Attention Servers: Do NOT Do This to a Receipt

Every server wants a decent tip. I mean, it’s why we do what we do, right? It’s certainly not for the joy and fulfillment we get from burning off our fingerprints and having the smell of honey mustard permanently embedded into our clothes, hair and souls. We give good service with the hope that our customers will find it in their hearts to toss a few meager dollars our way so that we can pay our bills and maybe have a few pennies leftover to purchase a much needed cocktail.

And then came Emilee, a server in an unnamed establishment who wants the tip just as badly as any of us, but got a little bit desperate for it. You see, Emilee thought it was a good idea to write in a suggested tip at the top of the receipt so that the customer would know exactly how much Emilee thought she deserved. No, Emilee. That’s not how it works.

If a restaurant has a suggested gratuity factored into the bill and it’s automatically printed at the bottom of the receipt, fine. A customer may or may not see those numbers, and if they do they won’t think much about it. However, if the server personally writes a suggested gratuity down on the receipt next to a half-assed “thank you,” it comes across as rude, disrespectful, and needy. I can guarantee you that any customer who sees it will be turned off and may end up leaving less than they had originally planned.

Emilee, here’s why it’s wrong:

  • You’re assuming that the service you gave is worth at least an 18% tip. That’s not your decision, it’s theirs.
  • It makes the customer think that you think they aren’t smart enough to figure out how to calculate 20% of their bill. Never make a customer feel stupid.
  • It’s just tacky as fuck.

Servers, if you’re reading this, please don’t be Emilee. Writing a tip suggestion onto a check is the equivalent of standing next to a four-way stop sign with a squeegee and a bucket of water with a cardboard sign asking for money. Give good service, be polite and earn your tip. If a customer chooses to not leave a tip, don’t dwell on it and focus on your next table. Too many people already look down at us for what we do, so let’s not give them another reason to think we’re lowly beggars. And if you absolutely feel the need to have a suggested gratuity added to the receipt, let the restaurant take care of that so we can at least pretend we had nothing to do with it.

When Love Blooms at the Gyro Restaurant

Once upon a time in Tuscaloosa, Alabama there were two men who loved each other very, very much. One of them may or may not have worked at a restaurant called Glory Bound Gyro Co. Actually, they both may have worked there, or maybe neither one of them did, but it’s not important to the story. What is important is that these two men were very much in love with one another and wanted to share an intimate moment together. Or maybe they barely knew each other and after a few too many happy hour frosés, their mutual attraction became too strong to ignore and they played a game of hide the pickle with a side of walnut sauce, all the while someone was recording their sweet and/or anonymous lovemaking. See the video below.

The restaurant did release a statement about it:

This is (my completely made up version of) their story:

“Damn, that BBQ Ranch Gyro was really delicious,” said Peter as he wiped away the last few drops of ranch dressing that hung delicately from his plump, pursed lips.

The bartender, Dick, handed him an extra napkin. “Yeah, you really seemed to like it. Can I get you anything else? Some fried pita chips tossed in cinnamon and sugar topped with ice cream drizzled in caramel, maybe?”

“I’m stuffed,” replied Peter. “But what’s it topped with? I love a good topping.”

Their eyes met as Dick reached toward Peter’s unshaven face to blot one more drop of dressing from his sculpted chin. “You missed a spot,” he told him.  “It’s topped with a drizzle.”

“A drizzle of what?”

“A drizzle of caramel sauce, but I could probably find something else to drizzle it with if you’re interested.”

Peter considered the offer for a moment. “I don’t think I have it in me for dessert,” he told him.

“You don’t have it in you, huh? Does that mean you don’t have room for anything else in you?” Dick smiled, his teeth a pearly white, just the color of vanilla ice cream.

“Well, I guess I could find a way to squeeze a little something else in me.” Peter returned the smile, his eyes bright and eager and the color of freshly picked avocado, just ripe enough to eat with a spoon.

“What if it’s not so little?” Dick asked. “Would that be a problem?”

