Dining Out 101

New dining out tips.

1.  If it’s not on the menu you can’t have it.  Just because you want it doesn’t mean we are going to make it for you.  We are not the White House.  We do not have an executive chef on duty just to provide you with what you want.

No we do not have calamari.  Hot Dogs.  Crabcakes.  Shrimp Cocktail.  Soup.  Pasta with meat sauce.  Pasta with alfredo sauce.  Pasta with any sauce.  The only thing close to pasta that we have is macaroni and cheese.  And we especially can’t toss a little pasta in olive oil and garlic.

What I do suggest is that you look at the menu.  It’s fine to ask questions.  But don’t start asking if you can have things before you’ve even opened the menu.

2.  It’s not my job to make nutritional decisions for you.  Tonight I asked a table if they were ready to order.  It was two sort of frumpy men.  They said sure.  Five minutes later I’m no closer to getting an order from them than I ever was.  (Just for the record, five minutes in waiter time is about an hour in regular time).  They were debating with each other and now me about what was healthier on the menu.  The first question to me:  What’s the healthiest thing on the menu?  I don’t know.  I don’t care.  Well are the fajitas more healthy than the salad?   Which is better for me.  I don’t know.  I don’t care.  I’ll be happy to answer questions about nutritional information.  But let’s get some things clear.  We are not a health food restaurant.  99.9% of our selections are fried.  Even the salads are fried.  There is NOTHING healthy on our menu.  Even the broccoli that is served as a side is covered in butter.  As for what is better for you.  Only you can answer that question.  I don’t know your health issues.  I don’t know your concerns.  What I do know is that I’m still trying to figure out why you ordered the fajitas and then told me you didn’t want the lettuce which in truth is the ONLY thing healthy on the plate?  Oh, if you are really trying to be healthy and lose weight the four glasses of lemonade you had probably aren’t going to help much.

3.  If the waiter is nice to you.  And goes out of their way to help you out.  And I’m not talking about keeping your glasses full or bringing you out hot food.  I mean completely goes out of their way to do something nice for you.  Then first, be polite and appreciative.  And second, tip a little extra.  Tonight there were four people wandering around the bar trying to find seats.  I asked one of them if they’d like to sit at my counter.  She explained that there were four of them and they wouldn’t fit.  I told her to give me a minute.  I asked two of my customers if they’d move down, made room for them and got them seated.  As I was doing this another table was asking for their check.  I dropped it off, and collected the money.  As soon as they left I went back to my four people and asked if they’d perhaps like to sit at a table instead of the counter.  They said yes, so I led them to the table.  This was the last time they were nice to me.  They were rude.  And demanding.  And then tipped a grand total of 10% on their way out the door.  Which just perhaps teaches me that I should rethink being nice to people.

4.  Never tell a waiter you have a coupon, get a AAA discount or a military discount before you start you meal.  This is especially true if you have one of our restaurants frequent diner cards.  If you say this to me, I’m probably very likely never to come back to the table.  99.9999999999999 percent of the time anyone who requests a discount is going to leave less than 10%.  Tonight the very nice lady who asked for the check.  And then waited till I dropped it to tell me she was a AAA member left me a grand total of 4.00 on a 60.00 check.  She was nice enough to round up to an even number.  The man with the frequent diner card left 5.00 on 40.00.  If you get a discount.  That doesn’t excuse you from tipping.

5.  You can’t sit at a waiter’s table and then get your drinks from the bar.  First off I don’t understand why you’d want to do this in the first place.  If you are not tipping the bartender you can just as easily not tip me.  What’s even worse is people who want to sit at cocktail tables and wait for the host to call their name.   But not order anything.  At least once a night I have to explain that they can sit at the table and order drinks or dinner or both but they can’t just sit there and take up space.  I was once asked where they were supposed to sit instead.  I think I pissed them off when I told them that’s what the lobby is for.

6.  Don’t try and get around paying for two drinks by ordering one and sharing it and then expecting to get the free refills.  It just makes you look cheap.  And you are not fooling anyone.  And if you do ask for the refill I’m going to charge you for it.

7.  You are 45.  No you can’t order from the kids menu.  It’s for kids.  And if by chance I’m nice to you and let you order from the kids menu, NO you don’t get the free soda.  It’s for kids.

8.  Don’t ask me why it’s been fifteen minutes and your well done T-Bone isn’t ready.  It takes at least 20 minutes and that’s if it was put on the grill immediately.  And it wasn’t.  We don’t have ten steaks on the grill just waiting for you to order so that it will only take two minutes to get it to you.  This is not fast food.  If you want fast food, McDonald’s is on 42nd Street.  Can you pick me up a Big Mac Snack Attack while you are there?

9.  Don’t touch me.  Don’t touch me.  Don’t touch me.  Do not grab me as I walk by to ask for something.  I told you my name.  Use it.  When I give you my name I tell you it’s okay to yell for me.  Just shout out Maddog and I’ll stop to see what you want.  DO NOT GRAB ME.

Do not snap at me.  I told you my name.  Use it.   As I was told by manager recently.  The response to someone snapping at you is:  IT TAKES MORE THAN TWO FINGERS TO MAKE ME COME.

10.  If you don’t like the table.  Say so BEFORE you order.  It’s one gigantic pain in the ass to move you mid-meal.  Your food won’t be taken to the right table.  It interrupts both servers routines.  It’s fine to ask for a different table.  It’s fine to not like where you are seated.  But say so up front.

Bonus:  No you can NOT sit just any where.  Sorry.  Do you really think we let people just seat themselves.  I understand when foreign tables do this.  But Americans.  Really.  Even at Denny’s a host seats you.  Can you even begin to imagine what kind of chaos would run rampant if we just let people seat themselves.  We are on a fucking three hour wait.  Why do you think we’d let you walk by two host’s desk and seat yourself.  Get out there and put your fucking name on the list.

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2 thoughts on “Dining Out 101

  1. javabear June 17, 2009 / 07:51

    I am amazed at the gall of some people. By now you probably aren’t even amazed, are you?

    “It takes more than two fingers to make me come.” Greatest line EVER!

  2. catrina June 17, 2009 / 10:15

    I just love your posts about your work! Besides being amusing, they give me lots of insight on what NOT to do (though I must admit I haven’t done most of the things you speak of).

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