Monday, September 15, 2014

You Got Yelped!!!

Meet M S from Los Angeles, CA.  A woman, who in typical Yelper-cowardly fashion, has hidden her face in her profile pic because she doesn't want the world to know what she looks like when she writes pointless reviews on Yelp.

What makes this review even more repulsive than most is the fact that she blames the restaurant for her allergy.  Another person who failed to disclose important information that could've possibly killed her, and now it's the restaurant's fault.




I had the Brussel sprouts and blue crab grilled cheese my first visit here. Less than 2 hours after my meal here I break out in hives. The Brussel sprouts were tasty and had a good portion served. But the blue crab grilled cheese was what I was allergic too. 

I have an allergy to poor grammar.  M S must have been taught by Yoda.  "Taste the brussel sprouts had."

The owner wrote a very apologetic message to me and invited me to come back and give them another chance as they wanted to make it right. Though I honestly appreciate the gesture, my allergic experience was so bad it was enough to scare me away as I cannot potentially put my health at risk again by eating their food. I did recover but it took many days of antihistamine pills, and walking around with huge well which I still have scars from more than a month later. I've eaten she'll fish since then and everything has been all good. 

What a crackwhore!  So it's possible that she didn't know she was allergic to crab, but the fact that the owner stepped up to remedy the situation and she blames them is beyond me.  And if she had been "walking around with huge well" for a month, she wouldn't had scars, she would've had a bad back.  I'm glad she has recovered, but eating "she'll fish" wasn't the problem.  The problem was Blue Crab.

Thanks for your sincere apology and attention TLT, GREAT customer service which is why I'll give you 2 stars but I can't bring myself to return for the food.

I think TLT is getting the better end of this deal.  You don't need weirdos like her.  BUT, here's where I give TLT credit, they responded to M S on Yelp.  If you don't know, owners can reply to Yelpers to try to make the situation right.  Check out what the GM, Zach W., wrote:

Dear MS,
Thank you for your feedback. I am happy to hear that you have recovered from your allergic attack. Food allergies are a scary and could be a life threatening issue to deal with. The same day you ate here, we served several dozen Blue Crab Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and unfortunately, you were the only customer with any allergic or negative reactions. We have contacted Sysco Foods, the distributor of the product, and they received no similar cases or reports at the time. It is frightening when our bodies let us down, but publicly blaming the food or restaurant because you had an allergic reaction isn't right. If you need to blame us to feel better, go ahead. We're just happy you're back to feeling better. We have maintained an A rating since we've opened and constantly put a ton of attention and detail to proper health and safety practices. We strive to deliver a 5 star experience and it is important to know of any food allergies prior to dining so we can better serve you.
Best Regards,
Zach W.
GM, TLT Food

BRAVO ZACH!  BRAV-FRICKIN-O!  "...publicly blaming the food or restaurant because you had an allergic reaction isn't right."  You hear that M S?  It sucks that you had a reaction, but you should be thanking them either way.  Either you discovered that you have an allergy to Blue Crab, or you were too dumb to let them know that you're allergic to Blue Crab.  

I figured out what M S stands for... Majorly Stupid!

YOU GOT YELPED M S !!!

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

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










TWITTER
PODCAST
FACEBOOK
THE BITTER BISTRO

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Bitter Bistro Podcast 219 w/RuthAnn Thompson

Meet RuthAnn Thompson.  A sweet girl with a great smile, but you piss her off, she'll spit fireballs at you and beat you with the bar mat.


On iTunes
On Stitcher

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

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










TWITTER
PODCAST
FACEBOOK
THE BITTER BISTRO

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Run Lesbian! RUN.

This is the year of the con artist.  I cannot tell you how many times I have had people come into my restaurant, drink and eat, and then claim they don't have any money on them to pay.  What year is this?

The latest person to attempt this heist is definitely my favorite to date.  She's a short, butch, acerbic-Lesbian, who wore "Tom Cruise" Ray Bans, and a black ball cap that was tilted to the side.  And didn't have a problem telling me she's a Lesbian, or whatever else was on her mind.  Now before any Lesbians take offense to me using the L-word, I'm just trying to paint the picture.  I have members of my family and friends who are Lesbians, and I have no problem saying that they can throw a football farther than me, and also take me to the hoop.  (SIGH.)

