5 Stages of Grief When You Get Stiffed

grief-modelAll of us have been stiffed at one time or another. It matters not that we gave perfect service; the drinks were full, the food came out in a timely manner, we had a smile plastered on our face and we did everything we possibly could to ensure that our customer had a wonderful dining experience. Sometimes, people are just assholes and they don’t want to tip. It can be shocking for us when it happens, but I am here to help you get through it. There are five stages of grief when we get get a 0% tip and knowing what they are and how they affect you can better prepare you for the next time it happens.

DENIAL: This is when you cannot believe that they didn’t tip you. You’re all, “What happened? I thought we were good. It seemed like such a smooth dinner course. I am so surprised that they didn’t leave me anything.” You refuse to believe that someone so seemingly nice would intentionally stiff their server.

ANGER: Now you’re pissed off because you know you deserved that fucking tip. They had the most complicated order with all those substitutions and you nailed it. You even told them that their baby was cute even though it had a cold sores all over its mouth and it smelled like rancid buttermilk. You know what? Fuck them. You hope they get a flat tire on the way home and you’re happy they left behind their to-go food because you will now throw that shit away faster than the wife sucked down five Diet Cokes. Bitches.

BARGAINING: Okay, so now you’re thinking that maybe they just forgot and they will be back any minute. Or maybe they left cash on the table and it fell of the floor, so you crawl under the booth looking for a ten dollar bill. You know the service was deserving so there has to be a reasonable explanation.

DEPRESSION: They did not come back, there was no cash under the table and it’s been thirty minutes since they left. You have ignored other tables while you fretted away in the sidestand telling everyone how awful it is that you got stiffed. You really needed that $14 and you’re not going to get it. How will you pay for your drinks after work? Or worse, what if you don’t make rent? It’s okay to cry.

ACCEPTANCE: It is the end of your shift. You made plenty of other tips to make up for the losers who didn’t leave you anything. You have convinced the bartender to pour you a tequila shot and that has calmed your nerves. You still made good money tonight, but you could have made a little bit more. It’s okay. You will pull through because you know that this is part of waiting tables. Sometimes you get huge tips and sometimes you get bad ones. You can accept that. You have also permanently etched the image of their faces into your brain so that if they ever show up in your section again, you will know not to try too hard. Because they suck.

The next time you get stiffed, please refer back to this page so you can understand your emotions and get through it. It won’t be easy, but I am here for you. For more useful information about waiting tables, you can click here to buy my book.

Chili’s Manager Takes Away Free Meal From Vet on Veterans Day

screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-6-26-31-pmSee that face up there? That is the face of a Chili’s manager who realizes he has fucked up. Last Friday, Chili’s offered free meals to our veterans in appreciation for their service. Army veteran Ernest Walker went to a Chili’s in Cedar Hill, Texas to have his free 10 oz. Ancho-Crusted Sirloin or whatever, and soon had that meal snatched out of his hands when manager Wesley Parker no longer believed he had actually served in the armed forces. Ernest presented his military ID and also his discharge papers but Wesley still didn’t believe him. By the way, he didn’t believe that his service dog was legit either. Hmmm, why would a manager suddenly decide that Ernest was lying? Well, according to Ernest, an older man who was wearing a Trump t-shirt, told the manager that when he served in World War 2 in Germany, he didn’t see any black people over there. Umm, okay. So Wesley, using the common sense that God gave a scuppernong seed, decided that Ernest must be lying. Yes, even though Ernest showed his military ID, was too young to serve in World War 2 even though African-Americans have served and in every war since the Revolutionary War, Wesley chose to believe the old white man in a Donald Trump t-shirt. Welcome to 2016, everybody!

This is when Ernest pulled out his cell phone and started recording this bullshit. Of course Chili’s released a statement:

“We are aware of the situation that occurred at our Chili’s Cedar Hill restaurant on November 11th. Our goal is to make every guest feel special and unfortunately we fell short on a day where we serve more than 180,000 free meals as a small token to honor our Veterans and active military for their service, hence these actions do not reflect the beliefs of our brand.”

Ernest has hired Kim Coles as his attorney, but I don’t think it’s the same Kim Coles who was on “Living Single” from 1993 to 1998. Maybe it is, I dunno. 1Either way, it should only be a matter of time before Chili’s squeezes out a lifetime supply of Crispy Cheddar Bites and Quesadilla Explosion Salads for Ernest. As for Wesley, he better start dusting off the old resume, because I bet his days at Chili’s are numbered. I’m sure he’ll be fine though. He can tweet out to Donald Trump asking for a job and he’ll probably get an cabinet position. With all of his experience managing at Chili’s he seems like a shoe-in for Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. good luck, Wesley!



