Here’s What Endless Apps at Friday’s is Really Like for Servers

I get a lot of emails and messages from people who share with me the woes of their restaurants. This week, a server who shall remain anonymous, sent me a message about how awful it is to work at TGI Friday’s as the Endless Apps promotion continues to chip away at her sanity, patience and pocketbook. As I read her story, I knew that her firsthand account of the experience would be better than my secondhand version of it, so please enjoy this rant from a server who is in the trenches at Friday’s.

The past few weeks have been a living hell and show that Friday’s does not give a flying fuck about their employees. I don’t even know how they make money off this slightly-better-than-average buffet, that drives the most awful clientele, because that’s exactly what it is. Let me provide some examples. Last week, a 20-top walked in… to celebrate their friend getting out of prison. (I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried). Now, in a normal restaurant that actually doesn’t want their employees to work for free, this wouldn’t be “as bad” because you could add gratuity. But Friday’s (along with other shitty chains, I assume) have eliminated gratuity so this table was the epitome of a server’s nightmare. Naturally, they all came in for endless apps, which my store now allows the customer to pick two apps for the first round. So this poor server rings in 40 APPETIZERS at once, and we have 2 fryers. Ultimately, she made $4 off this table and therefore literally paid out of pocket to wait on jailbird and his friends.

Last night, I waited on a table of 15 preteen/ teenage boys from a baseball team. I went up to the table, introduced myself, no acknowledgment, so I yelled across the table “is anyone NOT getting water or endless apps?” All waters, all endless, which obviously distracted me from my other tables whose endless apps went 25 minutes because they were stuck behind 30 endless apps from these kids’ table. What should have been a $450 check was ultimately around $160. I actually made $25 off the table (how sad is it that I was pleasantly surprised by that). I have never felt the urge to yell at a 13 year old before that table last night. The best part was, their parents sat at the bar and drank while they watched their kids turn the dining side into a fucking zoo, and didn’t even pay for their kids. (Honestly, after dealing with these kids, I don’t blame their parents for needing a drink.) My pre-comp (pre-endless discount) sales last night were $1,500, and I walked with $160, mainly because I had some really decent tippers earlier in the night.

So, in sum, servers are basically making %10 (if they’re lucky) off their actual sales, doing twice the work, making half the money, and the clientele we’re serving is declining, it’s actually embarrassing to work there anymore. I honestly feel like I work at a glorified Golden Corral or something.

13 thoughts on “Here’s What Endless Apps at Friday’s is Really Like for Servers

  1. Jennifer

    And that is precisely why I refuse to apply to Fridays or even Olive Garden for that matter. Endless anything is a freaking nightmare.

    Reply
  2. Reality Check...

    Apply for a new job at a locally owned, busy neighborhood bar/restaurant. It’ll change your life.

    Reply
  3. Nic S

    Free Pie Wednesday at my old job. A free slice of pie with any purchase! Cue the budget clientele who nurse a cup of coffee and take up booths for an hour. Double the running running around, for less tips than a slow day.

    Reply
  4. Lola

    Yes. Yes. And yes.
    Endless is a fucking nightmare. As a longtime employee of Fridays, I hate it. We used to do endless apps as a promotion for a short period of time. We would all dread it but then have an end in sight.
    This time,however, Fridays has decided to NEVER end Endless.
    So we are doing 10 times the work because we are constantly going back and forth from that table and we are making almost nothing from it. How much is someone really going to tip on a $10 check? And as stated, when we finally get a decent table it’s hard to take excellent care of them because of the people gorging themselves.
    And even more ridiculous- I cannot tell you how many people come in and throw a fit because they can’t share a $10 endless app for their whole table!! They seriously think 3 people should be able to eat as many apps as they want for a grand total of $10! It brings out the most entitled fucks you can imagine.

    Reply
  5. Wonder Waitress

    Things like this are why I thank the powers above that I am getting out of serving. I’m a college student waiting tables on the weekend to make ends meet and I’ve often thought about going to places like this because it would be something I could actually afford. Then I remember that I wouldn’t be able to afford a decent tip based off of the pre-promotion price and so I keep my ass at home and make my own food. I hate any sort of free promotion at my store. It’s not just the lack of tips and the extra work, but it’s also all of the rude illiterate customers that demand the promotion even when they didn’t meet the requirements for it. My restaurant is known for shakes, and 2-5pm they are half off. We’ll have people as late as 7pm ask when they get their bill “I thought the shakes were half off! I wouldn’t have ordered it if I’d known they weren’t!” and I’m just standing there like, there are FIVE places within your viewing range that clearly say 2-5. Yes it is a chain restaurant, they don’t care about their employees.

    Reply
    1. Julie in Ohio

      Ha. I used to work for this – and you are absolutely correct – they could give two shits about employees.

      Reply
  6. duane burrow

    These low lifes are just thieves that steal.

    As my younger brother loved the business I guess he grew to like it when we were busboys together at a restaurant that existed for Notre Dame Home games (got to work with a few pro stars and we almost got shot by the local police – funtimes). When my younger brother grew up he would end up managing one of these chain restaurants. Because I started in the restaurant business and I went to make less in trying to save the environment — I remembered that time. So when my brother would occasionally comp my family we knew the drill – what we saved he expected us to tip what we didn’t pay. He would give the table to his best staff for that reason. Also, when we use coupons or those proms we tip on what we would have paid and then some. Nobody should have to work for free – but these chain restaurants seem to think that with these get them in door and up to trough…….. Love your BLOG

    Reply
  7. PJ

    If I do endless apps, I leave a $20 tip for 2, $30tip if I have 2 kids with me, is this enough? I always tip at least 25%, if not more all the time when we eat out.

    Reply
  8. Ben

    Count your blessings!! $160 in one day is still pretty good! I’ll GLADLY take your job from you, and give you the shitty $17 an hour, OUTSIDE job, that I just left!

    Reply
  9. Josephine

    1: love this blog!! 2: get out of these kind of restaurants! This is why I’m picky about where I work.. did the endless thing.. not for me… I work at a restaurant and make 1,000-1,500 a week… I work doubles on sat and make atleast 4/500… there are good money making restaurants… just gotta pay ur dues and work hard for the money stations… and look for the company’s that don’t offer coupons or promotions.. yes I work for a corp place.. no we DO NOT have these things at my job… keep ur head up and work hard and ull find ur money place!!! Again I love blog… PHILLY LOVES U

    Reply

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