February 10, 2006

Tales from the Restaurant

Today was ridiculously busy. It started at 11:15, and ended at 2:30, much longer than most lunch rushes. My first table was a 16-top - a high school tennis team. Their bill consisted of 5 pizzas, a sandwich, a kid's meal and two lunch specials. Maybe $60.00. To top it off they were tax free because they are from a school. However, they took up most of my section, and put me in the weeds. Yay. As the coaches were going to pay I was standing in the kitchen and I heard my boss say, "The school doesn't include a tip?" One coach actually replied: "You can comp our meals..."

I walked up to one of the waitresses, "Oh FUCK no! I did not just give up my section during Friday rush to wait on a bunch of pizza eating (= small ticket) adolescents and get stiffed. That is bull shit!" And really guys, would it have been so hard for those two coaches to give $5.00 a piece to make sure I got paid, when they weren't going to have to pay for their own lunches anyway? That would have been the grown up thing to do.

Guess what they did instead? They made the students leave a tip. Two adults who are probably making $50,000 made kids who, if they have a job, are making less than $10.00 an hour, leave me a tip. WOW, that's an awesome, selfish, asshole thing to do. I hope I grow up to be like that.

Story #2

A girl, her boyfriend and their kid are sitting at a table near the high school horror. They each order a small salad, she orders a pizza, and he gets the lunch special. I bring out her salad and move on to the next table.

7 minutes later: "Would you guys like more soda?" Nodding. I get refills and return them to the table. "There ya go." Smile.

10 minutes later: Drop off food. "Is there anything else I can bring you?" Heads shake to indicate "No." I leave.

4 minutes later - in kitchen: Boss says, "The lady at table 12 says she never got her salad." "What? That's BS I got her the... Oh, I didn't get his. He had ranch!"

Result: I look like an ass to my boss. Did she have an opportunity to let me know I'd forgotten the salad? Yes. Twice. Should she have told me I'd forgotten it when they got refills? Yes.

The moral of the story - it's okay to tell your server that they screwed up if they did. We generally like to hear it from you, where we will apologize immediately and then fix the problem as quickly as possible, rather than from our bosses, who immediately think that we are incompetent, and threaten to shrink our sections.


Madge said...

You're my hero. I don't think I have your sort of tolerance to work in a restaurant;
picky people
irritate me.

And these folks weren't even picky!

corley said...

Madge, I really hate people. Don't let my ability to keep it to myself until I get to the kitchen fool you.

captn said...

In three decades of railroadng, I easily took half my meals at an assortment of restaurants, diners, and coffee shops. More often than not the only difference between enjoying a pleasant meal and poking yet another plate of I'd-rather-be-somewhere-else in my face was a personable serving person. May those who stiff or stint spend an eternity schlepping tables on third shift for a boss with a tail....with no cigarette breaks.
On another note......congratulations on having survived the dark season of the single soul with your ethics intact