Woman Expects Free Stuff For Her Birthday

Very often, I have gone after 1-star reviews when I think the reason for the negative review is a stupid one. Today, I am veering off course a bit and putting my focus toward a 3-star review. It’s still a stupid review, but since it’s for three stars and not just one, I will go a bit easier on the writer, Sheryl.

It seems that Sheryl took her 20-year-old daughter out for her birthday to a restaurant called 575 Pizzeria. She thought the “pizza and the service was great,” but Sheryl couldn’t find it in her heart to award them with five stars because she felt the staff didn’t do enough to celebrate the anniversary of the day her daughter climbed out of her vagina.

“The waiter drew my daughter a birthday cake and wrote happy birthday on a ticket.”

You see, that wasn’t enough for Sheryl because Sheryl had recently been to a different restaurant to celebrate the day she climbed out of a vagina and that restaurant did it right. “The waiter brought me a signed birthday card and a round of champagne for the table. The owner then came to the table and brought me a white rose. I then blew out candles on a complimentary dessert.”

I have two questions for Sheryl:

  1. Why do you want a birthday card that is signed by people you don’t know who work at a restaurant?
  2. Why didn’t you just tell your daughter which restaurant to celebrate her birthday in since your daughter is under 21 years old and it’s your house so your rules?

I suppose the reason Sheryl gave Pizzeria 575 this particular review was because she wants them to step it up a bit. It’s food for thought, if you will, and can only make Amarillo, Texas better. However, if the pizza and service was great, doesn’t it make more sense to base the star rating on what they did for you rather than what they didn’t? Hell, if we are going to give reviews based on what we didn’t get, every review would be a bad one.

The more I thought about this review, the more I wanted to know about the restaurant that treated Sheryl so wonderfully and I also wondered if she took the time to give that restaurant a 5-star review. I did a little digging (no, I didn’t) and found out the name of the restaurant she was referring to (I totally didn’t do this) and reached out to the owner for an interview (again, this is not true). The owner was very willing to speak with me about what they do for birthdays and, in fact, he gave me a video interview which I have for you here:

 

If you want to know more about Billy Bob’s Diner, you can click here. And Sheryl, I would suggest the next time you want a bunch of free shit for your birthday, you go back to Billy Bob’s because it’s not responsibility of every restaurant to shower you with free things simply because you climbed out of a vagina.

Restaurant CEO Insults Customers and Waitstaff in One Interview

This morning on “Fox & Friends,” they had the CEO of Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse, Willie Degel, on the show to discuss the minimum wage increases for servers. I only know Willie Degel from the Food Network show “Restaurant Stakeout.” You remember that one? It’s the one where they place hidden cameras all over the restaurant in an attempt to bust employees for doing things that might be making the restaurant lose money. I always felt like that show was fake, staged and total bullshit because out of all the years I have worked in restaurants I never saw things happen that seemed to happen all the time on “Restaurant Stakeout.” Others tend to agree that reality may have been skewed on that show. Anyway, this asshole went onto “Fox & Friends” today and sharted out a lot of disrespectful things about servers and customers.

When talking about increasing the server minimum wage to $15 an hour and how the government expects that restaurants will pass that cost onto customers, he said that customers will just stop coming when they see a price increase because, “They’re not educated, they don’t understand what’s happening.” Yeah, he just assumed that customers are too stupid to comprehend basic rules of commerce. Okay, fine. I too think there are plenty of dumb customers. The difference is that I wouldn’t say that on national TV, especially if I owned a chain of steakhouses.

Then he moves on to the topic of servers and says some things that made my jaw drop. “The way of waitstaff is different. They used to be servants when I first opened years ago. People took great pride in being a servant. Today they have a sense of entitlement.”

Okay, did he really say that? He talks as if he had a steakhouse at Downton fucking Abbey and his staff is bowing down to Maggie Smith and shit. Bitch, please. There are plenty of servers today who take great pride in their work. Don’t let the name of this blog fool you, but I too take pride in what I do for my guests. Yes, some servers may have a sense of entitlement, but you can’t lump everyone who wears an apron for a living into the same category. We don’t all have a sense of entitlement. And by the way, random-blond-Fox News-Lady, I heard your little “uh huh” after he made that comment, so fuck you too. I bet you’re a real; joy to wait on, but you know what? Even if you were the biggest pain in the ass, you would never know that I was thinking it, because I am a professional who does my job and treats customers with respect. I save all my judging and bitching for this very blog.

