Dining Out 101

Haven’t done this in a while.

1.  If all the chairs in the dining room are up on the tables.  And the cleaning crew is cleaning around you.  And you just saw you waiter hug a co-worker goodbye.  It might.  Just might.  Be time to go.

2.  If you are in a bar or restaurant at closing time and the check has been dropped on the table.  It’s a sure bet that the server would love it if you’d pay the bill so that they can cash out and leave.  Don’t be surprised if I they stand not far from your table and stare at you sinisterly.

3.  If the restaurant closes at 12:15.  Do not rush into said restaurant and announce that you want to eat at 12:15.  No one wants you there.  Not even the management.  They want to go home just like the rest of us.  And as a tip, the food you get will be prepared poorly.  The kitchen will be using what’s left.  They will not be cooking new items.  Repeat after me:  I will not go into a restaurant at closing time.  I will not go into a restaurant at closing time.  I will not go into a restaurant at closing time.

4.  Don’t be surprised if I they don’t comment that today is your 21st birthday if you run it at closing.  No one wants to chat with you.  No one cares.  Just drink your drink, eat your potato skins, and get out.  Quickly.

5.  Do not ask for coffee at the end of your meal when you didn’t arrive until 12:13.  The coffee was dumped at 12:15, when the restaurant closed.  In fact the person in charge of cleaning the coffee area walked out of the restaurant about 15 minutes after you arrived.

6.  DO NOT ARRIVE AT A RESTAURANT AT CLOSING.  SIT ON YOUR CHECK.  ORDER COFFEE.  AND NOT TIP.  No you should NOT do this.  Evil things will happen to you.

Moving on:

7.  If you are over the age of 10 do NOT order a Shirley Temple.  And don’t be surprised in a burger restaurant if it comes in a regular glass without a cherry.  I don’t have time for this non-sense.  PS.  I don’t even know what a Roy Rogers is.  If you over the age of 20 and order either of these you should be put into a home for people with special needs.

8.  If someone offers you a cocktail table immediately.  No waiting 90 minutes for a regular table.  Don’t get indignant when you decide you don’t want it and expect me them to find you a regular table immediately.  I will get it for you eventually.  Say in like 90 minutes.  And no you can’t sit at the cocktail table and wait for your “regular” table to open up.

9.  I’m sorry the drink menu doesn’t have the prices in it.  I really am.  But I really don’t know why they don’t.  I don’t run the company.  I don’t make these decisions.  And if you think that I have the power to scare you up a menu with prices or the ability to change this situation, then I’ll see if they have a room for you in that special needs home.

10.  I will not steal your credit card number.  I appreciate that you are being cautious.  But I didn’t charge you more than you were supposed to be charged.  I know it might not make sense to you, but American Express approves the charge for more than it says just in case, JUST in case you might want to leave a tip.  (Of course this argument was made even more difficult because they didn’t leave a tip.)

11.  Do not ask if we have “good” coffee and then get upset when I tell you we don’t.  The coffee is made in huge batches, not by the pot.  The bottom of the “tank” is burnt, thus the coffee tastes burnt.  So NO.  We don’t have good coffee.

13.  Don’t order your food and then expect it on the table in 10 minutes.  I don’t know how things are cooked in your country, but here we really cook things.  It takes more than 10 minutes to cook a rack of ribs.  For that matter it takes more than 10 minutes to cook a well done cheeseburger.  Calm down it will get to you eventually.

13.  Don’t get upset if I tell you that we only have hot tea and coffee as hot drink choices.  It’s too warm for hot chocolate and I don’t know what any other choice you’d want.  Perhaps if you are nice I’ll microwave some milk for you.

14.  If you want TO-GO food, go to a restaurant that does TO-GO food.  It took me 15 minutes to find a plastic ramekin to put your sour cream in tonight for your quesadillas.  We don’t do TO GO food.  And besides if you’d eaten two hours ago when you first sat down at the counter none of this would have been an issue.

