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.
This might be the most valuable piece of information you will see all day.
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.
This week, MTV announced an upcoming show call Ghosted: Love Gone Missing. It’s a docu-series that features two hosts helping distraught individuals track down and confront former lovers, family members or friends, all in an effort to get to the bottom of why these people suddenly disappeared. The show seems a bit invasive and “stalky” tracking down people who bounced out of relationships. Like, I can’t imagine it’s going to give much closure to a woman who finally finds the guy she dated two times six months and finds out why he ghosted her. (Spoiler alert: he just wasn’t that into you and didn’t have the emotional maturity to tell you.)
But this show got me thinking about a much better TV show that all of us in the restaurant industry would watch: Stiffed: Tip Gone Missing. It’s a series hosted by me and I help pissed off servers track down and confront restaurant customers, all in an effort to get to the bottom of why these people who received great service and were totally appreciative suddenly left a big, fat goose egg on the tip line.
Can you imagine how awesome this would be? With the help of detectives and private investigators, we’ll scour the country to find the garbage dumpster people who led us to believe that our service was top-notch and then bailed on us without so much as a 5% tip. The confrontations would be epic.
Bitchy Waiter approaches middle-aged white woman with an “I want to speak to the manager” haircut
BW: Excuse me, Karen? Karen who dined out at Olive Garden on June 12th, 2017, is that you?
Karen: Yes, my name is Karen… what are you talking about?
BW: Does this look familiar?
BW whips out an Olive Garden receipt totaling $68.45
BW: Is this your signature?
Karen: (eyeing the receipt) Yes, that’s my signature, what is this about?
BW: Care to explain this??
dramatic music as BW points to the zero scrawled on the tip line
Karen: Oh, well…uh…I didn’t leave a tip that day because the restaurant was too loud and my baby was trying to take a nap.
Karen’s server, Brittney suddenly appears from behind a hedge
Brittney: Bitch, that didn’t have anything to do with me! I gave you great service and brought you so many freaking bread sticks even though I knew you were putting them in your purse. And then you stiff me?? Naw, bitch.
Karen: Well, you also let my glass of iced tea get too low once.
Brittney: Hell, no. I filled that glass ten fuckin’ times and the one time I let it get almost empty, you’re gonna stiff me?
camera pans over to Bitchy Waiter as Brittney berates Karen in the background
BW: That’s it for this week on Stiffed. Tune in next time when we travel to Kyle, Texas with Robert who wants to know why a certain Mr. Ray Jackson stiffed him six months ago at the Texican Cafe even though he specifically told his server “everything was great.”
Now THIS is a TV show we can all get behind, am I right? Share the hell out of this and let’s make it happen!
A woman in Moscow, Idaho learned this week what exactly can happen when one lets a toddler run around barefoot in a restaurant. Mary Jo Foney took her 3-year-old Joanie to lunch at popular area restaurant, Doug’s Donuts Diner. “We wanted to go to the Applebee’s over on Warbonnet Drive, but I couldn’t find a parking spot close to the front door so we gave up and went to Doug’s,” says Foney. Once inside, Joanie quickly removed her shoes and began wandering around the restaurant completely unsupervised. What followed was a true tragedy.
Long time server, Honey B. Adger, knew it was not a good idea. “The moment I saw that little girl throw her shoes off, I knew it was going to be a problem. Them floors are a mess.”
Within two minutes, Joanie got a splinter on her heel from the well-worn hardwood floors. The tyke began crying and went to seek comfort from her mother. As she walked back to the table, her other foot grazed a piece of broken glass that had been there for two days when a bus boy dropped a tray of water glasses. “I saw it there yesterday, but didn’t get around to picking it up,” confirmed Adger. Now, with both of her feet hurt, Joanie’s wailing became louder and she began to run toward her mother. This is when she stubbed her toe on the high chair she had refused to sit in only minutes before. Coincidentally, this is the exact moment that a child at Booth 10 dropped an entire box of Legos onto the floor which Joanie promptly stepped on. As she fell to the ground, a 9″ rusty nail made it’s way into the arch of her left foot.
“I knew that was there too, but Honey B. Adger don’t care.”
By this point, the youngster’s feet are in severe pain. Suddenly, and without warning, someone across the restaurant yelled out, “the floor is lava!” and began counting down. Five seconds later, for reasons unknown, the floor did in fact turn into hot molten lava. The splinter, glass, stubbed toe, Lego injury, and rusty nail were no longer of consequence as the skin on the soles of her feet began to bubble and burn. Unfortunately at this time, a line cook accidentally spilled a box of salt, most of it landing directly in the wounds.
As the manager of the restaurant tried to assist the child, Mary Jo Foney was seen logging onto Yelp to leave a 1-star review. She also requested that her meal be wrapped up to go and that it be comped for her trouble.
Paramedics were called to the scene and the child was air-lifted to St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center in Boise where she is suffering from third-degree burns, gangrene, tetanus, scurvy, encephalitis, tendonitis, appendicitis, conjunctivitis and an unexplained rash on her neck that may or may not be poison ivy. Says chief of staff Dr. N.B. Carres, “If her mother made her wear her damn shoes in the restaurant, we wouldn’t even be here talking about this right now.”
The little girl is expected to make a full recovery.