Wille Degel-berry goes on to say that, over the last four to five years minimum wage increases have taken $2 million out of his pocket. Honestly, I’m sure it has, but maybe it was time for servers to make more than a few dollars an hour. Besides, without that two million dollars in his pocket, he will now have more room to store his daily allowance of beef jerky, corn nuts and salami.

Look, Willie, I have never worked for you or met you, but on this interview you came across as a pompous asshole. Maybe you didn’t mean to suggest that customers are stupid and maybe it wasn’t your intention to harken back to the good ol’ days when servers were servants, but that’s what you did, Willie. And just like it’s your job to make as much money as possible off the sweat and tears of restaurant workers, it’s my job as Bitchy Waiter to call your ass out. And I am doing that. So pull a Slim Jim out of your pocket, cram it down your throat and maybe think a little bit more next time before you talk on national TV.

Restaurant Critic Tells Us How We Should Do Things

Tom Sietsema is the restaurant critic for The Washington Post and he eats out all the time, even “doubling up” on the occasional lunch or dinner just so he can share his restaurant wisdom with everyone else in the world. Thank you, Tom, for your service. Anyhoo, at the start of the new year, he wrote an article with 10 “resolutions” that restaurants should enact to make them better. You know, since he eats in restaurants all the time, he knows fucking everything about them, Right? Uh huh. Yeah. Sure.

Several people have sent this article to me get my take on it and, believe it or not, I actually agree with most of his points. Don’t get me wrong, I still get rubbed wrong every time someone who isn’t a restaurant worker or owner decides to write an article about our industry telling us all the ways we should do it instead. Please allow me to go down his list and discuss:

Honor reservations. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you don;’t want to wait for your reservation even though your table isn’t it ready. I get it. I don’t want to wait at the doctor’s office until 1:30, when my appointment was at noon, but shit happens. Believe me, if we could tell customers to get the fuck out when they are done eating, I’d be the one to volunteer for that job every shift. But we can’t and sometimes customers linger longer than they should. I do agree with his suggestion that restaurants could offer a free glass of wine or something if the wait is too long. That’s a nice idea. Maybe we should give them foot rubs and blowjobs too.

Be willing to seat incomplete parties. No, no, no! Sorry about your grandma and the guy with the bum leg, but we can’t do it. They may be “on the way” but that two minutes can easily stretch to ten fifteen minutes or even longer and it’s going to throw everything off from drink orders to announcing the specials to serving the food. Every server has been burned by this: a party of eight, but only three of them are there and they persuade us to let them sit down. So we push the tables together for eight people and twenty minutes later we learn it’s just going to be four of them But the four of them have spread out over two table and now we can’t use it. You know what else that affects? Reservations, so if you get pissed off that your table isn’t ready at your time of reservation, it might be because we were willing to seat an incomplete party. Fuck that.

Bring up the lights. What, so you can see that I didn’t bother polishing the glasses or the silverware? I don’t think so.

Keep menu introductions brief. I agree. I don’t want to talk you anymore than you want to listen to me talk.

Learn to “read” guests. I agree. Every customer is different and I pride myself on being able to tell which one of my many personalities to turn on for which guest. I could ask the same of customers: read your server. If I look like I don’t give a shit about the reasons you can’t eat dairy, I don’t want to hear it.

Do not ask diners for accolades, as in, “Is everything delicious?” I agree. I’ll ask if it’s good. You answer. That can be the end of our personal interaction.

Banish from your delivery the string of words “Are you finished working on that?” I agree, but jeez, come up with something original to complain about, Tom. You are about the one-millionth journalist to say that. Yawn.

Treat restrooms as if your parents are coming over. Yes, we all like to have clean restrooms. Sadly, most customers are fucking pigs who don’t treat a public restroom as they would their own and they seem to pee and poop anywhere but the toilet. If the restrooms are a mess, I can guaran-fucking-tee it’s the fault of the customers. But I’ll tell the busser or the dishwasher…

Keep your website accurate and up-to-date. While I agree that the website should be up-to-date with menu and prices and clearly state the address and phone number, why does it have to have public transportation and parking information? Figure that shit out yourself, Tom. We can’t do everything for you.