15.  Just because I’m a guy, don’t assume I’ll find the humor in your calling your friend a pussy.  Or asking me to get him the biggest “girly” drink possible.  Don’t assume this at all when I’m pretty sure that out of the four of you, your the gay one.  In fact I’d bet all the money that I’m going to make tonight that you like to suck cock whenever you get the chance.

16.  I’m sorry that we don’t have espresso.  Or cappuccinos.  Or lattes.  Or _________________.  Fill in the blank.  Someone with far more wisdom that I have realized there would have to be a full time coffee person working to keep up with orders for such things.  There is a Starbucks right across the street.  They’ll make you anything you want.

17.  Do not go to NYC and then ask your waiter if they live in NYC.  Yes I know there is a remote possibility that they live in New Jersey but…. at least 90% of the staff working tonight lives in New York.  (I usually tell them I commute from Des Moines.  It takes them a moment but they all figure out how stupid the question is.)  Yes I can afford to live in Manhattan.  Yes I take the subway.  AT NIGHT.  ALONE.  Yes it takes me an hour to get home.  But I’m not driving.  I read my book.  And listen to my Ipod and thank god that I don’t live in Tennessee and have big “frosted” hair like you.

18.  Don’t ask me where you can find a night club, for dancing, that you can meet women in.  Look at me.  I’m an overweight, middle aged gay man.  Seriously.  I don’t know where to do this.  I didn’t know where to do this when I was a 20 something, in shape, gay man.  Look it up before you get here.  Ask someone else.  I do know this, NO ONE I work with goes out dancing in Manhattan.  At least not in upscale clubs like you are talking about.  We are waiters.  We are not going to spend 100 dollars to get in someplace where a beer cost 15 dollars.  PS.  If you do go to a club though.  You’ll only get one drink when they discover you don’t tip.  AT ALL.

19.  I’ve said this before but it bears reminding.  If you want to taste the alcohol order scotch on the rocks.  Or a Manhattan.  Or a martini.  You are not supposed to taste the alcohol in a pina colada.  And especially don’t complain if you over the age of 40…and a man.  It’s unseemly.

20.  If you need a drink so badly that you can’t wait the three minutes it takes for me to put the order in the computer, and pick it up from the bar…it’s not a drink you need.  It’s a meeting.  No one should be that impatient to put alcohol into their system.  I don’t care how bad your day has been.  Or how badly you need to celebrate.  Or any of the other excuses I’ve heard.  Calm down or I’m going to get my cell phone out and find a nice AA meeting for you to go to after dinner.

The first 15 things on my list all happened tonight.  The whole list occurred in the past two days.


4 thoughts on “Dining Out 101

  1. Lemuel September 11, 2010 / 06:19

    I love when you do these.

  2. catrina September 11, 2010 / 09:00

    I would make it no more than ten minutes if I had to do what you do! I’d be cussin’ people out, tellin’ them how awful they look, and would probably chase ’em down when they didn’t leave a tip. I had a friend (RIP Vinny) who worked at a Bennigan’s in Houston a l-o-n-g time ago. He had a four-top (that’s all the restaurant slang I know) that had a huge bar bill, and when they paid they gave him a ONE DOLLAR tip. He followed them out the door, stuffed the bill in the guy’s hand and said, “Hey, thanks anyway, but my trust fund just paid out, and I’m a gazillionaire! Why don’t you use this for your operation? The one that’ll reverse you being such a tight-ass!

  3. Rich Monsoon September 11, 2010 / 20:18

    I love this list. People are such douchebags when they go out to eat. My aunt was a restaurant manager until recently, and I have worked in restaurants off and on for 13 years. If I tried pulling any of that shit while out with her, I would get a look that could kill. I was always taught that if you cant afford to tip, you can’t afford to eat out.

  4. dirkmancuso September 15, 2010 / 12:50

    I can’t believe the nerve of some people. Jesus.

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