Okay, okay, this is a repeat post because I am so busy. If you must know, I am in a play and open in a week so my time has been a bit pinched as of late. I would tell you where the show is so maybe I could have five or six people in the audience, but then I would run the risk of Anonymous showing up and throwing a rotten egg at me during the curtain call. In the meantime, please enjoy this sorry ass summer repeat:
An article in the New York Times was brought to my attention and I feel that it needs to be responded to. (Holla, Bonnie!) It is titled “100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do” and it is part one of a list of bullshit notions that some asshole restaurant owner came up with. I am a big fan of The Grey Lady, baby, but this list has gots to go. The writer of the list is some man named Bruce (lame name) who is opening a seafood restaurant. I get that he wants his staff to do all these things and that is fine. But I don’t work for you, Bruce. This list is something that should be taped to the bulletin board in the kitchen of your restaurant. Don’t put it in the newspaper and think that all servers will start obeying your commands just because it got published in the Times. The list is only 50 items long right now with part two coming out later. Let me respond to some of them.
1. Do not let anyone enter the restaurant without a warm greeting. I agree. Easy to do, no sweat off my back. Fine.
3. Never refuse to seat three guests because a fourth has not yet arrived. Bullshit. Incomplete parties fuck with my seating rotation, my order taking and the kitchen. If people can’t be there on time, then they should not make a fucking reservation. End of story.
8. Do not interrupt a conversation. For any reason. Especially not to recite specials. Wait for the right moment. Seriously? What if the right moment never comes? Some people are so fucking full of hot air and gas that they never shut the fuck up so that I can do my job. Uh uh. You say “sorry to interrupt, but can I take you order, you gassy bellowing bucket of lard?”
12. Do not touch the rim of a water glass. Or any other glass. Duh.
13. Handle wine glasses by their stems and silverware by the handles. No shit, Sherlock.
20. Never refuse to substitute one vegetable for another. What about the rule on the menu that says “no substitutions”? It’s a pain in the ass. Eat the fucking collard greens.
23. If someone likes a wine, steam the label off the bottle and give it to the guest with the bill. It has the year, the vintner, the importer, etc. Come on!! Who the fuck has time to steam a label off a bottle? Is this guy fucking kidding me? I don’t even have time to spit in their food sometimes and he thinks I am going to do that? And where does he suggest I find a steamer? The cappuccino machine I guess? Get over it. Tell them the name of the wine and let them fucking write it down. How hard is it to remember Knotts Berry Farm, anyway?
32. Never touch a customer. No excuses. Do not do it. Do not brush them, move them, wipe them or dust them. I am firm believer in the gentle touch on the shoulder or elbow when you thank a guest for coming in. It increases your tip. It just does. It’s not like I am grabbing a boob or something. And if they are in my way because they are wandering around the restaurant, I will push their ass out my way if I need to.
37. Do not drink alcohol on the job, even if invited by the guests. “Not when I’m on duty” will suffice. Oh please. How the hell am I supposed to get through my shift?
38.Do not call a guy a “dude.”
39. Do not call a woman “lady.” I agree. Douchebag and Cunt are far more appropriate.
43. Never mention what your favorite dessert is. It’s irrelevant. So I guess just be the fucking robot waiter and say that everything is perfect and delicious even though some things suck and some things don’t. I find that customers appreciate an honest opinion.
50. Do not turn on the charm when it’s tip time. Be consistent throughout. I am consistent. Consistently bitchy.
Thanks, Bruce for your wonderful insight. It sounds like your restaurant is such a joy to work in. Surely the next 50 ideas will be just as inspiring.