“Trust me, I can manage,” replied Peter. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

At this point, the restaurant was relatively empty with closing time approaching in about five minutes. The few random tables had already paid their bills and were heading out and the bar only had one other customer sitting at it. Dick hurriedly walked over to a large bell hanging on the wall and clanged it with a metal pipe. The sound of it sent shockwaves though the restaurant, echoing against the walls and ceiling.

“Last call, everybody. Last call! We’re closed. Get out. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.”

Peter excused himself to the restroom as Dick closed out the last checks and used three or four Wet Wipes to freshen up. “I’ll do all the sidewalk,” he told his co-workers. “And tell the kitchen I’ll break everything down. Just go home and have a good night, everybody!”

Ten minutes later, Peter emerged from the mens room. “‘So about that drizzle,” he said.

“So about that topping,”Dick replied.

Happy 70th Birthday To Yanna Avis Who Was So Damn Rude To Me


Yanna Avis, 70

Six years ago, I wrote a blog post about Yanna Avis, a rich Manhattan socialite who fancies herself an exotic, international, smoky, chanteuse. She treated me like dirt and I don’t like her. When she was eventually arrested for shoplifting and I saw her tight face splashed all over the newspapers, it made me happy. Well, I heard through the grapevine that she did another show earlier this week and as she was walking onto the stage, she tripped over a microphone cord and fell, pulling a music stand down to the ground along with her dignity. Since she turns 70 years old in a few days, I decided it was time to repost this magical story of my encounter with Yanna Avis. Happy 70th birthday, Ms. Avis!  xo, BW

(This story was originally posted on November 11, 2013 when she was 64 years old. Now she’s 70.)

Sometimes bad things happen to good people. We all know this and accept it as part of our lives. We like to believe in karma and hope that people will get what they deserve; all the kind people will find twenty-dollar bills on the street and all the assholes will get to their cars to find dead batteries. Many times when we have someone who sits in our station and treats us like a turd taco all we can do is send out to the universe that we would like for them to fall into a pile of dog crap. Well, the universe heard me because someone who was a notorious byotch from hell to me showed up in the papers this week for a wee little problem she has regarding shoplifting.

According to the New York Daily News, Yanna Avis, 64, was arrested for stealing a pair of gloves from Loehmann’s. Her age is not really important to the story, but I can tell by her pinched face and colored hair that she is entering her golden years against her will, so I want to make sure that her age is loud and proud. Yanna Avis is 64. Sixty. Four. Like, that means she was born in 1949 when Harry Truman was president and a stamp cost three fucking cents. Yanna Avis is French and the heir to the Avis Rent-a Car empire. I had issue with Avis Rent-a-Car a few years ago when they jacked me over on a car rental in Houston, Texas so I really hated her before I even knew who she was.

I have had the displeasure of working around Yanna Avis, 64, on more than one occasion. She did not sit in my section, but performed at one of my jobs and I had to assist her many times. She does not know the meaning of the words “please” or “thank you.” I came to dread when she would be in the room because dealing with her is like trying to squeeze a zit on your back. No matter how hard you try to get rid of it, it always pops up somewhere else. For her show, she wears this ridiculous top hat because she thinks that fancy rich cabaret singers look good in them. When I get to to work to begin setting up the room, she is there rehearsing, which seems too little too late. I mean, the show is beginning in an hour and no amount of rehearsal in the next sixty minutes is going to suddenly make her vocal cords have the ability to, you know, actually sing. She is in a tizzy about her hat because it has gone missing.

“Where eez my hat? I cannot find it, do you know where eet eez?”

“I’m sorry, I just got here. What are you looking for?” I ask.

“My hat. My top hat. Someone must have moved it. Eet is gone! I need eet right now!”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I’m the server and I just got to work. I’m not sure where your hat is.”

At this, she turns in a huff and goes off to find someone else to find her stupid fucking top hat. Of course no one knows where it is because we were all doing our own thing like making coffee and getting ice. We don’t deal with the performers. Ten minutes later, she comes to me again.

“Do you know where eez my hat?”

