Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dine LA Brings Out the Cray Cray

I survived another Dine LA restaurant week.  Dine LA is the St. Patrick's Day for foodies.  Most of the people participating in it are amateurs, don't go out in public much, but somehow think they are culinary critics.  Pretty much all the people who write on Yelp.

I had three Asian ladies sitting in my section.  They were giving me a very bitchy vibe, but I tried to ignore it.  One of them was drinking wine, but they all were there for Dine LA.  When clearing the first course, the wine lady yells, "I'm not done with that!" when I tried to clear her plate.  She had her fork across her plate and only had a piece of lettuce left.

Then at some point, the wine lady snaps at my co-worker, holds up the wine menu and says she needs another glass.  Listen up:  Not all servers look alike, you racists!

They get their entrees, and then, the real bitchiness happens.  They call me over and the wine lady asks me about some of the greens on her Seabass.

"Is that dirt?" she asks.

"I can't really tell.  But it looks dark," I answer.  "It's really meant to be a garnish.  We use organic greens, so sometimes this happens.  I would be happy to have them make you a new plate."

"No, I like the fish.  I just didn't know if I was supposed to eat that.  I don't normally see dirt on things when I go out.  I didn't know if that was on purpose or an accident.  Should I eat it?"

"If you're not normally accustomed to eating dirt, then I wouldn't eat it."

Yes, I ACTUALLY said that to her.  Give me a break.  When you break this down, she was asking me if she should EAT DIRT.  Unless you're at a vegan restaurant, or you're 5 years old, who the hell would be serving and eating dirt?

They took it the wrong way because one of the friends chimed in.  "She was just asking a question.  I don't think she appreciated what you said.  Can we talk to the manager?"

"Okay."  And I walked off to tend to my two other tables near them, who were neglected because of my dirt debate with the whino.

I tell my manager.  She smooths things over and tells me that they are happy with the service and food.  Whatever!  So I go to clear their entree plates--very carefully this time--and the whino says to me, "You know, I was just asking you a question, you didn't have to take it personally!"

This is when I turn on the fake empathy and make them think that I care.  "I was just concerned that you weren't happy with your meal.  And I wanted you to enjoy your dining experience here."  Boom.

They have their desserts and then demand the check.  They give me three credit cards to split the check between them.  Then the whino lady says, "And take off the two glasses of wine!"  I just stared at her.  "Your manager said that she was going to comp them."

So I go tell my manager and sure enough, she didn't say that.  But like all people who complain, they did get a discount for being horrible people.  And I'm just waiting for the Yelp review.  Because Asian women are drawn to Yelp like Hello Kitty.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."










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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Yelp Auction

The more things I see and hear about Yelp makes me believe that this company is owned by the Nazis.  Extortion, pay-to-play reviews, and false info make this company a necessary evil for businesses in this day and age.  But it's not right, and now even the Yelpers are trying to cash in on the blood money.

I found this a few weeks back through Bitchy Waiter.  It's one of those lame "People Like Us On Yelp," stickers--a would-be 'badge of approval'--that was being auctioned off on Ebay.  My favorite part of this has to be the description of the item:


I have for auction something that you just can't put a price on. It took me 16 long, hard years to earn this and you can have it for just 1000 peso's. I have sweat, shed blood, walked miles, been a slave, worked my entire behind off (its really true, I can't even sit in a chair, I just fall straight to the ground), and downright given my soul for this sticker. It is BRAND NEW and still smells so fresh and so clean. Ready for you to place on the window of a really crappy establishment and fool people. When people see this sticker in the window, they know that they are about to get superior service, and exquisite food. You will make millions of dollars in your first month, and the money will never stop. Who needs Gordon Ramsey or John Taffer.........them guys don't have a clue. You don't need to re-decorate, no need for a menu change, just this sticker. You can totally cut your wait staff, people will be happy to serve themselves........You can even go down to one cook. People will wait for hours for their food. Imagine all the dough that you will save on labor! This thing will pay for itself......and it can be yours in just one click! Happy Bidding and congratulations on your first million! 

So apparently, all restauranteurs have had it wrong this whole time.  The restaurant I'm at right now doesn't need to be renovated.  We just need to get rid of the waitstaff, go down to one cook, and PRESTO!  Instant success.  All you need for success is just need this crappy sticker!  

And how the hell did it take this person 16 long years to get this sticker--which he sacrificed his soul for--and it's still "brand new?"  But bad news everybody though, it's been sold.  For a bargain of $46.00!!!  Which is way less than a 1000 pesos.  The person who bought it saved $31.00, AND will now be an instant millionaire from the flocks of customers that are going to be flooding the doors.  

Forget about being innovative, just stick with a menu from the 80's/90's.  The proud new owner of this sticker will now be ahead of the pack by having a cruise ship-like menu consisting of classics like Cherries Jubilee, Baked Alaska, and Quiche Lorraine.  YUMMY!!!  Wash all of that down with some Bartles and Jaymes wine coolers and you are ready to hit the town and go party at The Roxy.

