8 Ways the Bartender Made Me Hate Him

My husband and I went out to dinner to a restaurant we’d never been to, but a place that calls itself “Redacted Because I Feel Kinda Bad” sounds like an open invitation for decadence, so we went. Upon hearing they had a happy hour, we were even more intrigued. We sat at the bar as we always do and within minutes, I knew I had to write a blog post about our bartender because he was like a walking advertisement of everything you should not do as a bartender. I really didn’t like him and I tried to, I really did. He just gave me so many reasons dislike him.

And here they are:

  1. He didn’t say hello to us. At least pretend like you want to be there. I mean, I know you don’t, because who the fuck wants to be at work, but come on. Fake it. That’s what we do in the service industry.
  2. He was clearly aggravated that I couldn’t read the happy hour menu. It was a tiny sign posted on the bar wall way too far away for my 51-year-old eyes to read. When I asked him what it said, he handed me a table tent that had the same info on it. His irritation was obvious. His eyes may be twenty-five years younger than mine, but my attitude is twenty five years older than his, so this bish needs to watch it.
  3. Giving us menus seemed like it was a pain in the ass for him. Yes, we wanted to eat, so yes we needed menus. The menus were not carved in granite tablets so I could have done without the audible sigh when he placed them before us as if it took every last ounce of strength he had in his body to move them from one shelf to the bar.
  4. He didn’t pour us water. I don’t expect water to automatically appear, but when we asked for water, making sure to say please, he hurriedly placed two empty glasses before us and returned thirty seconds later with a full bottle for us. This bottle, he placed on the edge of his side of that bar and walked away without so much as a look in our general direction. If you’re not going to pour it, at least put the bottle close enough for me to reach it without having to sprawl across the bar to do it myself.
  5. He never asked how our food or drinks were. It’s. Your. Job. The food and drinks were all more than fine, but if there had been an issue, I would have had to flag him down and pull him away from his own reflection in the mirror behind the bar. He cleared our dirty plates without even talking to us.
  6. He wasn’t personable at all. I don’t need to become best friends with my server or bartender, but if you’re a bartender, you should expect to have to make at least a little bit of fucking small talk to your customers. You’re literally standing directly in front of me for 90% of the time I’m eating, so to avoid all conversation seems like more trouble than it’s worth. If you don’t want to talk to your customers too much, be a server so you can hide in the side stand or the kitchen. As a bartender, you don’t get that option. Suck it up, buttercup.
  7. He was in no hurry to run my credit card. I placed it on the check immediately upon receiving it, but then he ignored it for at least five minutes, which was weird because the whole time we were there it seemed like he couldn’t wait for us to get the fuck out. And then the second he had the opportunity to get us out of his bar, he ignored us. I watched him walk past it at least four times, but I guess checking out his hair and talking to his co-workers was more important than running our credit card.
  8. He didn’t say goodbye or thank you as we left. I said both of them. Totally fine. It’s clear this guy either hates being at work or hates us. If he wasn’t gay, I’d have thought he was a big ol’ homophobe, but he was flamier than a fire at a Yankee Candle Outlet Store, so maybe he just doesn’t like older gay men. Or maybe he just sucks at his job and is a miserable person.

Overall, the whole meal was lacking. While the food was good and the drinks were more than fine, we never felt like anyone was happy we were there. As servers and bartenders, it’s part of our job to contribute to the overall dining experience of our customers. If a restaurant has great service and decent food I am much more willing to go back than if a place has bad service and decent food. Too many restaurants forget how much the service affects the likelihood of a customer returning.

Yes, I still tipped this bartender 20% and even though he had his back to us far too often, his ass was beautiful so that was alright.

Fired Employee Shares Video of Roaches in Popular Restaurant

There’s a hot dog place in downtown Chicago called Portillo’s that’s making waves and not because of their famous wieners, but because of the number of roaches they allegedly have crawling all the hell around. Former employee Antwoine Johnson shared video of the cockroaches to WGN9 in Chicago.


Johnson says he was fired after excessive absences while he was dealing with the death of his mother and his brother over the Christmas holidays. A Portillo’s spokesperson claims that Johnson threw a chair when he was told he was being fired. Whatever happened, we know two things: the guy was fired and the restaurant has roaches.

Now look, we’ve all seen the occasional roach at our restaurant. It ain’t no big thing, right? We do our best to keep them away, but those bitches are as persistent as a senior citizen with an expired coupon. We call the exterminator and hope for the best. However, this video looks pretty bad. The roaches are walking around without a care in the world, brazenly crawling across the milkshake machine like they’re taking a stroll in Central Park.

Merle the Cockroach: Hey, Edna, wanna crawl out from our nest and go see what’s happening on the countertop today?

Edna the Cockroach: Oh, honey I would love to, but I’m about to lay 100 eggs and then I was gonna go poop all over the hot dog buns afterwards, can I take a rain check?

