Thursday, May 28, 2015

LA Times Doesn't Want You to TIP Your Server!

The minimum wage is Los Angeles is supposed to be raised to 15 dollars by the year 2020.  LA follows other cities like Chicago and Seattle by making the minimum wage more tolerable to the increasing costs of living.

This could be fantastic news to those of us who work in the service industry.  That would mean that many of us WOULD actually be getting money on our paychecks.  If you still live under a naive rock, servers don't get money on the paychecks because all of it is taken out for taxes because the wage is so low.  And even lower in places on the East coast like New York and Pennsylvania.

I have come across more than the usual backlash about tipping, and even worse, people wanting to do away with tipping all together.  While making a better wage does sound appealing, doing away with tipping is going to sacrifice the dining experience all together.

Case in point, an article written by a man who doesn't work in the service industry.  Perhaps at one time, he did--when he still had a soul.  But for sake of this post, he no longer works in the service industry because his taxes state that he is a columnist for the LA Times.  And I always thoroughly enjoy somebody who doesn't work in my business who thinks they know what the hell they're talking about.

David Lazarus wrote this article (LINK) about how archaic the whole process of tipping has become, and in fact, we are the last of the countries to still practice the tipping standard.  Claiming that although Europe started the tipping practice, they no longer uses it as their service industry people somehow have magically become wealthy, earning a higher than average salary, while still putting up with customers.  But they still hold the title for being some of the worst tippers of all time.

UHG!!!

If the acronym is true or not, T.I.P.S. is To Insure Proper Service.

We are there for you to have a great time, where you don't have to do anything but eat, drink, and be whatever.  But, by not tipping, restaurant owners are going to have to sacrifice what customers are accustomed to getting:  Free refills on sodas, ice-t, and coffees.  Big portions.  And being able to order off of the menu.

Menu prices were dramatically increase, meaning that people won't go out as much, and the places that you once liked to eat at, will no longer be there.

The only saving grace for the cheapos is that there will still be restaurant deals on Groupon, Living Social, and the "I Hate Spending Money in Restaurants but Still Expect Great Service" sites.

All because you didn't like tipping your server.

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 22, 2015

#nationalwaitstaffday

Yesterday was National Waitstaff Day.  A day of remembrance, and sovereignty.  Where people were asked to, "be nice to your waiters and bartenders, and tip them 20 percent.  Much like Mother's Day, and Father's Day, we now need another "special day" to remind people to be nice to people who serve their food and drinks.  This world is ridiculous.  I would rather customers just be nice, and if they don't, then just be the assholes that they always are, and then we servers just talk about them in the side-station.

Here's an example of how customers can get into our heads and make us feel like we are idiots:

The other night, a man and a woman were sitting in my section.  Right away, this sounds like how all of my stories start.  The man starts questioning me about the food.

"My wife and I only eat fish.  We don't eat meat," he stated.

"The Branzino and the Salmon are both delicious," I answered.

"I think I'm going to have the Salmon," said the man.  "Does it come with a sauce?"

"No.  It's seared and served with a fava puree, wheat berries, and greens.  The fish is lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, and tastes great without a sauce," I told him.

"No sauce?  So it's plain?"

"Yes."

"They don't put anything on it?  Are you sure?  Do you know the menu?  You're not selling me on the Salmon," he said.

"We don't put sauces on the fish.  But I'll go ask the Chef to double check that I know what I'm talking about.  I have to help out four other tables right now.  I'll be back."

"Yeah, see if somebody knows if there's a sauce," he begged.

Happy #NATIONALWAITSTAFFDAY

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, May 19, 2015

Customer's Got Talent

America's Got Talent?  Hell, no!  Customer's Got Talent!  Seriously, customers can do it all:  Bitch.  Praise.  Complain.  Eat.  Criticize.  Argue.  Drink.  And, make funny sounds.

The other night, I had a couple sitting in my section and they were celebrating the man's birthday.  I got roped into the usual conversation about "what else do you do besides wait tables?"  And I know, you never know who knows whom in this town, so I try to be nice when answering the question, but when I tell people that I'm a stand-up comedian, it just opens the door to people saying they have always wanted to try stand-up, and has them trying out jokes and random material on me, and it usually leaves me just staring at them.

Well, the man decided to tell me that he's getting back into acting.  Specifically because he's very good at making certain sounds.  To be honest, not something I hear everyday.  And, I'm also good at making certain sounds.  Especially after eating from a Taco Truck.

"I can sound like a chicken, a duck, a fire engine, a pigeon, and like an airplane landing," he boasted.

"I don't think a lot of people can do an airplane landing," I added.  "Taking off, and flying.  But not landing.  So you're trying to get into voice-overs?"

"No.  Regular acting with those sounds.  I do the sounds on my wife all the time--"

"--he does," she interrupted.  "All the time."

"You're very talented, sir.  Have you decided what you'd like to eat?"

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

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









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IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!




Friday, May 15, 2015

Server Tweets of the Week

Some people in the service industry that I follow on Twitter say the best things.  Here are some of my favorites over the past week:






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

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









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IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day Veterans

Yes, the service industry survived another Mother's Day.  That is such a weird way to start my conversation with you.  It's like surviving a World War, but putting yourself voluntarily through it EVERY year.

I actually didn't have to work during the "brunch" this year.  Instead of working brunch, I was able to ACTUALLY brunch with my mom and family.  But for some reason, the dinner reservations at my work were just as busy as the brunch reservations.

First of all, Mother's Day is supposed to be a day to celebrate your mom, the woman who birthed you, and who suffered raising you in this crappy world.  I just think it's (almost) funny that we want to add to the suffering of motherhood by bringing your mom to brunch in a busier than normal restaurant.  With food that is pricier than normal.  With servers who are stressed out more than normal.  

It's too crowded; it's too expensive, and there are too many moms.

Here are two of my favorite things that happened during my shift last night:

1. The busboy brought bread to a table that was occupied by an older woman (late 40's) and a younger woman (late 20's.)  When he greeted the table he said, "Happy Mother's Day."  

Immediately, the younger woman replied, "She's not my mom.  We're girlfriends."  And then they made out.

Lesson learned for the busboy... Never judge a book by it's lesbian cover.

2. A mother was questioning me about the menu, and asked me about the Ahi Tuna.  "What's tuna?" she asked.

"Tuna is a fish," I answered.

"I know it's a fish."  She said with an attitude.  "But what's Ahi Tuna?" she demanded to know.

"That's the same fish."

Lesson learned for me... Brunch is fun.  Working brunch sucks.

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 8, 2015

We're Ready to Order!

Whenever a customer tells me that they're ready to order, it usually means that they need another 15 minutes to decide what the hell they want.  I can understand being indecisive and having a hard time trying to decide between one or two things, but some people act like they're picking a college.  (thanks Lou Santini.)

And then guests will ask me what I like.  I tell them three items that I really enjoy on the menu.  Then they ask me about something I didn't mention.  I tell them it's not in my top three.  Now I'm somehow in an argument about why I didn't mention EVERYTHING on the menu.

Here's how a conversation went with a table the other night:

Customer:  "We're ready to order."

Me:  "What may I get for you?"

Customer IMMEDIATELY looks back at the menu and says nothing for 2 minutes.

Me:  "I'll give you another moment."

Customer:  "That's not necessary.  I told you that we're ready to order!"

Me:  "Please.  What may I get for you."

Customer:  "Don't start with me.  Go to somebody else."

Me:  "I can't start with somebody else.  You're the only one at the table."

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

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









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IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!