She sat on the patio and started out by having a couple of glasses of wine, saying that she was going to be meeting with somebody in a couple of hours.  Her friend arrives, (a woman,) and she decides to switch to a bottle of wine for the two of them.  They order food, order another bottle, and another one, and now it's almost 11 at night.  Did I mention that the Lesbian started at 4 in the afternoon?

I must admit that I was amused with her banter about how she wanted to get away from West Hollywood, because it was too gay for her--is that like a synagogue being too Jewish?--but I wanted to get the hell out of there because she was my last table.

I drop her almost $400.00 check, and did my fake walk-away/ walk-back, make my surprised "you haven't put out a form of payment" look.  She tells me she's working on it and I get my supervisor involved.  He tries to get her to pay only to have her reveal that...

SHE DOESN'T HAVE ANY MONEY!

Then she tells us that although she doesn't have any cash or a credit card, she has a credit card number for us to use.  I tell her that doesn't work for us, so she tries to barter her Macbook Pro for the bill.  At this point, her friend looks nervous and weirded out.  We tell her that she needs to come up with the money ASAP.  She says she'll contact some friends.

At this point, her friend starts walking through the lounge and the restaurant telling me that she's "looking for somebody."  Is that somebody named "ATM" by any chance?

I decide to keep an eye on the Lesbian Tom Cruise to make sure she doesn't make a run for it.  From afar, I see her drunkenly scope out her situation, get up and stumble towards the door into the lounge.  Before she can open the door, she drops her bag and her Macbook Pro comes crashing to the ground.  So much for the barter!  She quickly composes herself, and then slowly makes her way to the side door to the street.  I follow her.

The next thing I saw made me wish that I had filmed this entire night.  As Lesbian Tom Cruise made her way down to the sidewalk, she starts doing this weird-short-Lesbian type run.  Imagine Forrest Gump, but as a troll with sunglasses, carrying an oversized bag on her shoulder, trying to run for the first time but without learning how to walk first.

"So, are you not going to pay your bill?" I ask her.

Surprisingly, she stops.  "I am, but I've been waiting for that guy for over an hour."

"What guy?"

"That manager guy.  I've been trying to pay."

"You can still pay, if you want.  It's just easier to pay if you're still on property."

You walks back to the front of the building, and I guide her to a place where she can sit down and still be watched.

"Where is that guy?  I've been trying to pay for over an hour!" she demands.

"He will be back.  Sometimes time seems to stand still when you're drunk," I tell her.  She didn't get it.

Finally my supervisor returns, along with security, and I was relieved of my Lesbian detail.  Cops were called, and they even gave her a chance to pay the bill.  She offered her credit card number to them, and they accepted it.  Only not for the bill, but for a trip to jail.  Her friend was only guilty by association and was let go.  I was let with no tip.

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

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










TWITTER
PODCAST
FACEBOOK
THE BITTER BISTRO

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Empty Restaurant Syndrome

When Charles Dickens wrote, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," he must have worked in a restaurant that used to be booming, but had come crashing to a halt.  Time cannot be crueler, than time standing still in an empty restaurant.

I've noticed that restaurants have busy and slow seasons.  Yes, there are some restaurants that are busy 365 days a year.  Spago in Beverly Hills is one of those places.  But for the rest of us peons who couldn't get hired at one of the cash-cows, we work at places that suffer from great highs, and extreme lows.  When it gets close to tax time, my restaurant is slow.  When the holidays roll around, business picks up with parties and bosses acting like they care by paying for the company to have a 3-course meal.

Right now I am in the midst of the slow season.  School just started.  Families are adjusting to their fall schedules.  Whatever!  This in turn has given me ample time to reflect on my life and how long I have been in the service industry.  It has not been positive reflection.  I have told you guys many times that I have worked in this industry for 15 years.  To say that I have made my way around the Los Angeles restaurant scene is an understatement.  I have been fired from hotels and restaurants like a high class call girl working the Polo Lounge, but I didn't make as much money.  But I do have pimps, they're just called managers.