UPDATE: This story is getting all kinds of crazy. There are reports that the manager has been placed on leave from the restaurant. And then someone crawled out of their hole to put in their two cents on Facebook claiming that the veteran did not have any proof of his service and that the old white man was completely made up:15073418_10206362437534327_1753595297798545216_nBut then this picture came out that kinda proves that Ernest was in the army:15032101_10210097085761100_3412385058214087308_nMan, who cares? It was a$12 meal and now Chili’s has all this bad press. Was it really worth it??

If You Ordered It, You Have To Pay For It

burritoAs soon as Table 16 is seated, Samantha goes to greet her customers. She is a good waitress who strives to make her guests happy and always has a smile on her face. Her customers like her and she can usually count on 20% tips.

“Good afternoon and how are you doing today?” she asks with her customary perkiness.

The two customers, Mary and Marlene, smile at her as they look at their menus. They each ask for water and let her know that they will need a couple of minutes before deciding what to order.

“Absolutely,” she says. “I will be back in a minute or two.” Off she goes to get two glasses of water and to check on her other customers.

“What are you going to get?” Marlene asks Mary. “The menu is so big. It looks like they have everything. Hamburgers, steaks, roasted chicken, salmon, cod, pastas. This menu is like five pages long.”

Mary is holding a menu insert that shows the special of the day. “I dunno, but listen to this: it’s a deep-fried pepperoni Cheeto burrito with a dipping sauce of Sriracha queso.”

“Oh, God that sounds disgusting? Who would even think someone would order that? I think I’m gonna get the chicken. It comes with mashed potatoes and green beans. Simple, but it sounds so satisfying, you know?”

Samantha returns with two glasses of ice water and sets them down on the table.

“Are you guys ready to order now or I can come back in a couple of minutes.”

The two friends nod at each other, indicating they both know what they want.

“I’d like the roasted chicken, please.” says Marlene.

Samantha writes down the order and looks at the other friend who is still holding the paper with the daily special.

“Tell me about this pepperoni burrito, I’m intrigued.”

Samantha laughs. “Oh, that. Our cook likes to come up with the craziest thing he can think of each day just to keep it exciting. So it’s a flour tortilla stuffed with pepperoni and mozzarella. He deep fries it and then rolls it around in crushed Cheetos so it’s this bright orange color. The dipping sauce is Velveeta and Sriracha and it’s served with a side of kale chips.”

“I’ll try it,” says the woman, shocking both Samantha and her friend.

“Oh, okay. One Cheeto Burrito. Nobody has ever actually ordered that before. It’s kinda meant as a joke, but okay. I’ll have your food out in a few minutes. Thank you, ladies.”

Fifteen minutes later, Samantha returns to Table 16 with two plates of food. “Here we are. One roasted chicken and one Cheeto Burrito. Anything else I can get for you?”

Marlene looks down at her plate and says, “No, thank you. It looks so delicious.”

As Samantha begins to walk away, Mary calls out to her.

“Ummm, what is this?”

“That’s the Pepperoni Cheeto Burrito.”

“I can’t eat this, it looks disgusting. Pepperoni and mozzarella fried in a burrito and rolled in crushed Cheetos? it looks like a big orange turd.”

Samantha reaches into her apron to look at her order pad. ‘I’m sorry, isn’t that what you ordered? That’s what I wrote down.”

“Mary, that’s what you ordered,” Marlene whispers across the table.

Mary pushes the plate away with disgust. “I may have ordered it, but I didn’t think you would actually serve it to me. Jesus, a Pepperoni Cheeto Burrito? Do I look like an idiot?”

Samantha’s eyes scan Mary up and down and she decides that the question is hypothetical.

“I am not paying for this,” Mary yells. “I mean, I get that it was described perfectly on the menu and that I ordered it and I thought I wanted it, but now that I am staring at this big orange pile of shit on a plate, I can’t do it. No. Take it away and take it off my bill. I’ll have the roasted chicken instead.”

“It is really good,” says Marlene as she takes another bite of chicken. “I mean, it’s a teensy bit overdone, but I’d still rather have a slightly dry roasted chicken than a Pepperoni Cheeto Burrito for lunch. At least mine comes with mashed potatoes, you know?”

“Well, I can bring you a roasted chicken but you’ll still have to pay for the Pepperoni Cheeto Burrito,” explains Samantha.

Mary inhales sharply. “I what? I still have to pay for it even though I no longer want it? That’s ridiculous. It sounded like a good idea 15 minutes ago but now I wish I ordered the reliable roasted chicken. I am NOT paying for this orange Pepperoni Cheeto Burrito.”

