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, April 20, 2008

Full Moon Customers

One mainstay in the restaurant “bizz” is that when shit goes down, shit goes down. An example would be this weekend, when it seemed like every degenerate customer in the city came out to eat.

A table walked in and sat in a neighboring section at around 5:30. As I was closing server their waitress asked me to do her a favor and take over for her, this was at 10:30.

That’s right folks, a new record. The table camped out for five hours. This was on a Friday night, where turning tables is key to the restaurant, the customer and the server.

Four hours after they had finished and paid they then declared that their stomachs had settled enough for them to order after dinner drinks. Unfortunately I had to tell them we were closed.

Another record, a customer enjoyed 14 refills of tea, beating the previous record by three.
I had a walk in ten top fifteen minutes before I was supposed to clock out, that was also a joy.

Apparently they felt they could order multiple martinis and use them as samplers, declaring each round to be nonpotable they ordered again and declared the same.

When asked how a signature Cosmo tasted, I grimaced and told the gentleman asking that the ladies sure love it, though I drink Ketel up dirty.

I’ll tell you, the kitchen wasn’t pleased when I sent an order for several medium well NY Strips to them ten minutes after we closed.

The customers weren’t pleased either when I refused dinner service to two unexpected friends that joined them at midnight, an hour after close.

A different dinner party had a reservation and tickets to a show. Of course they arrived a half an hour after their reservation time, ordered multiple courses and ordered deserts when they should have been driving to their venue.

They called in a complaint that service was slow and that they had accidentally left extra on top of the gratuity. Apparently they meant to leave me a ten percent tip on a three hundred dollar bill…

Apparently its my fault that they can’t schedule themselves appropriately.

On our side of things our rookie, yet braggadocios young chef managed to burn the shit out of a dozen medium rare filets, yet he plated and sent them out anyway. It sure is fun to four hundred dollars worth of steaks.

Also a belated thanks to the party that double booked for fourteen, yet only showed up with six.

It was nice that on a Saturday night two sections had to be closed off for an hour in the middle of the rush, for no reason whatsoever.

I figured myself and the other server lost about fifty bucks each in that transaction. I suppose the other customers that had to wait an hour for a table should thank you as well.

Another party came in, only five showing up in a group of ten. They refused to let their server pull the tables apart as they wanted to spread out with the extra space, as well as use it as a coat rack.

Another customer allegedly saw an employee leave the restroom without washing their hands.

This lead to a twenty minute seminar by management on how to wash your hands.

Now we are keep the paper towel until we enter the restaurant as proof we washed and dried our hands. They treat us like ten year olds and lecture us on the dangers of bacteria from unwashed hands, yet force us to work sick.

I wonder what has more potential to spread illness?

And yes, I always wash my hands.


At 7:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does a restaurant not politely ask people to leave when it is very evident that they are done. I recently went out to a small restaurant with 3 others, was told it would be a 10 minute wait, then a 20 minute wait, it ended up being a 1 hour and 10 minute wait because one old couple did not want to leave although they were done with their meal. I don't advocate rushing people out the door (I have seen it done)but making customers wait while others occupy space is a lose-lose situation for everyone

At 4:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. My favorite part of working in a bar is you can literally kick people out the door when you are ready to go home.

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At 1:50 AM , Anonymous theNotoriousOSC said...

holy shit. that's the worst of the worst. sometimes i bitch about the restaurant i work, but it isn't nearly as horrible! hang in there.

At 12:35 AM , Blogger Suz said...

I got by pretty unscathed this full moon. Maybe it was the orange tint it had that saved me. ;)

We turn up the lights about 45 minutes after close to signal the lingerers to get out. It works every time.

I did get stiffed on one tab over the weekend. Fortunately, I saw it coming the moment they sat down, so it didn't shock me. Oh, but I do love the tip out I pay for the pleasure of waiting on those kind. I wish the public knew that we have to give away 3% of our sales before we get any of it. A 15% tip becomes a measly 12% tip. :(

Ugh, I hate corporate and can't wait to get out of there. I don't know how you've stayed with a corporate chain for so long.

At 6:31 PM , Blogger Jack Weber said...

As a former server, I feel the pain of tables that won't turn, but I often wish we could adopt a more European attitude toward eating out. It's expected that tables will camp out and take their time--and it's expected that restaurants will pay their servers.

$2.13 is bull.

At 12:01 AM , Blogger Mark said...

Holy moly that's terrible. I've served for several years and never had a night that bad! I feel your pain. Great blog by the way!

At 2:54 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

sidebar- I hope we never adapt to the European way. I make a hell of a lot more with tips and my cheque than I ever would with just a cheque. Now to my original comment.

Get out of chain restaurants. You are a fool if you stay in one. I have worked in both and have to say that privately owned places are loads better. I am told to not come in if I am sick, they will pay for your cab fare if you there is a transit strike or a circumstance beyond your control, they back you up and don't give in to ridiculous customer requests, the kitchen feeds you, and they close if there is going to be a bad storm.
I am going to stop singing the praises of where I work now because, I fear, some of you may get sad.

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At 7:42 PM , Blogger Bodhi said...

I always use the paper towel to open the restroom door knowing the people before me probably didn't wash their hands.

I've seen our owner discretely take an employees hand and smell it when they leave the restroom. Washed hands smell washed.

At 2:37 PM , Anonymous the queen said...

O. M. G. I have never heard of a restaurant making you keep the paper towel to show them, that is ludicrious.

new to the site but after a few years of fine dining, i can attest to your pain. props for sticking it out

At 3:55 AM , Blogger The Hungry Traveler said...

This is a little off topic but not really - the other day my boyfriend was leaving a public restroom and he DIDN'T wash his hands - he never does in public, (which I told him is kind of gross, but he does have a point). He never touches anything in a public bathroom, so he will not pick up any germs from anything in it; he just goes and exits. Well the other day some guy also exiting the restroom (in his mall Ben&Jerry's employee outfit) yells to my BF to wash his hands and that he's "Gonna call security!" What the? Call security because he didn't wash his hands? My BF retorted with "My dick's clean, I shower two times a day dude! What about you?" So you have to admit, he does have a point, right?


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