Hostess: Thank you for calling Doug’s Donuts Diner, can I help you?
Man: Yeah, I’d like to make a reservation for two this Friday night.
Hostess: Absolutely, sir. It would be my pleasure to assist you with this. And what time would you like to join us for dinner on Friday.
Man: Any time between 6:30 and 9:00 is fine. We’re not picky.
Hostess: Okay, sir, thank you. Ummm… I can get you in at 7:45, will that work?
Man: Oh, yeah, that’s perfect, thank you!
Hostess: Of course, what’s your name and a contact number.
Man: My name is Willy Shocker and my number is 867-5309.
Hostess: Very good. And in an effort to make this a wonderful night for you and your guest, are there any allergies we should know about or are you celebrating anything special that evening?
Man: Actually, it’s our third anniversary!
Hostess: That’s wonderful. I’ll let the chef know and we’ll see if she can come up with something special for the two of you.
Man: Oh, man, thanks! That’s really nice of you.
Hostess: And what about any allergies.
Man: Yes, my wife is extremely allergic to nuts. Like, if she even gets near one, her throat swells up and her face gets all pinched and red. She kinda looks like a tomato that’s just about pop open from rot. And, you know, I don’t really wanna look at that on my anniversary, so no nuts please.
Hostess: Okay… no nuts.
Man: Oh, and dairy too. That gives her hives all over her chest and since it’s our anniversary on Friday I hope to get to play with her fun bags at some point that night, so if you could tell the chef to avoid dairy, that’d be great.
Hostess: Will do. I’ll tell the chef. Thank you for call-
Man: And no gluten or mushrooms. Gluten givers her the runs. And she’s not really allergic to mushrooms, but I hate them, so I don’t wanna try to be making out with her later with some skanky ass mushroom breath, so just tell him that too.
Hostess: Our chef is a woman, but I’ll tell her.
Man: Really? A lady chef? Weird.
Hostess: Is there anything else?
Man: Yeah, she’s also allergic to wi-fi and electricity, so if you could just seat us away from the router or any electric outlets, that’d be great.
Hostess: She’s allergic to electricity, sir?
Man: No, no, no, not really allergic to it, just sensitive. Makes her all shaky. But don’t worry, it’s our anniversary and I got my own ways to make her shaky that don’t involve electricity, you know what I mean?
Hostess: We’ll see you Friday at 7:45.
Man: And if I can’t make her shaky, we got something else that does and it uses batteries.
If there is anything that really grinds my gears, it’s when a restaurant customer bases their tip on something that has absolutely nothing to do with the server. Case in point is Andrew who went to Olive Garden and encountered one of those ziosk*/tablet thingies on his table. Presumably while Andrew was filling his gullet with breadstick after breadstick, his child used the tablet in an effort to obtain the warmth and familial connection that he clearly wasn’t getting from his father. In the course of looking for love and parental guidance, the child played a few games that weren’t free and when Andrew got his check, he was not pleased with the extra charges on it.
“What in tarnation?” he cried. “I recognize this charge for Zoodles Primavera with Grilled Chicken and this charge for Lasagna Fritta, but what are all these other costs? This is an outrage, I tell you! An outrage!”
As parents are often wont to do, Andrew found his way to Olive Garden’s Facebook to complain about the situation. (Coincidentally, while Andrews was filing his official Facebook complaint, his child was also on Facebook searching for a support group for children of disinterested parents.)
“Bit sneaky Olive garden. Putting those stupid and pointless tablets on every table. Of course kids will gravitate to them. It is wrong that these tablets are ‘unlocked’ and should your child play with it they will run your bill up without any parent permission. This needs investigation and parental locks put in place.”
What Andrew fails to understand is that “parent permission” comes from he himself and not the Olive Garden Facebook page. It is Andrew’s responsibility to monitor what screen his child is staring at, no matter how strong the gravitational pull of said screen may be. Perhaps if Andrew could have taken two fucking seconds to see what his child was doing, he wouldn’t have to expect Olive Garden to do an “investigation.” Had he taken the time to do his own investigation, he would have then had two choices: ask the server to remove the kiosk from the table or tell his kid they are not allowed to play with the kiosk.
