yet somehow the restaurant business isn't on their knees.

I'd love to see the day comes when tips are really treated like management claims, as a gift, and the day when we get an actual paycheck instead of a bill.

But I'd believe it when I see it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Lipton's 10 Questions

1. What is your favorite word?

Acquiesce, as I will not acquiesce to your unreasonable requests.

2. What is your least favorite word?

Fantabulous or Gianormous, I know that's two, but do these words even exist? I just want to punch the people who use them.

3. What turns you on?


4. What turns you off?

Female moustaches.

5. What is your favorite curse word?


6. What sound or noise do you love?

Running water,

7. What sound or noise do you hate?

Senseless prattle from groups of middle-aged women drunk on White Zin.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Fighter Pilot

9. What profession would you not like to attempt?

Restaurant manager

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

"I forgive you."

IFH Mondays

I think this adequately explains how I feel if I'm asked to sing or asked if I "do anything" for birthdays.

I never figured out why we pay for a person's dessert, after all isn't that what the friend or family member pays for? Its not like anyone ever pays for their birthday dinner, we're giving their friend a free dessert in effect, not the birthday boy.