Merle the Cockroach: No worries, I’ll see if Charlie and Frankie wanna go with me. Maybe we can meet later at the to-go lids?

Edna the Cockroach: Perfect! I’ll see if Annie wants to join us. She loves the to-go lid area. That’s where she always lays her eggs.

Johnson says he is not a disgruntled employee and he had seen the roaches many times before. “We reported it to the managers and some were like, ‘Just brush it along and to keep on going.’ I thought it was a problem and I reported it every time, but there was nothing done about it.” When asked how often he saw them, he replied “Every day that I worked, at least three or four times a day.” Again, he says he’s not a disgruntled employee.

I do find it suspect that it wasn’t until after he was fired that he felt the need to suddenly share this video with the news. I mean, if he was so bothered by it, why didn’t he give them the video while he still worked there? Uh huh, Antwoine. Shady as fuck.

There are so many lessons to be learned here:

  1. If you see roaches in your restaurant, tell management so the problem can be handled.
  2. Video the roaches so they can know how big the problem is.
  3. Save that video so that you can use it to get yourself 15 minutes of fame and drag your former employer down into the gutter in case they ever fire your ass.

A Poem About Dirty Diapers

I do not want your diaper poop.
I do not want it near the soup.
I do not like the stinky smell.
I do not like it, can’t you tell?

Throw that diaper in the trash.
Throw that diaper in a flash.
That diaper’s gross and so are you.
That diaper’s mostly stinky poo.

You should not leave it lying there.
You should not leave it on a chair.
Not in a box or with some socks
Or on some rocks or under locks.
You should not leave it lying there.
You should not leave it anywhere.

I do not want your diaper, bitch.
Toss it in a muddy ditch.
Put it in the can of trash
Or wear it as a fucking sash.

Just do not leave your diaper here.
I want to make this very clear:
Not on your seat or in the street
I’ll say it loud and then repeat.
A dirty diaper full of poop
Does not belong inside the soup.

Woman Dining Alone Assumed to be a Hooker

A restaurant here in New York City is feeling the heat for allegedly telling a single woman she wasn’t allowed to eat at the bar alone because the restaurant was trying to avoid having prostitutes sit there preying on decent, law-abiding, (male) customers. Yes, basically they assumed she was a lady of the night and made her move to a table back by the bathrooms.

The restaurant is called Nello and the not-a-hooker is named Clementine Crawford. Nello is a pretty pricey restaurant on the Upper East Side that Crawford likes to go to whenever she’s in Manhattan. When she called the restaurant owner to complain about her treatment, he pretty much told her it’s his business and he can run it however he wants. She also claims that while she was sitting at a table not being a hooker, she watched a man sit at the bar and dine alone. (Does Nello not know what a gigilo is?)

Crawford wrote an essay about her experience and then it went viral because everybody wants to read about the plight of paid sex workers and those who are mistakenly thought to be one. It is important to note that Crawford was not upset about being mistaken for a call girl. She’s upset because of the blatant sexism and the assumption that any woman sitting alone at a bar must be up to no good.

The restaurant fucked up in so many ways. First off, you can never assume a woman is a hooker unless she’s wearing booty shorts and hanging her tits in your car window while you’re waiting for a red light and she’s telling you she’ll give you a handy for $10. If that happens, yeah, she’s probably either a hooker or someone applying for a job as a FOX News commentator. (Hi, Britt!)  However, if a woman is sitting alone at a bar having a cocktail and enjoying the company of herself, chances are she’s just a woman who wants some time time alone so she can think about how shitty so many men are. Secondly, so what if she was a prostitute? Lets give props to a woman who knows what she wants and goes after it. Thirdly, if a woman complains about the fact that you basically called her a whore, you don’t come back with the “it’s my restaurant and I run it how I want” defense. You apologize profusely for your sexist assumption and offer a complimentary order of Grilled Chicken Wonton Tacos. (Well, at least that’s what the Applebee’s managerial handbook tells you do.)

If you own a restaurant and you don’t want hookers all up in there, you need to figure out a way to do it without assuming any woman who comes in alone is a streetwalker. Maybe put up a sign that says “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service. And No Hookers.” Or simply just mind your own fucking business. If a man is at a restaurant and is approached by a working girl and he ultimately decides he’d rather have a tart for dessert instead of the creme brûlée, who cares? Let him pay his check and then then pay the woman. The restaurant got their money, the call girl got her money and the man finally got laid. It’s a win-win-win.

As for Clementine Crawford, I’m sorry you had to go through that. Hopefully, the restaurant will come to their senses and publicly apologize to you and give you their equivalent to a Grilled Chicken Wonton Taco, which, coincidentally, is exactly the same thing a hooker would give to a John that she meets at Nello. 

