Woman Doesn’t Like 5 Things About Restaurants. I Disagree With 4 of Them.

Oh what a joy it is for me to find an article written about us servers and what horrible monsters we are as we try to do our job. Case in point is an article by Laurie Notaro for the Phoenix New Times. The article is called “5 Things Restaurants Need to Stop Doing Right Now,” but every point she makes isn’t exactly about the restaurant itself. “Train your staff, restaurants. That’s all I’m saying,” she says. Somebody hold my cocktail, because I’m about to go off.

She begins by complaining about a time she was in a restaurant and her friend said, “I have-” just as the server poured more ice tea and blocked her face. After the server was finished being the rude ass person he was being by filling iced tea, the friend was able to finish her sentence with the word “cancer.” While I am very sorry about the cancer diagnosis, contrary to popular belief, we servers are not hovering at your table listening to your conversations waiting for the precise moment to ruin an announcement. If we are nearby and see your glass is empty, we’re gonna fill it. Sorry for doing our freaking job.

Her list then begins:

Don’t reservation shame me. “Stop pretending that if I come in without a reservation that I have broken a holy sacrament.” Look, lady, if you don’t have a reservation it’s fine. Well, depending on the restaurant. If you’re dining at Chili’s they can probably squeeze you in, but if you’re trying to get a table at Barbuto’s here in New York City as a walk-in, it’s gonna be an issue. And although you see that 75% of the restaurant is empty, you don’t know what’s on the books for the next two hours. So if the hostess makes you wait for “20 minutes” and then another “18 minutes” to find you a table, maybe you should just be grateful that they let you even sit down at all. And by the way, we all know that customers love to exaggerate to try to prove their point so there’s no way a hostess made you wait 38 minutes. Bitch, please.

Don’t judge a salt lover. Okay, I’m gonna let her have this one. She does not want to be judged if she is in a restaurant that does not have salt on the tables and she wants some. I’m with you, Laurie. Salt away. It’s good. And I dunno if you’re for real when you say you have 50 packets of salt in your purse that you took from Arby’s but I fully embrace your thieving, salting ways.

Quit interrupting. “I want the waitstaff to stop interrupting me right before I get to the punchline of my story. For that matter, do not interrupt my conversation at any point.” Oh, I’m sorry Laurie, are we not allowed to speak to you? Again, we aren’t listening to the banal conversations that are happening at each of our tables. Sometimes at work, we barely have time to listen to the voice inside our head that’s telling us to run out of the restaurant and never come back. Do you honestly think we are paying attention to the incessant drivel that is spewing from the mouths of our customers? And don’t think I haven’t waited for a more opportune time to inject myself into the conversation, but after standing there for 30 or 45 seconds, I need to interrupt, because if I don’t, I’ll never know if you’re going to eat that last fucking piece of romaine lettuce that’s been sitting on your plate for 15 minutes and if I don’t know if you’re done eating or not, I can’t tell the kitchen to fire your entrees. So, sorry I interrupted your stupid joke, but I have a job to do. If you need to eat without interruption, warm up a Lean Cuisine and eat it at home.

Don’t be so pretentious. Well if you go to a pretentious restaurant, you’re gonna get pretension. In fact, your whole article seems pretentious. Are you the only one who is allowed to be pretentious? Do you need to be the most pretentious person in the room? Congratulations on such a lofty goal.

Don’t ever ask me how something tastes. Umm, okay. So you want me to drop the food and never ask you how it is. Or is it that you don’t like the way servers ask? “Did you enjoy the profile of your dish?” sounds pretentious which makes me question where the fuck you are dining. I don’t know a server who would ask a question that way or this way: “How are your flavors tasting this morning?” Who the hell talks that way? It sounds to me that you are choosing restaurants that are going to give you everything you claim to hate. Don’t go to those places anymore.

So, Laurie, if you are ever in my restaurant I know how to treat you: I make sure you get a table right away even if we are fully booked and you don’t have a reservation. Put a salt lick on the table. Don’t talk to you. Speak like a commoner. Assume the food is fine. I suppose your article was meant to be tongue in cheek, but from a server’s point of view, it’s rather insulting.

Here is the article in full if you want to go read it for yourself and maybe leave a comment or two. It’s fun! But don’t be pretentious about it or anything. And check out my book here!

20 thoughts on “Woman Doesn’t Like 5 Things About Restaurants. I Disagree With 4 of Them.

  1. Pingback: The 10 Biggest Metro Phoenix Food Stories of 2017 | The Restaurant Brokers

  2. Annalese Stradivarius

    This was my response to this jewel of humanity:

    Why are you, ms. Notaro, so awful to people who work in the service industries? I’ve noticed the people who are, are the people who’ve never had to work in foodservice or hospitality.

    Perhaps they should. It might cleanse their souls. Perhaps you should. It’d knock you down a few pegs.

    The vitriol I just read, written by such an entitled, pretentious, self-obsessed hack as you clearly are has me livid. You need to lose your publisher, get blackballed from future literary work and journalism, and have to work in foodservice for the next five years to make ends meet.