Samantha, only minutes away from her weekend and clearly at the end of her rope, crosses her arms and stares down at Mary.

“You know what? It’s too late for the roasted chicken. You asked for the goddam Pepperoni Cheeto Burrito and you got it. You knew what it was when you ordered it and now you have to suck it up and deal with it. I wish you would have ordered the roasted chicken because just carrying that disgusting plate of food from the kitchen has made me miserable. The smell of it made my stomach hurt and my eyes are watering because I got some Sriracha sauce in them. Next time you order something, you better be prepared for the consequences. Look at the ingredients and then use your brain to figure out if you think it’ s a good decision or not. If you were stupid enough to order a deep-fried burrito that’s filled with pepperoni and mozzarella and covered in Cheeto crumbs, then I don’t have any sympathy for you. You made your bed, now lie in it. I only feel sorry for your friend who wanted to have a nice lunch of a sensible roasted chicken and now she can’t even enjoy it because all she can smell is fucking Velveeta and Sriracha sauce. Fuck you and fuck your Pepperoni Cheeto Burrito!”

And with that, Samantha unties her apron, punches out and goes home.

“You know,” says Marlene. “This roasted chicken is actually not dry at all. It’s really very good. You should have ordered this. You can never go wrong with roasted chicken.”

You Will Need Drinks Tonight and Here They Are

cocktailsIt’s Election Day here in the United States which means one thing: we will all need a drink tonight! It’s pretty certain that about 50% of our population is going to be disappointed tonight. Actually, it will probably be more than that since there are Republicans who are going to be upset if Donald Trump wins and there will be Democrats just as upset if Hillary wins. Whether you are celebrating tonight or drowning your sorrows, you will need a cocktail or five.

I reached out to my friend Kim Haasarud who is one of the country’s top mixologists. Kim and I  met about 100 years ago when we were both working at Houlihan’s in Times Square. I asked her to create two cocktails for today: a Nasty Woman and a Bad Hombre. No matter who you are rooting for tonight, these cocktails will cross party lines and make everyone happy.

You can go to Kim’s website Liquid Architecture. Or follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

Nasty Woman
1.5 oz gin
0.5 oz Creme de violette
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
1 oz pomegranate juice
Garnish: lavender sprig (to cover up the nastiness)

Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with lavender sprig.
Bad Hombre
1 oz tequila
1 oz Mezcal
0.75 oz banana liqueur
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
Lemon squeeze
Optional: top with gold flakes to cover up the bad hombre’ness

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain over ice. Garnish with lemon twist. Add gold flakes.

Man Has Worst Meal of His Life at Cracker Barrel but Survives

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-8-17-56-amWe have all had bad meals in our lifetimes. Maybe you undercooked your Kraft macaroni and cheese or maybe your tater tots got burned. It can be very disappointing, but does anyone recall the worst meal they had in their whole entire life? Well, one man does. His name is Rocky and it happened at Cracker Barrel. According to his recent post on the Cracker Barrel Facebook page, he was driving to New Orleans from Michigan and that’s when his life of perfect meals hit a brick wall. Feeling bad for Rocky, I reached out to him (no I didn’t) to learn more about his experience. He gladly agreed to an interview (no he didn’t) and I am happy to share it with you now:

BW: Thank you, Rocky for agreeing to talk to me. I hope you don’t mind that I am recording this.

ROCKY: No, it’s fine. I think the world should hear my story. Thank you for giving me this opportunity.

BW: My pleasure. Now let’s start at the very beginning-

ROCKY: A very good place to start.

BW: What happened?

ROCKY: Well, I was driving down to New Orleans from my home in Lansing. It’s about 1000 miles and I decided I was going to stop and eat at every Cracker Barrel that I passed.

BW: And why did you decide to do that?

ROCKY: Oh, just because I’m one of those kind of guys who does crazy wacky things like that. Like one time at the grocery store, I got some grapes and ate them all before I made it to to the checkout counter. Stuff like that. I consider myself a daredevil.

BW: Ummm, okay. So anyway…

ROCKY: Well, I was eating at a Cracker Barrel in La Grange, Kentucky when I got the worst meal I have ever had. I mean, it was just awful. I couldn’t believe it. My eggs were scrambled hard when I specifically asked for them to be scrambled medium hard and my bacon was soft. I like my bacon hard. I like for it to make a crunchy sound when I bite into it. There is nothing more satisfying than sticking a big stiff piece of pork in my mouth. And I like for my biscuits to be fluffy like little bites of cumulous clouds. This one tasted like a plain ol’ biscuit.

BW: What about your coffee or orange juice, how was that?