Remember that little things are big things. Yes, we should wipe crumbs from the table and return the correct change, of course. Diners will notice these things. You know what little things we notice, Tom? We notice when customers don’t make eye contact or when they ask us a question and then don’t listen to the answer. We notice when they take garbage out of their purse and drop it under the table and we notice when they never say please or thank you. So yeah, little things are big things.

Thanks for the article, Tom. Keep up the good work of eating for a living.

Saying Goodbye to a Regular

Today I raise a glass to Naomi. She has been sitting in my section ever since I started at my restaurant almost seven years ago. In the beginning, I found it irritating that she would remove cushion from the front window seat and move it to where ever she as sitting so she could be more comfortable, but eventually I started doing that for her as soon as I saw her come into the restaurant. She died two weeks ago and I miss her.

These are some of the things Naomi taught me in the seven years I knew her.

  • That age is just a number and if you have a good attitude and an easy smile, maybe you get to live longer than a lot of other people and not die until you are 87 years old.
  • That you can ask for exactly what you want from a restaurant and as long as you come in all the time and are always nice and kind, the staff will be happy to cook you something off the menu.
  • To appreciate everyone who works in a restaurant and to bring each staff member an envelope with their name on it and a tip inside at Christmas time, even if it’s a random amount like six or seven dollars because that’s all you can afford.
  • That you can be 87 years old and still go to Mexico for two weeks even though you have cancer because you go to Mexico every year with your friends and you’re not gonna let a silly little thing like late stage lung cancer change your life.
  • That I can grow to admire and respect a woman who is so much older than me and even consider her a friend and check up on her every now and then since she only lives two blocks from me.
  • That it is possible to cross the street against traffic without even looking to see if cars are coming and you will get safely to the other side. (This might only work for Naomi.)
  • That a hug from an 87-year old woman is a really great hug because they have been giving hugs for decades and practice obviously makes perfect.
  • That if you take the time to talk to a senior citizen who lives alone and is maybe eager to talk, you can learn so many wonderful things.
  • That complaining about your lot in life does no good and your only option is to decide how you want to live your daily life.
  • That you never know when you’re going to see someone for the last time, so make sure every visit counts because saying goodbye to someone in a dream is not the same as saying goodbye to them in person.

Goodbye, Naomi. I’m glad I knew you.

Servers Fired Via a Note From a Cowardly Manager

If you have worked in a restaurant for a long period of time, there is a real good chance that either you or someone you know has been “let go” in an unfair manner. This business will chew you up and spit you out and too many managers don’t give a rat’s ass about your employment. It has happened to me twice; once when working at VYNL here in New York City. We all suspected for weeks that the restaurant was shutting down, but even when we asked point blank about it, they lied to us and said it wasn’t closing. A couple of weeks later, we were given two days notice that we were all out of work. (Fuck you, John.) The other time was when I was working at an unnamed restaurant here in the city that fired me for blogging while I was working there but they were too afraid to admit that was the reason they were letting me go. (You can read about it in chapter 6 of my book!) In both cases, the managers and owners were cowards. Well, a woman named Destinée has come across a manager named Larry who puts the Cowardly Lion to shame. She posted on Facebook her story of how servers at her job found out they were no longer employed:

The new John Daly steakhouse in Conway, AR apparently finds this an appropriate way to fire employees. Weekly, we receive our schedule via a post on groupme from an employee in store that takes a picture for the manager and posts it. The other day we received 2 pictures. The schedule, and another one of a small yellow note that reads this: “if you don’t see your name on the schedule, some unfortunate cutbacks have been made. If you have any questions call me Saturday after 10am at the store. Larry” this picture was sent for the manager, on groupme, via another employee. No reason, just because managers play favorites. A total of 6, yes 6, waiters and waitresses were let go from John Daly steakhouse via this meaningful note. An excuse of “we had to make cuts because we have too many servers” was made. While a brand new training waitress employee sits at the table beside me. Politics and favoritism is the epitome of this place. Don’t do it. Just don’t.