When I have a customer, they have my attention, I give great service, and they leave happy.  But then the "empty restaurant syndrome" begins like a clock ticking until the next reservation, or walk-in comes into the restaurant.  As much as I want some customers to hurry up and leave, I feel the same way about wanting them to come in.

Comedian Bret Ernst has a great joke about waiting tables.  He hated waiting for customers to show up, and when they did, he'd shout, "WHY DO THEY HAVE TO EAT HERE?"  Ah, so true.

What's even better is when, on a slow night, I approach some guests and the first thing they say to me is, "when does it get busy here?"  Now I need to be able to make people magically appear out-of-nowhere.  I'll just add ILLUSIONIST to my abilities as a server.

The worst thing about having EMPTY RESTAURANT SYNDROME is having to spend extra time with a manager.  No server wants to do that.  

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

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










TWITTER
PODCAST
FACEBOOK
THE BITTER BISTRO


Sunday, August 24, 2014

How Not To Order Drinks At A Bar

The other night, I found myself back behind the bar again.  The restaurant had another buyout from USC, so I was once again entranced with the likes of Tommy Trojan.

One thing that they don't teach at this university is how to behave at a bar.  The following were actual interactions that I had while behind the bar:




An Asian girl walks up to my bar, and I ask her what she would like to drink.

"Vodka."

"Vodka and what?" I ask.

"Vodka." she says.

"One vodka and vodka coming right up."

Then I had the pleasure of another gentleman come up to the bar and order his drink.  He was okay with his ordering, but what wasn't okay was the way he smelled.  He smelled like farts.  Not like he had farted and it followed him, but his body odor was farts.  Needless to say, he had a shitty personality.

My last story revolves around a girl who ordered a drink that I have never heard of before at a bar.  Not that she ordered a cocktail that I had never heard of, but an alcohol and a mixer that should never be said out loud again.

"I want a whiskey and Dr. Pepper," she ordered.

I couldn't help but laugh.  What bar has Dr. Pepper?!  Gotta love the Trojans.

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

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










TWITTER
PODCAST
FACEBOOK
THE BITTER BISTRO

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Bitter Bistro Podcast 218--The Bitter Diaries

Just me on this episode.  I rant about stuff that is happening in the service industry over the past couple of weeks.

Listen on iTunes
Listen on Stitcher

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

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








TWITTER
PODCAST
FACEBOOK
THE BITTER BISTRO

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

6 Joke Degrees from Robin Williams

I always thought Robin Williams was an amazing talent.  "Mrs. Doubtfire" and "Dead Poet's Society"  are two of my favorite films. As an improver, I admired how quick he was to pull from his bag of tricks to justify anything that was going on in that moment.
There was, however, a bad stigma with him and stand-up comics because he had a reputation of being a joke thief.  Joke stealing happens more often than not, (unfortunately,) but when you have a celebrity status--like Robin--the label became somewhat legendary.

BUT, they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Pope Benedict won the crown of Big Popa April 19th, 2005.  Cardinal Francis Arinze was a forerunner to take the crown before losing to Benedict.  Cardinal Francis is from Nigeria.  After Last Pope Standing had concluded, I started doing a joke about what it would be like to have a Black Pope:  POPE DADDY!  I did the joke for the first time at The Hollywood Improv.



About two years later, I was doing a show at Room 5 in Hollywood.  While I was unnervingly watching the host do way too much time in-between comics, he started on a premise about having a Black Pope.  It's not a crime to have your own take on a premise, but when I noticed that his pacing, punchlines, and act out to conclude the joke were the same as mine... I decided to have a little talk with him.

I mentioned that I have a very similar joke and that if we are ever on the same show again, he shouldn't be doing it.  The host tells me that people steal good jokes all of the time.  He then defends himself by saying that he saw Robin Williams doing the same joke, and that's where he got it.

Entertain the angels Robin Williams.  Thanks for the flattery.

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

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










TWITTER
PODCAST
FACEBOOK
THE BITTER BISTRO