ROCKY: I only drink Pepsi for breakfast and they serve Coke products. That was just the beginning of the worst meal of my life having to suffer through that Pepsi. So anyway, everything else about my meal was terrible. It was the worst meal I have ever had in my entire life.

BW: Well, did you ask your server to take care of it?

ROCKY: No, I did not. It is her job to instinctively know how I feel about my meal. She needs to read my mind and decipher all the goobly gop I have in my brain and just figure out when my goddam biscuit doesn’t taste like a cumulous cloud. It is at that point she should have known to bring me a new one. As for the bacon, it was pretty obvious that it didn’t make a crunching sound. She should have been within earshot of my table to determine whether or not she heard an appropriate crunch or not.

BW: So what did you do when you realized this meal was the worst one you have ever had?

ROCKY: I ate it and then I didn’t leave a tip. And then as soon as I got back into my car, I went to the Cracker Barrel Facebook page and complained. They have not responded yet, by the way.

BW: I have to be honest with you, that meal doesn’t sound that bad. You sound like you are just really picky.

ROCKY: Well, when I pay 5.99 for breakfast, I expect the very best.

BW: So are you done with Cracker Barrel now?

ROCKY: Nope. I ate lunch at another one later that day. I love Cracker Barrel. I just thought if I complained about it on Facebook, they might give me a gift card for a free hash brown or something. Hopefully, this interview will get me some attention too. If any of you Cracker Barrel managers are out there reading this, you can email me with my gift card.

BW: Thank you for your time, Rocky. Good luck with the rest of the drive to New Orleans. I hear they have some really wonderful restaurants.

ROCKY: I know they have Popeyes down there and I’m real excited about that! I love that chicken from Popeyes.

BW: Okay, we’re done here..

If there are any Cracker Barrel managers out there who want to send Rocky a gift card, please click here to reach him.

Child Runs Rampant at Restaurant; Parents Don’t Care

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-2-07-55-pmOver the years, I have often made the claim that “I hate children.” While it is certainly enjoyable to proclaim such a statement, many people have corrected me and said that what I should be saying is “I hate shitty parents.” Fine. I hate shitty parents. And here’s why:

There is a video making the rounds on the Internet that shows a little girl in a restaurant who seems to think that the booths are her own personal jungle gym. Who needs monkey bars and slides to play on when your parents will let you use a restaurant? I am not going to say the name of the restaurant or the city that it happened in, because it’s only a matter of time before the parents crawl out from underneath their blanket to start threatening to sue. That’s why this video has been scrubbed free from all that nasty incriminating evidence, you know, other than actually being able to see the little demon child dragging her dirty feet all over multiple booths as a lone waitress tries to wipe down the soiled tables. The video is shot from far enough away that it could be anyone’s little girl doing this. What is so surprising is that the adults, presumably her parents, do very little to stop this from happening. I also see at least two other kids in the video who are wandering around.

This is why your server might hate your children.

A video posted by bitchywaiter (@bitchywaiter) on


Hey, shitty parents: wake the fuck up. Nobody wants to go to a restaurant and see your kids behave like wild animals. You may be ashamed that this video is going slightly viral, but I fear that very few people will be on your side. It’s one thing to not notice that your kid is standing in a booth. It’s quite another when you don’t realize your daughter is using the booths like she’s training for the 110 meter hurdles for the 2020 Summer fucking Olympics in Tokyo. Reel her in. Leash her up. Drop some Baby Sudafed in her Shirley Temple and make her ass sit down. You are her parents and you are the ones who have to teach her how to behave. I have no doubt that if a stranger, be it the waitress or a manager, told the kid to sit down, you would be the first one to scream out, “Don’t you talk to my child that way! I’m her parent, not you!” Well you know what then? Act like a fucking parent.

We make some servers in this country go get a food handler’s license before they can carry a plate of buffalo wings to your table. We require someone to apply for a license if they want to go fishing. If someone wants to cut hair for a living, they must go to school and get a permit to do it. But what’s that? You want to have a baby? Sure, go ahead. No questions asked. As long as you can figure out a way to drop a hot load onto an egg and get it all fertilized up, you can make a baby! No permits, no education, no license and no guarantee of responsibility! Have fun!

Yes, I might hate children, but my hate stems from the parent who cannot be bothered to do their damn job and raise their child to be a responsible human being with a modicum of manners. And don’t tell me that this was an incident of “kids being kids” because I have seen plenty of children who don’t behave that way which tells me that those kids have parents who know what the hell they are doing. Or at the very least, they are trying.

These parents? Shitty.

You know my book has a whole chapter about how much I hate kids. You can buy it here.