The only thing people like on Yelp is attention.  Attention that they can get by hiding behind their keyboard and being a cancer to society.  Just like the guy who auctioned off this sticker, who calls himself a chef?, I can only say one thing to Yelp... GET BENT!!!

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."










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Friday, July 4, 2014

'Merica

Many years ago, we declared our independence from the tyranny of Great Britain, and began our journey as a country.  I'm sure that after signing The Declaration of Independence, the guys went out for drinks and apps at one of their favorite restaurants to celebrate the start of a sovereign nation.  And they were likely served by a waiter who wasn't able to get the day off, even though he had requested it off a month prior.

I can only hope that Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Richard Stockton, and the 53 others made it worth their server's while by tipping him well, because he was stuck working all day while they were getting drunk and waiving their Cocked Hats around while folk dancing to "Yankee Doodle."

The July 4th celebrations will continue on from today throughout the weekend.  Remember that bartenders and servers have not declared our independence from customers, so when you put your "John Hancock" on your credit card slip, leave a 20% tip.  Cash tips are greatly appreciated as well.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!!!  Launch your fireworks.  Eat hot-dogs and drink beer.  Sing the national anthem.  We deserve it.

Now tip your servers.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."








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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Check Yo Self!

When Ice Cube rapped about "Check Yo'self before you wreckidity-wreck Yo'self," I don't think he meant writing an ACTUAL check to pay for something in a place that normally doesn't accept checks.  But in 2014, we have come across a customer who wants to pay for his individual dinner, with a check.

This didn't even happen to me.  It happened to my buddy Max during his shift.  It had been an extremely weird week at work.  The night prior, I had my encounter with Steak Tits, and now Max was dealing with a character that even Stephen King couldn't make up.

An older gentleman, (and I use that term loosely,) wearing a gold velour jumpsuit, sat in Max's section one fateful night and decided to have his fill of alcohol and food.  And let me repeat... wearing a gold velour jumpsuit.

Our hostess Dana sat him, and the man paid no attention to her.  Then Max took over and suddenly the guy became increasingly infatuated with Dana, even though he completely ignored her.

"What's the name of the girl who sat me?' he asked.

"Dana," Max said.  He wasn't giving away any information that wasn't already available if you just looked at her nametag.

"Can you send her over here?  I want to talk to her."

"She's busy," Max replied.

"Well what's Dana's last name?"

"Oh, it's hostess.  Dana hostess."

At that point,  Max told Dana to go to the kitchen because this man, wearing the gold velour jumpsuit, was weirding him out, and thought it would be best for Dana to flee.

The man eats his meal and Max brings him his check.  The man proceeds to pull out his checkbook and begins filling out his information.

"Sir, we don't take checks.  We'll accept cash or credit card, but no checks," Max told him.

For me, I didn't even think they printed checks anymore.  Save a tree people!

"DON'T TELL ME HOW TO DO MY BUSINESS!  I DO MY BUSINESS MY OWN WAY!" he stated.  "And tell Dana I want to talk to her."

"She's on her break.  She won't be back for awhile.  And we still can't take checks."

Max went and got our supervisor who told the man the same thing Max did, and the man, wearing the gold velour jumpsuit made the same statement.  The man wrote his check, put it in the check presenter and gave it to Max.

Max opened the check presenter and looked at the check.  No joke, he wrote the check for 1 Trillion Dollars... AND... on the check he wrote,

"50 Million Dollar tip to Dana."

They ended up calling the cops and they took him away crying like a baby.  But this is what I am talking about!  We are not just servers or bartenders.  We deal with the wack and the wacky.  Be nice to your server, we deserve it.

And BTW, even though Dana is now a millionairess, she still kept her job hostessing.

It doesn't get any BITTER than this!

Ice Cube - Check Yo Self (1992) from Golden Era Videos on Vimeo.
Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.  "

Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."








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Friday, June 6, 2014

The Bitter Bistro Podcast 217 w/ Maite Schwartz #tipsforjesus

On Ep 217, I welcome Maite Schwartz to the Bistro.  I thought I had heard it all, but Maite tells some customer stories that you've got to hear to believe.  AND, she and her co-workers hit the server jackpot when they got a visit from the #tipsforjesus disciples.

Check out Maite's IMDB PROFILE

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Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."

The Bitter Bistro






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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

National Wait Staff Day-May 21st

Today is National Wait Staff Day!  Hell must be freezing over. 



