Waiter Rant

Ok, Ray pointed this out and then Andie demanded I read it. Waiter Rant rules. Why oh why do people like Dr. Zamir think it’s ok to do the sand-in-the-vaseline trick to thier servers and then ask for special treatment? Special treatment is for special people, and unless you’re god or the president or the […]

Ok, Ray pointed this out and then Andie demanded I read it.

Waiter Rant rules.

Why oh why do people like Dr. Zamir think it’s ok to do the sand-in-the-vaseline trick to thier servers and then ask for special treatment? Special treatment is for special people, and unless you’re god or the president or the hottest celeb in town, special means people who treat servers with respect.

Say please. Say thank you. Say thank you to the busboy who cleans up your fucking mess. Say thank you to the food runner who carries all that heavy shit to your table. Say thank you to the cocktail person. Say thank you EVEN IF THEY FUCK IT UP.

Servers work fucking hard. It’s a rough job.


My friend Scott Long, lead singer for a band called the Frontier Fucking Wives, always used to tell his audiences Don’t forget to tip your bartenders and servers, they’re the hardest working people in Rock n’ Roll.

I’ve never worked in food service, but I know dozens of people who have. And they all tell these same stories. The bitchy demanding patrons who stiff on tips. Over and over.

Leave a fucking tip, people. Leave it anyway because it’s part of the deal. Leave it because that’s how the server gets paid. But leave it more because that’s how you say thank you to someone whose job it is to take care of you and clean up after you. 15% isn’t the max; 15% is the base. Leave 15 for an adequate job. Leave it because it goes to the whole staff, the bus people, the runners. Even if your waiter’s not exactly stellar, you’re stiffing everyone. If the service is more than average, leave extra. If you eat there a lot, leave extra. If you ask for something special, leave extra. If you dine with kids, leave extra. If you have more than one of these conditions, leave a lot extra.

If you want to be remembered, leave fucking extra. It’ll pay back.

I learned this a long time ago, one night at a place in SF called Stars Cafe. We walked in with a party of five, three gay men and us. There was a line out the door, it was a saturday peak time, and we had no reservation. I figured it was a no-go, we were hungry already and it looked like a 2+ hour wait.

My friend-now-boss Jeff walked up to the head of the line, whispered to the maitre’d and ten minutes later, we had a table.

We leave huge fucking tips, Jeff said.

Ah. I see. That’s how it works.

Yes, that’s how it works. It’s a reputation economy. Whuffie. Sfik. You treat your servers right, they know, they serve you better.

The thing that mystifies me is, why do people get rude with a server who’s about to handle your food? Good lord, man, have you ever heard of a sneezer? A waiter and do all sorts of things to foul your lunch, or insure you get a sub-par meal. Why would you start off by earning bad will?

Tip your fucking servers. Tim them well, tip them all. If can’t afford a tip, you can’t afford to eat out.

And go read Waiter Rant.

0 thoughts on “Waiter Rant”

  1. Waiter Rant is fucking awesome.

    Most of my reading during my build/test downtime lately has been going back through his archives.

    Almost makes me want to quit the software biz and go back to bartending.

  2. Honestly, I think the world is fucked up in a place where tipping is EXPECTED. Yes, I think one should be nice to their server. Yes, one should let them know when they are appreciated and a good way is financially. However, my second sibling, who works as a waiter, EXPECTS 20%.

    Tipping should be a way of saying, “You added to my experience here and I want to keep you employed here (because it pays well in tips) and your business running.” The laws should be changed to keep from screwing over wait staff to begin with, not put the income responsibility on the patrons.

    6.8% is damn awful low, but what’s wrong with 15% at an expensive restaurant (in response to the tipping well). The higher the bill, the more money that 15% is going to mean.

  3. Oh, and since it probably wasn’t even remotely clear from my comments, Zamir was a complete ass. You DO NOT ever no show. You at least call the place to let them know if something unfortunate comes up so they can give the table to someone else, feed another customer, and earn the restaurant some income. I would have refused service completely.

  4. Urox,

    A higher bill also means a higher amount of automatic tip-out for the waiter. I serve in Canada and we get paid less than the legal minimum wage AND we automatically owe 2.5% of our SALES to the bar and kitchen. That means I need at least 2.5% to break even… any less and I have to pay out of my own pocket for the guests’ meals. If you take into account the gap between what I make and what minimum wage is then I need to make about 5% just to break even (depending on how long the table is there). Therefore 15% turns into 10% and 10% isn’t quite enough to make up for all of the stupid people that don’t tip at all throughout the night.
    I had a table a few nights ago where the woman actually took the time to fill out a comment card saying that the service was really great and I was very friendly and then her date/husband/boyfriend/friend was the one who ended up paying and left absolutely no tip on a $60 bill…me–>in the hole $3.

    I agree that the minimum wage shouldnt be less for servers and a system more like those in Scotland would be better where servers are paid well due to the recognition of their hard work and skills.

    rantrantrant

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