Thursday, January 29, 2009

Typical... completely typical.


OK, so when your server warns you about a menu item or cautions you as to something, it is not to challenge you. It is in the interest of three parties. One, you! We don't want you to order something that you don't want, then send it back... inevitably ruining what could have been a good experience. Two, the house or the restaurant. It costs the business money when we make something and then throw it away. It is in our interest to be efficient and get it right the first time. Especially financially. Third, the server! Me! Us! Our livelihood depends on tips. This is part of our annual income. I don't sit down with a manager and ask for a raise. I work my ass for more tip money. If can I add an extra $2 on my tip, five times a night, that's $10 a night. Multiply that across 5 days. That's $50 on the week. Carried across monthly it's $200. At the end of the year it's $1,400. It's real money.

Today at the restaurant

We have the pre-shift meeting. We address drink specials, go over the dinner specials, FOH (front of the house... hosts, bar tenders, servers) focuses and BOH (back of the house... dishwashers, prep chefs, line cooks, sou chefs, head chefs) focuses for the night and/or week. The drinks and the menu are AMAZING for tonight! We have some playful banter with one another, then disburse from the meeting to head out to the floor. Everyone seems to be in good spirits. It's a good start to the night.

As I'm up front, joking with the hostesses, a co-worker ending her day shift comes up to me. We're pretty good friends, and like to vent to one another. She starts her usual way:

Her: OK, so... if have anyone orders the blue plate special today, warn them that it's fucking hot.

Me: Ha ha, oh yeah?

Her: Oh yeah! I had ONE bite of the food sample today... my mouth was on fire for like 10 minutes! My eyes were watering. It's made from pure habanero oil. The essence of habanero.

Me: Oh wow.

Her: Yeah, so I have this lady today who orders it. I warn her and tell her that it is very, very hot! I share my story with her about how hot this fucking dish is. She tells me "oh, it's ok, I like hot stuff." I tell her "NO, it's really hot... I'm just making sure you REALLY LIKE REALLY HOT STUFF." She says yeah. So I order it.

Me: Oh no! Don't tell me, I already know how this ends....

Her: So bring it out to her. She eats like two bites, and SENDS IT BACK!

Me: Yeah, I saw that coming.

Her: No. Then she tells me that she wants to talk to _________ (*Insert manager's last name)!

Me: wow.

Her: Yeah... bitch.

She then walks away to finish her side work, and go home. I look at her at the POS and she looks back. She shakes her head and rolls her eyes. Then disappears into the back to do her check-out. This is typical... completely typical.


  1. I just voted for you on Blogger's Choice Awards. good luck.
    So You Want To Be a Banquet Manager

  2. i personally LOVE when you point out to them item X is very hot as it just came out of the oven and they immediately have to reach out for. I have been know to ask and just why was that necessary so their tablemates can laugh at them as they truly deserve.

  3. Used to work at a place that served wings mild, medium, hot or SUICIDE. You'd think that people would get that it was extremely hot ( it was made with Scotch Bonnet peppers!) but nooooo. It got sent back as being too hot so many times that we had to create a policy that we would not refund money if the customer found the wings too hot. That solved the problem and we had the added enjoyment of watching the customers struggling to eat these wings, sweat pouring down their foreheads, but eating away to get their money's worth! Love the blog by the way!