Now, here’s the part that gets me really angry. In the comments of his post, he tells the world how he offset these unexpected charges: he took it out of the tip. Even though the server had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that this child ran up some additional costs, Andrew thinks this is a good solution. The server had to lose money simply because Andrew couldn’t be bothered to see what the fuck his kid was doing.
Here is some advice for you Andrew: the next time you go out to eat, why don’t you interact with your kid instead of letting him stare at a screen? And if you are going to let him stare at a screen, why don’t you make sure you know what your kid is staring at. Sure, maybe this time it was just a silly little game on an Olive Garden ziosk that cost a few bucks, but what about the next time they’re staring at a screen? Maybe it they could be looking at porn or reading about how to make a pipe bomb orwatching YouTube videos of Nickleback.
Bottom line: Your kid. Your responsibility. To try to blame Olive Garden for this makes it look like you were being a lazy dad. And by taking that extra cost out of the tip makes it look like you’re a cheap asshole. Maybe you are neither of those things, but your Facebook comments show otherwise.
I had originally called the tablet a “kiosk” but now I know it’s called a “ziosk.” Please forgive me.
FOX News personality Tucker Carlson and his wife Janice were caught by the paparazzi earlier this week slipping out of an Alexandria, Virginia Applebee’s after allegedly taking advantage of a 25¢ boneless buffalo wing promotion. The two were accused of sitting at a booth meant for at least six people and then ordering 174 wings over the course of 35 minutes. Even more surprising than two people eating that many wings in such a short amount of time is that the esteemed journalist has an estimated net worth of $15 million and can certainly afford to pay more than a 25¢ per buffalo wing.
Says Applebee’s manager, Lauren Hamgrin, “I have never seen anything like that. The two of them were practically inhaling the wings and our kitchen couldn’t keep up with the demand. I had no choice but to ask them to leave. It simply wasn’t fair to our other guests who also wanted some boneless wings for a ridiculously low cost.”
Carlson’s server, Todd Watters, also had a difficult time with the hungry couple.
“I busted my ass for them, man,” says Watters. “I was so in the weeds from running their wings and filling up their waters with lemons that I didn’t have time to focus on my other tables at all. I accidentally gave them some wings with bones and they totally ate them anyway, bones and all. That’s when I asked my manager for help.”
It was at this point that the decision was made to give them their check and ask them to leave. Upon receiving their bill for a total of $46.11, Carlson took out a fifty-dollar bill and told his server to keep the change.
“That fifty was sweaty, like he had it stored in his ass or something,” Watters was heard saying.
This is not the first time the noted newscaster and avid Muppet fan has had an issue at a local eatery. Two years ago, Carlson got into a verbal altercation with a cashier at a Chick-fil-A when he had ordered seven pickle slices for his sandwich and only received six. At the time, Carlson blamed the vocal outburst on low blood sugar levels. No charges were filed, but he was permanently banned from all Chick-fil-A’s in the Washington DC metro area.
Carlson released a statement through his publicist explaining his side of the story:
“It was certainly not my intention to upset Applebee’s in any way. I simply wanted to enjoy their crunchy and delicious chicken wings. My wife Janice especially loves them since they are boneless and she was born without the ability to grow teeth. While Janice does in fact have teeth, suffice it to say that none of them are in her mouth. The service was wonderful and I was happy to leave an 8% tip to Todd which is a full 3% more than I normally leave a server.”
Anyone who works in the service industry has probably come close to losing their temper and going off on a customer. Let’s face it, it can be hard to keep our cool when a customer is yelling at us about something that isn’t our fault. That being said, NEVER THROW A BLENDER AT A CUSTOMER.
