Dining Out — Remedial Course

Is everyone sitting down?  

Go on I have important new you should be sitting down for.

Are you ready.


I’m in one shitty mood.  After all the stress and anxiety etc of the past two weeks I go to work and have the worst day there I’ve had in forevver. I don’t remember that last time I made so little money.  And just so you guys out there never fall into PEOPLE FUCKING SUCK category.

Here are some tips.

1.  Never walk into a restaurant and tell everyone you come in contact with that you have 20 minutes to be across the street at a show.  You can’t do shit in 20 minutes in New York.  You can’t even take a shit in New York in 20 minutes.  It takes that long just to find a toilet you can use without being a customer.  You certainly can’t be sit down, order, get your food, eat it, pay the bill and be across the street in 20 minutes.  Oh, but let’s just say that Maddog is the lucky server to find you at his counter.  And you say to him…How long will it take to get three orders of French Fries, two beers and three non-alcoholic drinks in souvenir glasses?  And I reply, well how much time do you have?  And you say 20 minutes.  And I say…”I’ll have you out of here in about 12 minutes.  And so I get the drinks at the bar without ringing them in first.  I get the orders of fries brought to the table by the food runner.  I ring everything up, and it’s on the table in about four minutes.  I drop the check and tell the woman how to get her souvenir glasses and that she can pay me when she’s ready.  She tells me she’s ready and hands me a wad of bills and says to keep the change.  And I walk away.  To find that she’s tipped me 4.65 on a fucking 55 dollar tab.  THE FUCKING FUCK.  If you need someone to step up to the plate to help you out and then treat them like shit.  Don’t be surprised when you discovered that I took the receipt you needed to get your souvenir cups upstairs.  And don’t be surprised when suddenly I am too busy to go and print you a new one.  No don’t be surprised at all.  And especially don’t be surprised when you get home and karma smacks you in the teeth by having your boss tell you he’s cutting your pay or letting you go.  You choose.  I hope he just fires your ass.

2.  If you are not going to tip, and some of you out there know you are not going to tip, then don’t “have fun with the waiter.”  I’m genuinely nice to people on the whole.  I like chatting with them, etc.  But at the end of the day I’m there to fetch you things.  You need a beer?  I get you a beer.  You need a steak?  I get you a steak.  That’s my one and only purpose.  I’m not there to entertain, I’m not there to make you laugh, and I’m not there to solve your marital problems.  It’s not that I mind doing these other things, but it’s not in the job description.  That being said, 90% of my tables get the royal treatment.  I try to be witty and funny and make sure that everyone has a great time.  But goddamn it.  If you aren’t going to tip then don’t play with the waiter and make them think you are.  It’s not fair.  Now not only is he not making enough money to pay his rent he’s also wasting valuable time with you that could be spent on the “nice” people who ARE going to tip.  

3.  Don’t pretend that you don’t know you are supposed to tip.  You do.  And you know how much.  And you know what is acceptable.  And you know what is not acceptable.  And I don’t care that they don’t tip that much in Alabama.  And I don’t care that the meal was too expensive and you don’t have the money now to tip.  I don’t care about any of that.  The minute you walk through the door of the restaurant you should be obliged to leave the waiter a “real” tip.  And when I say a real tip, I mean at least 15%.  And if he brought you 12 refills of Mountain Dew then it should be more.  And if he kept your kids entertained so they wouldn’t cry.  Then it should be more.  And he tapped dance to the tune of Mary Had A Little Lamb then fucking tip him.  He’s not doing all this for his health.  Contrary to popular belief I didn’t go into to work tonight because I had nothing better to do.  So to sum this up…ALL YOU FUCKERS OUT THERE KNOW YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO TIP, SO DO IT.  AND FOR ONCE BE A LITTLE FORGIVING.  DID YOU REALLLY, REALLY, REALLY NEED THAT 10th REFILL ON MOUNTAIN DEW?  REALLY?

4.  One dollar per drink is not an acceptable tip.  It might be in Des Moines where a bottle of beer is 2.50.  And a vodka tonic is 3.00.  But when you order 6 margaritas and the bill comes to 75.00.  Six dollars is not enough.  It’s not enough.  And don’t give me the “I didn’t know it was so expensive routine.”  It’s your responsibility to find out how much it cost before you order it.  Don’t just assume that it will cost the same as it does at home.  It doesn’t.  If it cost the same as at home, you wouldn’t be in NYC you’d be at home.