    It’s a back-breaking, soul-crushing, hour-stealing industry, and it’s obvious you’re a spoiled, self-loathing, spiteful woman who has no appreciation of that. You speak to servers like they’re slaves, or lower life-forms. Where’s your almighty progressive attitude when speaking to the 99%? Oh, right, yuppie entitlement, gotchya. So you’re not only miserable, you’re a hypocrite. If you’re going to be shitty to people waiting on you, if you’re going to make it apparent you have no class, and if you’re going to threaten your servers with bodily harm, do them all a favor and stay the hell home. You’re the worst sort of person, and should not be unleashed on an unsuspecting populace.

    Now take your tacky grandma and your classless friends grow Wal-Mart and but salt, funyuns and twizzlers in bulk, plate them and post them on instagram for all the world to mock, because you clearly have the oh-so-sophisticated palate of a toddler. Hack.

  3. Amanda

    The only issue I can relate to is the asking how your food is. Not because I don’t want to be asked, but because Murphys law dictates this will inevitably asked right after I stuffed my face with a bite of food. Which always makes me feel like an awkward asshole.

  4. Lisa

    I’m so disappointed in her column. Laurie Notaro is a gifted writer and I’ve read just about all of her books. She normally has a wicked self-deprecating sense of humor and comes across very down to earth. Not sure what happened with this article as it sure doesn’t have any resemblance to any of her prior writing. She’s a couple years older than me….so my guess is menopause madness…..I hope it’s temporary.

  5. Not a server, just a human

    I posted this on the article:

    If you are actually eating at Arby’s then you should not bother going to real restaurants because you obviously don’t have the palate to appreciate the food.

    The service you are describing can be found at restaurants like Le Bernardin, which has three Michelin stars. I assume that this is not the type of restaurant you dine in.

    Why don’t you consider your servers as peer humans who are doing the best job they can in spite of difficult customers like you?

    If articles were tip based I would stiff you.

    – Not a server, just a human

    1. Jim

      “Stiff” meaning 15 percent, of course. I worked in restaurants for about ten years, most of them as a server, and many years later continue to leave really big tips. To this day, a server could probably call me a douchbag, intentionally whack me with his tray, and blatantly hit on my wife, and I would be like, “What a terrible server. He’s only gonna get nine bucks on sixty.” Serving sticks with you… forever.

      1. Carolyn

        True! The other day I took my mom out for lunch and the service was REALLY bad – I am physically unable to just not tip after working in restaurants so I took out my phone to calculate 15% before tax … and even though the service was truly abysmal, I still felt a little bad for “only” 15%! LOL

        Marked for life by serving!

  6. Jenny

    She wrote the little “article” on Valentine’s day, too. lol I suppose she had nothing better to do, so she had to try feeling better about herself somehow.

  7. Katy

    Obviously Laurie has never had to stand at a table for two minutes feeling awkward and ignored while the guests finish their conversation about blah blah blah. If you came to a restaurant you are probably there to eat so help us annoying servers do our job and get your order. If you’d like to talk without interruptions I suggest you grab some fast food or coffee and have a ball. More than likely you are not my only table and if you ignore me I will walk away and spend my time taking care of other guests who understand the concept that we need your attention in order to do our job. Laurie is probably the same woman who ignores their server until they need something and are so put off when the server is busy with someone who gives us a bit of respect. Keep your two dollar tip Laurie, it’s not worth the trouble of interacting with such a condescending, pretentious person such as you. I’ve got a list of five things servers hate their customers to do:
    1. Ignore us. We have a job to do so just let us get it over with.
    2. For heaven’s sake, we give you a menu for a reason. Please read it. We will be happy to help you find what you want if you are having trouble, but if every single person at the table asks what sides we have when they are listed at the top of the page, it is ridiculous.
    3. String us along asking for one item at a time. If you want lemons and napkins and another drink, we can most likely get all of that in one trip, no need to underwhelm us.
    4. Complain about the prices. I have no control over what the company charges and if I did I would probably make you pay more to compensate for your bad attitude. Once again, go get coffee or fast food. Much cheaper.
    5. Argue about what items we serve or the way an item comes. I promise you did not get “hushpuppies” last week seeing as how in the last thirty years the company has been operating they have never put a single hushpuppie on any plate. Sure, you come here all the time, but I guarantee I come here more often.
    With ALL of that being said, servers are by no means perfect, we make mistakes, say the wrong thing, forget items all the time, and are not always wonderfully chipper and energetic. Some servers even just suck at their job and should find another line of work, but if these 5 things are what ruin your dining experience, just get over yourself and cook a damn meal.

    1. Just A Poor Server

      Your post is spot on. My favorite is “Can I get such and such” Oh I’m sorry sir/ma’am, we don’t have that “What?!? I was here just the other day and you did!” Well sir/ma’am, I’ve been here for 5 years and a customer for longer, and I have never seen such and such being served, so unless you brought it in yourself, no you didn’t have it at our restaurant.

  8. Lara Chandler Sowa

    Bitch needs to stay home. She sounds like someone with lofty thoughts of herself, but her fake pretentious ass still shows her trailer trash roots. Knocking people over in Walmart? I know when the people in her family say their second most used sentence they are talking to her.

  9. Nicole

    Sounds like Laura’s best bet is to visit Texas Roadhouse exclusively for the foreseeable future. Probably a step up from eating raw cookie dugh, watching food network, and sharting out this fabrication she refers to as an article.


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