News Personality Britt McHenry Is Total B*tch To Restaurant Worker

Once upon a time, there was beautiful princess who was the envy of all the land. The only thing more lovely than her her flowing blond hair and perfectly sculpted nose was her sparkling personality which made everyone who met her immediately love her. This princess was also very, very intelligent and all of her subjects trusted what she had to say whenever she spoke. This story isn’t about the princess though, it’s about a troll that lives under the bridge right past the moat of the princess’s castle. That troll is named Britt McHenry.

You may recall Britt from a few years ago when she was working at ESPN and then had a nasty, run-in with a tow truck company where she said such troll-like things as “I’m in the news sweetheart. I will fucking sue this place” and “Do you feel good about your job? So I could be a college dropout and do the same thing” and “I have a brain and you don’t” and “Lose some weigh baby girl.”

That winning performance got her suspended from ESPN and she was eventually fired from the network for being “white and paid too much.” (Yes, she actually said that.) Now she works for FOX Nation as a commentator, because when you’re a blond troll with warped ideas and sensibilities, it’s a requirement that all trolls eventually must leave the safety of their bridge and do some time at FOX News.

Anywho, you may be wondering why I have focused my attention on Britt who is not much more than a hemorrhoid on the ass of life, but I do have a reason. A little bird who lived in the castle of the beautiful princess told me that not only does Britt have great disdain for women who happen to work at tow truck companies, she has also come after some of us in the food service industry. That’s when I pull out my soap box, stand on it and say, “Nope!”

It seems that Britt McTroll has a beef with a woman named Jen Royle who was once a MLB reporter in Boston but gave up that career to follow her dream of cooking for a living. Jen appeared on Season 3 of “The Taste” on ABC and made it to the final round. She ended up working for Mario Batali and then started her own private cooking company. One thing led to another, and now Jen is about to open her own restaurant in Boston. It’s called Table and it’s set to open later this month. I checked out the menu and it sounds amazing, by the way.

The news of Jen opening a restaurant set Britt McTroll into action and she Tweeted to Jen several times, insulting her and her career of choice. Trolls will be trolls, right? Like this (now deleted) Tweet:

For people like her? What does that even mean? Oh, wait I know what it means. It means that Britt McTroll thinks she’s better than people who do anything for a living other than be on television. She said it to the tow truck employee and now she’s saying it to a restaurant owner.

And what about this (also now deleted) Tweet:

Wait, so now she’s insulting Jen because she’s a caterer and bragging about how much more money she makes than her? Yes, Troll, TV “news” personalities definitely make more than caterers, but that doesn’t mean that you’re better then them. It just means that you have scratched and clawed your way to the top at ESPN and then slid back down a few notches to work at FOX Nation streaming video. Calm your ass down.

And then she Tweeted this (and deleted it) about Jen’s new restaurant:

Yes, a restaurant that serves family style is still called a restaurant. The concept of Table is that people all sit together and break bread, getting to know one another over the course of a wonderful meal. It’s understandable why Britt McTroll may not like the idea of sitting with others because she’s used to eating tin cans and kale under her bridge all alone except for the occasional company of a billy goat named Sean who is the only one who can tolerate the sight of her trying to ascertain how much gluten is in a serving of her own fecal matter.

I realize that calling out a troll is basically troll behavior, but I’m okay with that. What I am not okay with is people attempting to demean someone that they see as beneath them. And if the person they are trying to demean is in the restaurant industry, I am even less okay with it. People like Britt McHenry need to understand that this world is full of all kinds of people and no one is better than someone else. This troll should take lesson from the Princess in the castle and understand that in order to be liked by all, you have to have humility, grace, wisdom and self-awareness. If you don’t have those things, you can spend the rest of your life underneath a bridge wondering why nobody but a billy got named Sean likes you.

Here’s Britt’s Twitter account. Tell her I said hello. I’ve always dreamed of having a Twitter feud. 

Who May Dip in the Tip Pool?

Every week, I get questions about the legality of tip pools. It can be a very confusing practice and I never wanted to give anyone misinformation. That’s why this blog post is written by a real life labor and employment lawyer who can answer all of our questions.  xo, BW


Whether you’re just getting your feet wet in the restaurant service industry or are fully immersed as a lead server, you know that it is from tips that the more quenchable waters flow. Particularly, if you’re a waiter whose employer utilizes the tip credit, tips are a server’s livelihood; for, after taxes and deductions, any remaining earnings at $2.13 an hour will be a parched paycheck, if that. 

Many restaurants implement a tip pool which requires servers to share their tips among certain co-workers. In the best light, this communal contribution engenders teamwork, productivity, and ultimately better service — which should foster better tips. Those hosts, bartenders, bussers and food runners upon whom servers rely to keep their tables quickly served, quickly cleaned, and even more quickly seated again all deserve a share in the generous reward from the customer. And if all participants play their parts well, a server typically has no qualms with paying these pipers.  Afterall, it is the total dining out experience, including the overall friendliness and efficiency of everybody’s service and contribution, as well as the comfort and cleanliness of the general environment, that prompts a customer’s willingness to tip generously, or not.