That’s right. Larry, of John Daly Steakhouse, didn’t have the courage to tell six people that he was firing them. Larry just left a note for someone else to take a picture of so it could basically be texted on his behalf. That’s some low-level, shady as fuck, gutless bullshit right there and I am going to call Larry out:

Dude, really? I bet you’re the same guy who breaks up with a girlfriend by text message or email, right? If someone gave you the responsibility to manage a restaurant, that means that you are expected to be a mature individual who handles uncomfortable situations with emotional intelligence. Firing people with a fucking note is not emotionally intelligent. I’m not even going to get into the “favoritism” claim, because I don’t know anything about that. (Not like favoritism would be a surprise coming from someone who fires people in this manner.) Man up, Larry. No matter what the “financial cutbacks” were you should have had the decency to speak to those six people and tell them to their faces that they would be losing their jobs. It’s nice of you to let them call you with any questions on Saturday after 10AM, but at that point, who cares? They’re unemployed! Their questions are going to be like, “How small ARE your balls?” and “Do you KNOW how big of an asshole you are?” I’m sure these six employees were the same ones that you were asking to come in last minute to cover a shift or maybe you told them to leave early when it was slow and they did it, because it’s part of being a server. Well, guess what, Larry. Part of being a restaurant manager is treating your staff with respect and you failed. Hopefully, this public shaming will make you think about your actions the next time you have to let an employee go. In the meantime, I have a note for you:

Good luck to Destinée and all the others who lost their jobs. I hope they soon finds a place to work where management treats them with respect and decency, because even though we are “just servers,” we are entitled to that, especially by our bosses.

Vegetarian Was Accidentally Served Chicken and Wants Written Apology

A woman went to Chili’s last week and had the worst experience of her life. Seriously, out of everything that has happened to her, the most horrific thing occurred at a Chili’s when she was just trying to live her vegetarian life and a server accidentally gave her a quesadilla with chicken in it. You see, Aayushi has never had any “non veg” in her mouth so having a piece of chicken in there was a shock to her system. In the past, she has always loved the quesadilla from Chili’s, so in her haste to have that delicious vegetarian concoction all over her tongue, she failed to inspect the quesadilla before she crammed it inside her face. Hence, Aayushi got some chicken in her mouth.

And then she wrote about it on Facebook. She acknowledges that it was a mistake by the server, but it’s what she demands that requires me to blog about this. She claims that management was unconcerned about the mistake. I highly doubt this. Knowing management in corporate restaurants like Chili’s, I bet they did everything they could to smooth the matter over including giving her a gift card, stroking her ego and providing her with a barf bag to regurgitate said chicken quesadilla into. What they were unwilling to do was provide her with a written apology. Yes, Aayushi wanted a fucking written apology from Chili’s.

Bitch, please. So someone made an error. It’s not like you ordered some guacamole and they accidentally brought you a bowl full of hemlock sprinkled with boric acid and a shot of bleach. Someone grabbed the wrong plate of grilled tortillas and instead of peppers, yours had chicken in it. It’s not the end of the world and it wasn’t intentional. If you have set very strict guidelines on what you will and will not eat, then you need to share that responsibility when it comes time to eat food you order in a restaurant. Had you simply peeled back a tortilla to make sure it was what you had ordered, you would have seen that chicken beak smothered in yummy Monterey Jack cheese and known right away that this was not something you were willing to have inside your mouth. I get it, you’re a vegetarian and you don’t want to partake in the eating of delicious fleshy animals. However, it’s not like you chose to eat it. It was an accident so you’re off the hook. The animal kingdom will forgive you because you didn’t know what you were eating. However, don’t hold your breath for the written apology because I’m sure it’s not coming.

Because I am a giver, I will write one for you on behalf of Chili’s. You can print it out and frame it and then next time you are eating a garden burger full of soy and nuts, you can read it and feel better about that one day you accidentally had a piece of chicken.

Dear Aayushi,

We are sorry for putting you though the worst experience of your life and we are sorry that you had to deal with the atrocity of grilled chicken. It was certainly not our intent to upset you, but sometimes mistakes happen. We hope this written apology will make up for our egregious error and we also hope that the gift card we sent you will encourage you to come back and try one of our many vegetarian dishes. Finally, it is also our hope that you will bend over and let us press our lips so far into your asshole that we can taste the tofu that you had for dinner last night.

Love,
Chili’s

Good luck taking this forward with your formal filing of a complaint in a consumer forum. Whatever forum you are referring to isn’t going to care. My advice to you?  Get over it. Mistakes happen. Just ask your parents. They know.