That's right world, a day to recognize the people who:


  • make your mojitos
  • recommend wine pairings
  • put up with you ordering one drink at a time
  • tell you the specials
  • take your picture with 5 different cameras
  • clear your plates
  • seat you
  • take your reservations
  • get you more ketchup
  • get you more ranch
  • listen to you list everything you're allergic to
  • listen to you complain about the traffic and how long it took you to get to the restaurant
  • have to interrupt you when you're making out at the table
  • have to maintain professionalism even when your right boob has popped out of your dress
  • take your order when you're breastfeeding your child
  • bring you another knife when you can't see the one in front of you
  • split your check 
  • take 8 forms of payment
  • have to cut you off when you've had too much to drink
  • put up with you writing "can't tip. Mother of two" on the gratuity line
  • refill your water.  
  • refill your water
  • refill your water
  • refill your water
  • refill your water
  • put up with you when you say, "put some extra alcohol in my drink"
  • bring you hot water with lemon
  • bring you extra lemons
  • bring you another basket of bread
  • bring you more silverware
  • smile when you yell about how long it took for your food to arrive
  • smile when you complain about the color of our aprons
  • maneuver around your kids running around the restaurant when we are carrying drinks on a tray
  • sympathize with you when your blind date stands you up
  • get scrutinized by you on Yelp
  • get stiffed by White, Black, Mexican, German, Italian, Asian, Australian, Brazilian, Canadian, and French people

Uhg!  We should take the day off and just have our managers work.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."




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Friday, May 16, 2014

Steak Tits

The heat wave has made the freaks come out.  And as my luck would have it, they all sat in my section.  To say the least, my shift the other night was anything BUT dull.  I have previously stated in posts that all a customer has to do is complain about anything and they'll get something for free.  I stand corrected.

It seemed as if a giant trailer from a trailer park had pulled up in front of my restaurant and let out a bunch of people.  The people that sat in my section were a box-wine-drinking, demanding, and tube-top wearing bunch of hillbillies.

One woman sat herself at a table.  She responded to my "Hello, how are you tonight?" with,

"I want bread and butter."

I told her I would take her order first, and then bring some bread.

"How much is your cheeseburger?"

"Let me check," I replied.  I checked the price and came back.  "It's $21.00."

"That's too much.  I'll have a salad.  How big are they?"

I showed her how big they are and she shook her head and said, "I'll have bread and butter."

"Why don't you decide what you're going to order first?" I said.

"How much are your pizzas?"

"I'll get you the menu."  I went and got her a menu, pointed to the pizzas, and recommended which one she should get.  "This is our cheese pizza.  And it's only $15.00, so it's less than the burger.  You should get that."

She did.  And she asked for bread and butter.  I put in her order, then noticed that the table next to her, a group of five trailer park people, had invited her over to sit with them.  It was like the two trailer parks had merged into a double stack trailer park home.

She got her pizza.  I check on her, she gobbled the entire thing up.  Then the table ordered another pizza.  The woman ate most of that one too.  And then the woman, wearing her tube-top-dumpy-dress says to me,

"I'll have a steak."

This is the same lady who didn't get the cheeseburger because it cost too much.  So I replied, "The steak is $40.00.  Do you still want one?"

She did.  She got her steak and devoured that too.  It was an impressive display of eating at it's best.  Then I decided that I couldn't take it anymore, so I brought the table their checks.  One check for the five original diners (2 glasses of wine, and an app,) and one for the single lady (2 pizzas and a steak.)  The original five gave me cash for their small bill and I left to get them change.  When I came back, the single trailer park woman was standing at the expo line, with all of her cash laid out on the counter.

"Do you need me to get you some change," I asked.

"Actually I'm only going to pay for the steak because the pizzas were REALLY bad.  They tasted watery."

"Well that's interesting," I said, "because when I checked on you and asked how the pizzas were, you said with your mouth full that they were good.  So I'm going to need money for the steak AND the pizzas.  And I think the watery taste was because you were drinking water while eating the pizzas."

At this moment, my manager had walked up to help me.

Looking worried, the woman asked me how much money she had on the counter.  I counted it for her.

"You have $51.00, and your bill is $76.00."

"How short am I?" she asked.  Obviously eating took precedence over mathematics in her culture.

"You're short $25.00," I told her.

Then she did something very... interesting?  She put her hands down the front of her tube top and started rubbing her nipples under the top.  Almost as if she was trying to use some sort of boob power to distract me and my (female) manager from her lack of funds.  My manager had no part of it, and I actually felt sick because her breasts were not as impressive as her eating abilities.

"I don't have enough money," she groaned.

My manager stepped in.  "Well, maybe you could ask your friends for some money, or we're going to have to call LAPD, because that would be stealing."

She continued to grope herself and slowly walked off saying she would try to find her friend.  We followed her throughout the restaurant, lounge, and lobby until she finally found her friend.  She managed to come up with twenty more dollars, and after an hour and a half of this, we decided to just eat the last five dollars.  And of course, no tip!

When I finally got back to the restaurant, a woman from the other table had been waiting for her change.  I told her what had happened.

"We didn't even know her."  The woman explained.  "We just asked her to join us because she was eating alone.  But then she wanted us to pay for her steak.  I gave her money for one of the pizzas, but we weren't going to pay for her steak!"

Lesson learned.  Not all trailer park people know each other, and you can't pay for steak with titties.
  
Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."

The Bitter Bistro







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