It’s inevitable. Whenever my wife and I take precious time out of our collectively busy lives and put our stomachs’ trust in the hands of other restaurant people, without fail, we always fall victim to bad dining experiences. Ok, so yes I must exaggerate for the sake of the story, but I have to honestly say that 70% of the time that we eat out at a full-service restaurant something bad that’s worth sharing with my restaurant friends always seems to happen.
It is obvious that I hold the bar a little higher because I have grown up in restaurants, but I do always give benefit of the doubt to any situation, not just food related situations. Hey, if you worked in a high-end clothing store and had pride in the valuable products that you sold for a living, would you be pleased if you walked into another store looking to drop some cash and your experience wasn’t 100%?
If I am spending more than $75 on a casual dinner for my wife and myself it isn’t out of the realm of normalcy to expect good to great to exceptional service from a server or bartender, etc. who is hoping or hopefully working hard for a 20% grat (gratuity/tip). And if i get receive that service, whether friendly and consistent or formal and appropriate to the dining situation, I always hook it up, like 25%+.
That said, when I eat out I always seem to land the awkward table in the middle of the dining room or the server who is fresh off of their initial training week who can barely get a nervous word out of their mouth, or a “veteran” who just got out of the bathroom stall and seemed to have just shoved a good portion of a bag of coke up their nose. And why do I get mad about these situations? Well, It’s more than not having a good dining experience. It makes me look really bad because if I’m getting poor service then others are too. And this definitely dishonors people who take my line of work seriously. I’m not cocky, but confidant in what I do for a living. What I do, I do well. I am a good server; And I’m a good guy, a good manager, husband, dad, son, brother, drummer, joker. People like me, they really like me! haha. But just like the regulars I take great care of everyday, I expect great fucking service. And when it’s received my server will know it.
I do love to eat out, but my wife finds it a tad annoying dining out with me. Basically, I end up paying attention to the servers’ interactions, the dining room decor, I always try to make note to find the manager and God forbid there’s an open kitchen because my wife will have to kick me to get my attention. I always try to dissect the hierarchy of the kitchen and dining room because I love to see who the real rock stars are out front and in the back of the house. This is when we are sitting in a well organized and managed restaurant mostly. I’m always studying the details, if any are notable, for the place I plan to open for myself one day. If our server makes my experience pleasant and I leave having felt that we had fun and want to come back the next time hoping to be in their section again, then I am certain to tip very well. However if you suck at taking care of me, the diner and customer not the career server, and I want another beer or my wife another glass of wine, if you disappeared for 15 minutes and return with no pupils and cocaine crusting your nostrils like salt on a margarita glass, or if we’re ready to roll out and I’m having to wait a long time as opposed to them waiting for me if I want to take my time leaving, then I will most definitely tip you deservingly. I work my ass off ensuring that I, hopefully seamlessly, make every new table I take care of regulars because that’s exactly how we have been successful for years. And that is how I make a nice living. So if you ever want to see me sitting at your table again, even regularly, you better kiss my fucking ass the way I ever-so-subtly and tactfully kiss ass six days a week because I will tip you better than any of the weekend amateurs will any day of the week.Slainte`
Monday, April 4, 2011
I'd Like The Table Near The Outhouse Please
I have been working in the restaurant industry in the Baltimore-Washington area since my early teenage years and remain a lifer 17 years later, still making my living by feeding the public. I have literally done it all, except ownership which is my only next step, in the restaurant world. From washing dishes in a barbeque restaurant to slinging drinks and managing Corporate Coffee, managing, training for and opening 10 stores for uber-successful Chicago-based sandwich shops in the Washington D.C. area. I now work for my brother, and am happier and make more money than I did working for others, and I'm a Server/Manager.