5.  When in doubt about how much to tip, remember this… A waiter, me for instance, only makes a few dollars an hour.  And I mean a few.  It’s no more than four or so dollars.  The only real income I have is the income you leave on the table when you are finished with dinner.  No tip.  No income.  Now this is the important part.  I’ve shared this before but it bares stating again.  I don’t get to keep every penny you leave.  I have to tip out to other employees who help me out.   5% of my total sales.  So if I sell 100 dollars I tip out 5.00.  If I sell 500 dollars I tip out 25.00.  This is not based on what you tip.  It’s based on what I sale.  So for instance you come in to eat and your bill is 150.00.  And you leave 30.00 on the table when you leave.  I have to tip out 7.50.  But let’s say you come in and your bill is 150.00 and you leave 5.00.  I’m not really good at math but the way I see it, it just fucking cost me 2.50 to wait on you.  When your bill is 225.00 and you don’t leave a tip, it’s now costing me money to wait on you.  A lot of money actually.  And I don’t get to subtract that from my totals and not tip on it because you didn’t tip on it.  No way.  So just remember when you stiff the waiter you are making sure the bartender, food runner, busser and THE waiter won’t be able to feed their children tonight.

6.  A busy restaurant is not the place to pull out your laptop and do business for 2 hours.  We are trying to make money here.  There are 12 Starbucks in a 4 block radius.  Go there.  They don’t mind if you sit for hours.  They don’t mind at all.  In fact they kind of expect it.  Me I just want to fucking make my money and go home.

I’m running out of steam here.

7.  DO NOT.  DO NOT.  DO NOT SIT FOR 6.5 HOURS WITH YOUR FRIEND DRINKING ONE BEER EVERY HOUR.  It will cause blood to pour out of your waiter’s ears and perhaps make his head explode.  And when you have done this.  18% of the check is not enough.  Your bill was 275.  You left me 40.  If I’d turned the table the other six times I could have if you’d eaten and gone I’d have surely made a lot more than 40 dollars.  It’s not just the check you tip on.  It’s how long you are at the table.  I rent those tables for the night and I need as many different people sitting in those chairs as I can all night to make the most money possible.  I can’t quite do that if you take up the chairs all fucking night long.  So get out!!!

I’m done.  I’m exhausted.  My anger is subsiding.  Everything I ranted about tonight happened to me.  Had five people I got in and out in 10 minutes and they left me four dollars.  I had two men get sat at 6:15 and they were my last table to leave at the end of the night.  They left me 40 dollars which is better than nothing, but in the big scheme of thing they probably cost me as much as they gave me.  If you don’t tip me it costs me to wait on you.  Be nice leave a little something.  And don’t be mad at me because I won’t serve your 19 year old friend, or because the drink isn’t strong enough.  I can’t control either of those things.

Now if I don’t get to sleep I won’t be able to get up and do this all over tomorrow.



5 thoughts on “Dining Out — Remedial Course

  1. Peter May 8, 2009 / 04:03

    Your back to your old self 😉

  2. Rick May 8, 2009 / 05:28

    Feel better now?

  3. javabear May 8, 2009 / 12:22

    Don’t you wish the people who need to read this would read this?

    I’m learning that it is deadly expensive to dine out in NYC. I usually leave a good tip (almost always at least 20%, and sometimes more if waiting on me has been an extra pain in the ass. I blame the kids, of course.) But the cost of living, including dining out, in this South Carolina backwater town is pretty low, so paying $75 for six drinks seems excessive to me. It’s good to know, though, that it is that high in case I ever get a chance to go out to eat in NYC.

  4. e.a.j. May 8, 2009 / 21:48

    When I am queen, waiters and waitresses will get double whatever the minimum wage is at least. And that’s to start. With a rais eevery six months. No tipping. Right from the register. Let’s take it right out of the fucker’s control.

    By the way since i started reading your blog I tip 20% rounded up to the nearest dollar. And I tell everyone to tip at least 20%. Everyone. They are sick of me saying it.

  5. Rees November 30, 2009 / 15:54

    Sorry mate, truly am. But this is one of a million reasons I no longer live in my birth country. Can’t deal with the self-righteous 5% tipper types (and it extends to every facet of life) that strut around the place. Can’t do it. But I enjoy your blog and hope you and yours can keep up the good fight.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s