“Umm, no ma’am. You already asked me and I still don’t know.”

I can tell that she has no idea that she has already asked me. In her eyes, I am just another member of the help. She again, stomps away from me. As I begin to arrange the tables, I find the stupid fucking top hat that has fallen onto the floor and rolled under a table. I pick it up and go find Yanna, 64. When she sees me approaching, she grabs it out of my hands.

“Zer eet eez!”

No thank you or recognition. Five minutes later, she asks us to move several of the tables out of the room so that she can make a grand entrance to the stage without having to walk around the tables. Moving the tables means they all have to be unset and then carried downstairs. It’s fine, we do it plenty of times. I open the curtains that separate the lobby from the showroom so I can move the tables downstairs. As I begin dragging the tables out of the room, she yells at me from the stage where she is still “rehearsing.”

“Shut zoze curtains! I can be seen!”

“Well, I’m moving the tables out of the room as you requested,” I tell her.

“Shut zem now!”

“I can’t move the tables through the curtains. Do you want the tables moved out or not?” I ask her.


“Well, the the curtains have to stay open until I can move them then.”

She throws her hands up in disgust and continues “singing.”

Every time she has performed at the club, she is rude, condescending, elitist and an overall beech. I don’t like her, so imagine my glee when I saw that she had been arrested for shoplifting! According to Yann Avis, 64, it was a misunderstanding, but according to a Loehmann’s employee, she saw the sixty-four year old songbird “remove one pair of gloves from a display and conceal the items in a bag.” My favorite picture of her in the paper is when she is leaving the courthouse concealed behind a scarf because it reminds me of the time she made us hold the curtain open so that she could hide behind it as she slipped down the stairs unnoticed by her adoring fans of friends and other socialites with faces pulled back tighter than drums.

Yanna Avis, 64, hides in shame.

Yanna Avis, 64, hides her tight face in shame.

Yanna Avis, 64, will be cleared of all charges once she completes one day of community service. I hope she has to go clean up the garbage in Central Park or serve food at a soup kitchen. I’m sure she had other ideas for for community service:

“Your honor, what eef I geev my maid some of my old clozing, oui? Non? Err, okay zen, ‘ow about eef I make my own bed tomorrow, oui? Non? Okay, zen, what eef I ‘ave my cook take zee day off and I make my own sandweech zat day? Oui?”

None of that is going to work, Yanna. You will have to take your sixty-four year old ass out of your Fifth Avenue condo and do some community service, Hopefully those gloves you stole aren’t the only ones you have because you might have to get your hands a little bit dirty. It truly feels good when bad things happen to bad people.

Au revoir.

Woman Arrested for Leaving a $5000 Tip Using Her Boyfriend’s Credit Card

Serina Wolfe is accused of using her boyfriend’s credit card, without his knowledge, to leave a 9030% tip for a server. (Photo: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office)

A woman in Florida found a new way to exact revenge on her boyfriend when she used his credit card in the most fortunate way for a particular restaurant server. It seems that Serina Wofle was mightily pissed off at her significant other for not being willing to buy her a plane ticket, so after he removed the hold on his credit cad, she promptly went out to dinner and bought herself a $55.37 dinner and then left a 9030% tip.Yes, she left her server $5000. Initially, Serina was seen as a generous customer helping out a server who was going through a difficult time. It turns out, she was just being a vindictive girlfriend with a grudge. After her boyfriend saw the charge and reported it as fraud, she eventually came clean and was arrested for grand theft. The restaurant had already tipped out the server so now all of us want to know one thing:

Will the server get to keep the money?

I’m assuming Serina will get some jail time and I’m also assuming her boyfriend broke up with her, but we all know that server took that $5000 and hightailed it to the bank to make a real meaningful deposit. I’m also hopeful that the server used some of that money to pay off a bill, get some groceries and buy a round of drinks for the kitchen. But what is the legality of the issue? Does the server have to give the money back? I say no, and here’s why.

