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."

The Bitter Bistro
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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


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

That's What She Said

The title of this post seems fitting to what happens in a restaurant on a daily basis.  We harass the crap out of each other.  (Allegedly.)  The fact that a place wants to cover their ass in case someone files a sexual harassment suit is understandable, but handing out a handbook with the title "Sexual Harassment Training" is telling us that it's a book to teach us how to sexually harass our co-workers, and we are going to take advantage of it.  Because a restaurant is not complete without sexual harassment.

There's really not a day that goes by where somebody finds a way to use the "that's what she said" line.  It's almost second nature.  It's a great way to make any conversation that much better, take a jab at somebody, and keep you on your toes.  (That's what she said.)

And it never fails that after a seminar for sexual harassment, the sexual harassment level rises exponentially for the next week.  Because it's on our minds.  I think it would be weird if that didn't happen.  I'm not saying that restaurant workers go around and draw inappropriate pictures on all of the walls, (allegedly,) but we have been known to slap an ass here and there, just to let a co-worker know that they've done a good job.  And that's just the girls.

The kitchen staff are one of the worst offenders of this, and it's hilarious!  A bunch of men doing everything but touch each other inappropriately can provide hours of entertainment on slow nights in a restaurant.

It's almost like sports, except we're at a place that's not as fun... or actually fun at all.  That's how we make it fun.  If your favorite restaurant has a happy staff, chances are the sexual harassment is running high and they are all making comments that the Human Resources Director would have to cover his ears and run away.

So thanks for the manual.  I will be referencing it on a daily basis and probably adding some techniques of my own or ones that I think of down the line.  (Allegedy.)  Rest assured, no one has been harmed by this blog post, rather, it was encouraged.  And if you're sitting in my section, and I catch your eyes gazing at other parts of my body and not up at my face, then I know you've approved of this post yourself.  

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

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

The Bitter Bistro


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mother's Day Brunch for the Masses Not the Mamas

Mother's Day is almost here.  In honor of the woman who squeezed you out of a hole the size of a lime, you show her your appreciation with Hallmark Cards, corsages, and making a reservation at four different restaurants for brunch.

Why not get her more than one corsage?  Multiple Hallmark Cards?  No?  Making reservations at more than one restaurant is a lame idea as well.

I was glancing over the reservations at my restaurant the other night and saw a long list of people coming in for brunch on Mother's Day.  To a server, this should mean (CHA CHING!)  But working in the industry as long as I have has taught me to not believe anything reservation until I see their annoyed faces crammed into my section.


The restaurant may or may not take a credit card to hold your reservation, so we are counting on you to show up.  And by counting on you, that means that we will be setting up tables to accommodate your party size, schedule the appropriate amount of staff to work for that many reservations--not only on the restaurant floor, but also in the kitchen, and sacrifice time with our own mothers to be at work... serving you.

"But we're not sure where everybody will want to eat?" said by the multiple reservation makers.

How about you decide BEFORE you call or go online to make the reservation?  No?  Still having problems.  I suggest putting all the names of the restaurants that you want to go to in a hat, then blind-fold the one member of your family that is being indecisive to pick out a name, spin them around a couple of times, and then everybody ditch that idiot, walk out the door and go to the first place on the list.  (Besides, you are losing precious Bloody Mary drinking time with all of this wasted decision making.)

Since most people are counting on this Mother's Day to be the best, let's start by making an effort to confirm one reservation, and show up on time.  


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

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

The Bitter Bistro


Friday, May 2, 2014

Size Matters

When a guy hears that size doesn't matter, think again.  Well, for the obvious and also for food.  I recently have been getting a lot of questions about how big the dishes are at my restaurant.  These inquiries have gone way beyond the "I don't want a huge amount of food" type of people.

Just the other night, a couple kept me for longer than needed at the table because of their questions about the size of all of our fish entrees.  In my college nutrition class, I was taught that a serving size of fish should be no bigger than the size of a check book.  Unfortunately, nobody knows what the hell a checkbook is anymore.

So I'm stuck using my hands to describe the size of the fish.  But if you were watching me, you probably would be thinking that I was describing the size of my penis by the way I was showing the distance between my thumb and fingers.  By as it may, a serving size of fish is about the size of an average penis.

But customers don't even grasp the idea of inches or weight.  I still get stuck with,

"Is that a lot of food.  I'm not really THAT hungry."

So I can now add "dietician" to the many roles that servers play.  Here's an idea:  Order what you want, and when you don't feel hungry anymore, STOP EATING!  Just because it's in front of you doesn't mean it has to go in your mouth.  And I am talking about food here, not what I had mentioned in the above paragraphs.

The same goes for the people who want to try a "taste" of all the wines like they're at Yogurtland.  And by no means is that a slam to Yogurtland.  Yogurtland is saving America as far as me, my wife and dog are concerned.  But I don't see how having a "taste" of many different varietals of wine is going to help you select one.  As far as I'm concerned, you are making me waste my time walking back and forth between the bar and the table just so you can get a free buzz.

I actually got this question from this couple from the other night,

"Which Rose Champagne is the most effervescent?"

And that was asked by the husband.  Effervescent?  Isn't that the name of a band?  Wait, that's "Evanescence."  But I tell you what, I can eat a bunch of beans and then I can be effervescent.  Sound good?  And I believe that would be the anus varietal.

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

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

The Bitter Bistro