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Showing posts from August, 2013

5 Ways To Not Annoy Your Bartender

I haven't been a full-time bartender for a couple of years, but occasionally I will work a private party or banquet event, and they will throw me behind the bar.  Getting back up on that bike was fine after pouring the first couple of drinks, but I found that even though bartending has evolved into mixology--consisting of muddling fresh herbs and exotic fruits and herbaceous bitters--the one thing that hasn't evolved is how people act while waiting to order a drink.

The other night I was bartending a party sponsored by "Svedka" vodka, "Peroni" beer, and "Hint" water.  Those items were being hosted while the rest of the items at my bar were not hosted.  Meaning, the vodka and beer and water were all free, the rest was not.  And what that usually means for a bartender is that most people go for the free loot, and bypass the tip.

Most of the conversations at the bar went like this:

"I'll get a Jack and Coke," said one thirsty moocher.

May The Crumbs Be With You

Customers are attracted to dirty tables like the Millennium Falcon being pulled by the Death Star's tractor beam.  (SW reference!)

It's bad enough watching customers jump from table to table, but ending up at a table that's dirty, what the hell is wrong with these people?  It's as if these customers want to be able to start out by telling us what to do, "can you clean up this table?," followed by the usual "get this and that" with the no thank-you conversations.

What's even more weird is that these same people sit at the table WHILE we are cleaning it off.  So what they're telling us is that they have some kind of crumb fetish because they sit watching us wipe down the tables as some of the crumbs and dirt spills over to where they are sitting.

"Oh yeah!  Wipe right there!  Oh, look at those crumbs, and lamb leg bones."

I'm surprised they don't ask me to wrap us any leftover food that's on the table.  It's like the…

YOU GOT YELPED !!!

Just when you think that Yelp could not get any worse, I've discovered another path of destructive Yelpers who are... wait for it... Yelping about places of worship!  That's right.  Even with the separation of Church and State, apparently Yelpers think that their reviews will be the "arms length distance" between the two.

Meet Maria A.  It seems that Maria is in need of some enlightenment.  However she chooses to find in through her written Yelp paragraphs.  If Yelp were a bible, she would want to have her own section.  So this one is from the book of Maria A., and the "A" could only mean "ASININE."

Maria writes about her experience at a Jewish temple in Beverly Hills.

We've Got Personality, Yes We Do. We've Got Personality, How 'Bout You?

I rode the bench a lot while on the basketball team in high school.  That gave me a lot of time to get to know my friend Craig, develop a bitterness which was the genesis for what fuels me now, and also to learn every single cheer the cheerleaders did.  (What the hell did you expect me to say?  I didn't play unless we were up or down by 20 points with a minute left in the game, so I'm glad I used the time to my advantage.)

Some of my favorites were:  "Be aggressive.  B-E-Agressive.  B-E-AGGRESSIVE.  AGGRESSIVE.  B-E-Aggressive!"  Or, "We've got spirit, yes we do.  We've got spirit, how 'bout you?"

So what the hell does this have to do with the service industry?  EVERYTHING!  First off, what sparked this post was an inspirational speech given by one of my general managers during a pre-shift.  To remind you guys who don't know, pre-shift is when all front of house staff gets together before the reservations stroll in, and we discuss what we n…

Nowhere To Go But Up

I've got news for people who think that it's okay to look down on their server and think that they're better than them, those days are out like A-Rod's testosterone count.  (Too soon?)

And in case some of you are wondering, when I say the word "server," I am encompassing the service industry as a whole.  Servers, bartenders, bussers, food-runners, hosts, etc.  Now that we are on the same page, those of you who think your job is better, or that I have this job is because I don't have a college education, or don't have goals in my life... Eat Glass!

If you've been listening to my podcast, (CLICK HERE,) I have touched on this issue with many of my guests.  Truth be told, with tips, I make more per hour than a lot of 9 to 5'ers make in 18 months of work.  And the reason why?  I have become good at showing people a good time.

With the skill set that I have, I could literally pack my bags tomorrow, fly across the world, and find employment at some …

Good Tips for Good Karma

I've posted quite a bit about getting poor tips from many different customers, both foreign and domestic. Yes, it's frustrating and irritating when this happens. I think my frustration is split evenly between people still not knowing how to tip properly, (mostly overseas customers,) and the fact that I still depend upon people's generosity to provide for my family and pay my bills.

However, not all tips are bad. Through my tirades and bitching, I have made a difference in the way some people tip. For example, my parents consistently tip 20 percent. Although it's mostly because their son works in the industry, but nonetheless, it's 20 percent.

And then there's the power of the Internet. I have come across many stories of a "random" person who left some outrageous tip for some unsuspecting server or bartender.  Take the story below for instance.  Thanks to my friend Joan, who posted this on my Facebook, I was able to learn how a man's dying wish …