First off, the server did nothing wrong or illegal. She had, what she thought, was a generous customer who wanted to do some good. That’s her money now. Why should she have to get in the middle of a lovers spat/grand theft bullshit?

Secondly, if the credit card company wants the money back, that’s on the boyfriend and girlfriend. One of them needs to cough up that money and leave the server out of it. Besides, don’t credit card companies have insurance for exactly this reason? Use the insurance, Mastercard!

Thirdly, if restaurants are going to insist that servers pay for walkouts, then servers should get to reap the benefits when something like this happens. Servers already pay credit card processing fees, get shitty hourly wages, they deal with asshole customers who treat them poorly and they have to to tip out support staff and kitchen crews. Let’s see a server make some cold hard cash for a change.

I will follow this story intensely and let you know as soon as I hear whether or not the server had to return the money.*

What do you guys think? Should the server get to keep the money?

* I’ll probably forget all about this story as soon as I hit the submit button.

Did Piers Morgan Insult Bartenders? (Spoiler Alert: He Did)

I very rarely get political, because, honestly, who needs that from this particular blog? This forum is a place for me to speak out and be the voice of servers from around the country and beyond. However, every once in a great while, the world of politics and food service collide in a way that is not dissimilar to a child running through a restaurant who face plants with a tray of pint glasses.

Earlier this week, Piers Morgan went to Twitter and insulted a United States politician and also managed to insult any of us who wear aprons for a living.

Piers Morgan is a controversial English broadcaster, journalist, writer, and co-anchor of the ITV program Good Morning Britain. Basically, he’s like a sofa cushion with a pee stain on it and when you flip the cushion over, all you find is another stain, but this time it’s shit. Piers Morgan is a big ol’ shit-stained couch cushion. He, like so many other people, has a very strong opinion about U.S. representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. For reasons unknown to me since Piers Morgan doesn’t even live in this country, he wanted to Tweet out something negative about the fact that only 18 months ago she was a bartender and now she is an elected official who won 78% of the vote for her district. This was in response to AOC calling out Ivanka Trump for inserting herself into the G20 Summit despite not being an elected official. “It may be shocking to some, but being someone’s daughter actually isn’t a career qualification,” she Tweeted. That’s when lumpy ass, shit-stained couch cushion Piers Morgan questioned AOC’s qualifications for being elected a U.S. representative.

I’m not going to get into whether or not I like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes or not. (Suffice it to say I’m a gay man who lives in New York City.) The point is it doesn’t matter that she was once a waitress or bartender. What matters is that she was elected to the position and the people who voted for her were satisfied with either her political views or the fact that she graduated cum laude from Boston University with a degree in international relations and economics. That’s enough. That she bartended for a while is no reason to try to shame someone.

I am so tired of people assuming that just because we wait tables or sling drinks we should never be allowed to do anything else with our lives. There are many successful people in this world who have done exactly what so many of us are doing right now: working hard at an honest job that pays our bills. For some of us, this is what we do until something else comes along. For others, we are career servers, or “lifers.” Either one is perfectly okay. Piers Morgan has a habit of insulting people that he disagrees with and I’m certain that he has had more than one Twitter feud in his life. Since I have long dreamed of having my very own Twitter feud, I will now say to him what I wasn’t able to say on Twitter since I probably would have been sent directly to Twitter jail for saying it:

Fuck you Piers Morgan, you sorry-ass excuse for a human being. I don’t care if you agree or disagree with the politics of AOC. For you to insult someone because they waited tables shows that you are indeed a human shit stain masquerading as a TV personality. The fact that you later Tweeted out that your parents owned a pub and that bartending is in your blood makes you sound even more removed from the real world. Surely, your parents would be appalled to see you demeaning someone who worked in a bar for a living. I know you’ll never read this and that lots of people will disagree with me, but you really are a piece of work. If you don’t like the policies of a politician, I suggest you find a better argument than “she was a bartender.” I also suggest that in the future you keep a close eye on your food and drinks when you go out to a restaurant. After all, some bartender might not take kindly to your insult about our profession and somehow manage to give you the slimiest lime or the oldest most dried out olive as your cocktail garnish. Or maybe one of them will stir your drink with his penis, you never know. Cheers, asshole.