That’s what happened to Britany Price when she went through a McDonald’s drive-thru last month in Cincinnati, Ohio. After getting her order, she realized that part of it was incorrect, so she went inside to have it fixed as one would do. She waited 25 minutes for this order to be taken care, and after that amount of time, she returned to her car to get the rest of the food and ask for a refund. Understandably, she was upset. I mean, its McDonald’s. Nothing should take 25 minutes. Britany is seen in the video losing her cool and throwing the food at the manager. Okay, so maybe that wasn’t the best idea, but c’mon, she had four kids with her and McDonald’s couldn’t get their shit together to pack up a few freaking Happy Meals?
McDonald’s released a statement saying, “The safety of our customers and employees is of utmost importance to us. We are looking into this matter and will take the appropriate steps once our investigation is complete.”
Methinks there will soon be a job opening at a Cincinnati McDonald’s because I’m pretty sure that no mater how pissed off a customer makes you, you can’t be throwing kitchen appliances at them.
Moral of the story: if a customer ever gets so mad at you that they begin to throw food, simply take a deep breath, go into the walk-in cooler, and scream.
Thank you to Megan P. Howard for this guest post article about how to stay healthy and sane in a restaurant. -BW
Hospitality workers are the unsung heroes of the modern world, and I’m not just saying that because I am one.
Okay, I am, but it also happens to be true. Whether you’re in the kitchen, front of house, or working as a server, your job can be grueling, physically demanding, and often subjects you to some of the worst humans imaginable.
Think a bomb squad member or neurosurgeons have the most stressful job in the world? Nope. Research indicates that low-paid jobs with a high work-load result in a greater risk of heart problems and strokes. The researchers also linked disruptive shift patterns, which are quite common in restaurants to cancer and poor health. Furthermore, they believe people who work in high-stress jobs, take less care of themselves and tend to smoke and drink more.
So I get it. While you’re in the midst of lunchtime madness, it can be tough to keep perspective on your health. But it’s so, so important. Your physical and mental health are key to quality of life. Your life.
Follow these tips to make it easier to stay healthy at a restaurant job.
1. Don’t Skip Breakfast I know clichés are boring, but it turns out there’s something to that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” thing. Shift work isn’t always conducive to healthy eating habits. Make a commitment to a healthy breakfast, no matter what time of day you wake up. As much as possible, keep a regular schedule for breakfast. Stay away from cereal and processed foods. Eggs, fruits, almonds, and other healthy options will give you the energy to face your day, no matter how hectic your schedule. If you get meals at work, opt for nutrient-rich, fresh meals with lots of greens, proteins and healthy fats. Avoid loading up on “white” carbs such as white pasta and bread, as they can induce an after-dinner dip which wreaks havoc on the rest of your shift.
2. Keep Your Sleep On Track I am a person who likes my sleep. Seriously, I need my big fancy comforter and at least 8 hours of sleep and three cups of coffee before I’m ready to start my day. Irregular sleep hours and going without sleep can contribute to everything from hypertension, increased stress and lowered immune system, leaving you susceptible to every sniffle that passes through the restaurant. Adjust your sleep schedule so you can go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. That might mean missing out on your 7-8 hours. So take time to get in a quick nap here and there. Sleep hygiene is super important, so the goal is to give yourself a regular sleep schedule, no matter how unconventional it is. And if you’re like me, and you know you need more sleep, make sure your schedule allows for it, so you’re not a zombie at work.
3. Keep Moving When you’re working all day the last thing you want is advice that means spending more time on your feet. But unless you want pressure points and corns, you want to make sure you shift your feet and walk around. A good way to get through it is to make sure you have the right equipment. Get yourself some comfortable shoes for standing all day. If you’re working in front of house, and standing in one place a lot, find ways to walk the floor. If you’re a server and running back and forth is already in the job description? Make sure to take time to sit when you can.