More than engendering teamwork and camaraderie in the restaurant workplace, sharing tips among employees is a legally defined practice, in large part governed by Federal Law known as the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The federal law is the minimum requirement – a state is free to enact laws that are more restrictive (i.e. more favorable to employees). The following are a few tips for servers to be on the lookout for and to avoid being a victim of illegal tip theft:

Employees paid a base wage of less than the FLSA’s mandated minimum wage

For servers who are paid less than minimum wage because their employers utilize the “tip credit” and rely upon a server’s tips to make up the difference between their base hourly wage and the FLSA’s tip pooling regulations are very rigid – requiring an employer to strictly adhere to the requirements or risk losing the tip credit.

It should be obvious, but owners and supervisory management are prohibited from participating in any tip pool. Even if an owner or manager intermittently perform the duties of a host or waiter or bartender, they may not partake in sharing in any tip pool. Additionally, back-of-house employees are not permitted to participate in the tip pool either, in keeping with the FLSA guidelines which state that only those employees who customarily and regularly receive tips are valid participants in a tip pool. Back-of-house employees include janitorial employees, dishwashers, cooks and all kitchen staff, as well as bussers and food runners in establishments where these positions are considered “back-of-house.”  Furthermore, back-of-house employees legally ought to be paid at least the mandated minimum wage, so not only would it be illegal to require an employee earning a base pay of less than minimum wage to share their tips with back-of-the-house, but it is patently unfair.

Employees who may legally participate in a tip pool include other waitstaff, bartenders, and hosts – along with bussers and food runners in establishments that deem these positions as “front-of-house.”

Employees paid at least a base wage of minimum wage

In March of 2018, Congress amended the FLSA to address the concerns of the public and several worker advocate groups. The text of the FLSA, which is now federal law, now provides that employers may not keep a tipped employees tips for themselves, even if the employer pays the employee more than minimum wage. The amendment goes further to state that not only may an employer not keep the tips for themselves, the employer cannot allow managers or supervisors to keep an employee’s tips. These amended provisions specifically state that the FLSA’s tip protection laws apply regardless of whether an employer pays more or less than minimum wage.

Other possible deductions taken from tips

The only other deduction that may be taken out of a server’s tips, whether the server is paid less than minimum wage or at least minimum wage before accounting for tips, is the credit card processing fee. An employer may deduct the actual percentage of the credit card processing fee – typically 1% to 3% of the total sale of the charge – and no more. An employer may not deduct an amount exceeding the actual cost for such fees. This is an area where employers may hide their skimming, by deducting more than the actual fee.

Here is another article that discusses illegal deductions, including deductions for walked-tabs or cash shortages (which is illegal)!

In summary, the following chart sets forth who may be a legitimate participant in a tip pool, and what additional deduction may be taken from a server’s tips:

Conclusion

I find that restaurants are some of the most common violators of the wage laws. The good news is there are strict federal laws protecting servers. If you are receiving tips as part of your pay and you have questions about your employer’s policies, you should reach out to an attorney to discuss. One word of caution, the law in your state may be different than what is discussed in this article. Further, Herrmann Law, PLLC does not guarantee the accuracy of any article published on this website.

+Drew N. Herrmann is a labor and employment lawyer licensed to practice in Texas. Mr. Herrmann’s labor and employment law practice is devoted to representing aggrieved employees in workplace disputes.  If you have any questions or want to consult with Mr. Herrmann, he can be reached by calling 817-479-9229, or emailing drew@herrmannlaw.com or check out his website www.paycheckcollector.com

 This article is not legal advice. The information contained in this article is informational and you should not rely on it instead of legal advice specific to your situation. Drew N. Herrmann is licensed to practice law in Texas. The law in your state may be different than what is discussed in this article. Further, the law in your state may change the analysis or outcomes described in this article.

The information on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. Any information submitted through the website does not create an attorney-client relationship with Herrmann Law, PLLC. Further, Herrmann Law, PLLC does not guarantee the accuracy of any article published on this website.

* Bussers and food runners hold positions that act in between front-of-house and back-of-house. It seems arbitrary as to where each establishment categorizes them; but depending upon their actual duties, (i.e. their level of direct customer interaction) they may or may not be included in the tip pool. Where they are categorized as back-of-house employees, they are excluded from the tip pool. For example, some food runners spend a majority of their time performing the work of an expediter and their duties “running” food are marginal. These “food runners” are more properly classified as expediters, which is a back-of-the-house job and should be not be included in the tip pool – the restaurant is responsible for properly and adequately compensating them without requiring servers to share their tips with them.