My Restaurant is Closing. Farewell, Quaint.

I have never stated on this blog where I work, but since the restaurant is closing in two weeks, it’s time. If you happen to be in Queens on a Thursday night, come see me before it’s too late. Quaint closes on June 23rd.–BW

If you have eaten at Quaint restaurant in Sunnyside, Queens on a Thursday night over the last eight years, I was probably your server. I started there on February 27, 2011, just a week after my grandmother died. On my first day at work, it seemed odd to not tell any of my new co-workers why I was so sad and distant, but as a new employee, I focused on table numbers and menu items instead of my emotions. In the beginning, no one at the restaurant knew I was a blogger called The Bitchy Waiter who was taking mental notes on what I may or may not blog about. Eventually, my alter ego became common knowledge and my boss recognized that the online personae was vastly different from the person who clocked in to work each week.

On June 23, Quaint will be closing its doors for good. The restaurant holds the distinction of  being the longest I have ever worked at one place, but it’s much more than that. It’s where so many of my stories came from, inspired by customers and co-workers and then heightened into a more entertaining version as I blogged about them. Those stories even turned into a book. I was at Quaint when I got the news that my manuscript had finally fallen into the right hands. Having ignored the “no cell phones on the floor” sign that hung in our locker area, my phone vibrated in my apron pocket. I recognized the number as being that of my agent so I ran outside to answer it.

“Congratulations, Darron,” he said. “I think I found you a publisher. You’re going to be a published author!”

I was on Skillman Avenue right in front of the dry cleaner next door, crying with excitement. When I hung up, I wanted to call my husband, my mom and everyone else I cared about, but instead I went back inside the restaurant to check on Table 9.

Quaint is three blocks from my apartment and working there for so long has made me feel like part of the fabric of my neighborhood. I see my customers at the grocery store, on the train, walking their dogs, and at the gym. I’ve gotten to know them and some of them have become close friends who are now a part of my life far beyond the restaurant. I’ve watched kids grow up there and even though I may have blogged about some of them in a less than positive light, I’ll never forget them. Charley, who was maybe four years old when I first met her and insisted on getting her own booster seat, is now almost a teenager. I saw her on the street a few months ago with some of her friends and a wave of nostalgia washed over me that parents must feel all the time when they see their children growing up. Another family with three daughters have been coming regularly for eight years. I don’t know all of their names, but I remember once how the girls had learned a bunch of knock-knock jokes and insisted on telling me every single one of them. When I saw the oldest daughter driving a car down Skillman Avenue earlier this year, the realization that so much time had passed almost knocked me over. Another couple comes in every Thursday at 5:00 and when I told them last week that we were closing, the sadness on their faces made me understand how much a restaurant can mean to some people. I hope Anne and Jerry find another restaurant they can look forward to as much as they look forward to coming to Quaint. I also hope whoever serves them next appreciates their kindness, their willingness to share stories about their lives and their openness to hearing stories about their server’s life. I will miss all of these people.

I will miss our line cook Juan who always has a smile on his face and relishes every opportunity to ring that damn bell if I’m not at the window immediately ready to run a roasted chicken to Table 16. I will miss my boss, Tim, who has allowed me to live my dual life as a “bitchy waiter” and as a faithful employee who truly wants his customers to enjoy their meals.

When Quaint closes, it will leave a hole in our little neighborhood. Another restaurant will eventually take its place, but it will take years for it to truly become part of the community, filling that hole ever so slowly. The hole that will take much longer to heal will be the one in my heart. When I started working at Quaint, I never dreamed that I’d be there for so long. However, when your job is only three blocks away from home and the people you serve are as genuinely nice as the people of Sunnyside are, eight years passes by in a flash. I know I’ll never have it as good as I do at Quaint and I think once the restaurant is gone, our neighborhood will come to the same conclusion. I will miss you, Quaint. And the neighborhood will too.