4. Stay Hydrated Staying hydrated on the job isn’t always easy, especially in a hot kitchen. Resist the urge to drink coffee, which is a diuretic, and will only dry you out faster. Instead, bring a water bottle to make it easier and more convenient. You can fill up at work regularly. You should also incorporate fresh fruits and veg in your diet to stay hydrated in healthy ways.
5. Practice Mindfulness Whether you’re a server or a cook, chances are you’re really good at ignoring the signals your body is sending like, “hey when’s the last time you’ve eaten?” or “Ow, the finger I cut yesterday hurts!” We press on and do the job. But too much ignoring your body’s signals can really do a number on your overall health. And it doesn’t stop there. Restaurant jobs can do a number on your brain as well. With all the crap you get from customers, your colleagues, your manager, topped with a mountain of big and little things you have to keep in mind while working, stuff can get heavy.
A study by Mental Health America showed a correlation between the work environment in the food and beverage industry and a high level of mental health issues. Stress, low pay, long shifts, job insecurity, a toxic work culture, substance abuse and sexual harassment are all factors prevalent in this industry, and detrimental to anyone’s mental health. Several mental health programs have been launched for hospitality workers, for example: “I’ve Got Your Back” and “Fair Kitchens”. But as long as those programs have not been integrated into daily restaurant life, it’s up to you to take care of you. Mindfulness can be the first step. By being mindful, you stay in touch with how you feel. If your body hurts or you feel anxious or down, take action. Create pockets of rest or movement for yourself, and speak up about it. If your lack of breaks is starting to make you forget what it feels like to sit down during an eight hour period, talk to your employer about reasonable break times, so you don’t have to literally starve yourself to work. And yeah, take toilet breaks!
6. Get Your Exercise In If you’re like me, the last thing you want to do on your days off is hit the gym. But living on restaurant meals can really do a number on your waistline. As your job is already pretty physical, you want to stay able to lift those weighed down trays. Exercising will also help you get some anger and frustration out, and give you happy hormones. Instead of doing it because it’s good for you, find fun ways to keep yourself motivated. So how about a Fitbit contest at work? Yoga’s also great when it comes to staying balanced, and “un-cramp” those overworked limbs. So there are definite upsides to regular exercise. Also, you can totally crush Janet from Front of House, who is always bragging on her Fitbit scores.
If you like a gentle workout specifically for servers, try this great yoga routine by the lovely (and occasionally hilarious) yogi Adriene:
7. Take Care of Life Outside Of Work Make your life easier by forcing yourself out of the house on those days off. If you’re lucky enough to get two days off a week, schedule one of those days for errands, and the other for socializing. Give yourself at least one day to reconnect with friends, so they know you’re still alive. It’s a great opportunity to vent about the job and get back to yourself. Try to cultivate an outside-the-house hobby (Something that isn’t Netflix, perhaps?) to keep you from moping around the house on those few days you have off.
8. Cultivate Work Relationships
Speaking of socializing. It’s really important to develop a good working relationship with your co-workers. Not only are they the only ones who really get why you have a least favorite table, or the sheer horror of that moment when you realize that group of five are just getting appetizers (why do they need to sit here for four hours?!). But it’s also essential for a well-oiled team. Listen, you’re going to have sick days. And when you do, it’s a good idea to have people you can call. There are going to be days a group of 20 come in an hour before closing, and your co-workers are the only thing keeping you sane. So do yourself a favor and build a great relationship with the people you’re working with. Sure, there’s a chance you only see them at work, but it turns out, that’s a depressingly large amount of time!
Working in a restaurant a stressful job no matter your position. Shift work takes its toll on your health and the day-to-day stresses leave you exposed to kitchen dangers and rude and aggressive customers. Keeping a tight grip on your health is just one way to ensure you close out your shift with your sanity intact. And if you fail, there’s always steak knives.
I want two things: a shift drink and your email address!
Someday, if I ever get my act together, I might send out a weekly newsletter about the wonderful goings on of the restaurant industry. Or maybe I won't.