Saturday Night In The City…

Once again I have too much to blog about. How will I ever narrow it down to one subject and I’m already too longwinded to actually try and cover more than one topic.

So do I discuss the fact that I now live on tree-lined street?

Do I talk about the 80 bucks I found on the floor at work?

Do I discuss the fact that Gina has been fired?

Do I blog about the 40 black teenagers that were thrown out of our restaurant tonight?

Do I mention that I’ve made more in five days this week than I did in more than two weeks last month?

Do I complain about how tired I am after working five days straight and still having one more to go?

What to do? What to do?

I think I’ll discuss the kids that were thrown out of the restaurant.

I actually thought a lot about how to blog about this coming home on the train without sounding too racist. I figured the best thing to do would be to just tell the story and let you all come to your own conclusions.

And like all of my posts there has to be three pages of back-story to get us there.

And so…

I’ve mentioned before that there are certain people that come into our restaurant that don’t tip. For a while every Italian table that I waited on stiffed me. Then it was the Irish. Then it was the French. Recently it’s been the Canadians. Tonight I waited on four people from Canada, one of which was an incredibly HOT young man. They were perfectly nice and I joked around with them. And when they left the HOT guy made a point of telling me to keep the change. And it was three dollars. On a fifty dollar tab. I didn’t even know what to do with that.

And for years now I’ve kept a tally of the ways that I can tell if people are going to tip. People who order well done steaks don’t tip as well as people who order them medium rare. People who request thousand island dressing don’t tip as well as people who use balsamic vinagerette. People who smoke tip better than non smokers. People who drink tip better than non-drinkers. If you work in the restaurant business for more than three minutes you start to make these generalizations. Is it always true? Of course not. But across the board I bet you would find it to be true.

And black people don’t tip well.
I once heard a black comedian say “If you have a canoe, paint it black it won’t tip. I also used to work at a Bennigan’s in Atlanta and the black servers would come into the kitchen and ask “Who didn’t pay the electric bill this week. It’s black out there.”

I know it’s bad to make these generalizations. But work with the public for more than three minutes and you’ll start to do it too.

So when I first started back to waiting tables, I was telling my roommate about my list of people that don’t tip. And I included black people. He then told me about an article that he read. It basically said that the reason blacks don’t tip is because they don’t get the same service everyone else gets. If they got the attention to detail, and the niceness that everyone else got then they would tip like everyone else. And I had to stop and think. Do I treat them differently? I don’t know. But I told myself that if I did, it wouldn’t happen anymore. And since that conversation I go out of my way to give everyone the same service no matter who they are or what they look like.

And has it made a difference. I don’t think so. It’s kind of 50/50 for the most part. Tonight I waited on a table a family of four that were black and they left me seven bucks on $68.00. It’s ten percent but it didn’t come close to the fifteen refills of Pepsi that I got for them.

And yet I was nice and polite and thanked them profusely for coming in.

And what does all this have to do with the kids who were kicked out of the restaurant. Actually nothing and everything.

At 1:00 a.m. forty black teenagers appeared at the host stand. They were unruly, loud and boisterous. Just like all teenagers. Unfortunately, no one could determine if they were there to eat or to drink or get dessert or what. And so it took a few minutes to get them to tables. If you could call it that. They were all over the restaurant. They would sit at one table and then decide to go to another table. And then run to another table. It took almost fifteen minutes to get even half of them into seats. At this point all of my tables were done and I was just about to start my side work. And then Alex came out of the kitchen and discovered that he’d been sat a ten top with some of the kids. He was more than a little perplexed. First it was three minutes till closing. And then it was ten people. And then it was ten black people. And so I said I would take care of them. I did this for two reasons. It was 10 people so gratuity was included, and I knew that I could deal with their unruliness. I taught high school for three years, dealing with teenagers isn’t that hard if you get your “teacher” voice going.

So I approached the table and used my teacher voice. I said hello. And then got down to business. First order of business — drinks. That took some doing. What do we have? Do you get free refills? Are the refills on juice free? I answered the questions and then said, that as much as I wanted them to have all the time they needed, the kitchen closes in two minutes so if you really plan to order food it has to be in the computer super quick. And this is true. The restaurant closes at 1:15 on Saturday nights and they want all the food orders in by 1:20. I had to say this about three times and finally just said, look if you going to order it do it. If you just want to sit here, that’s fine but you won’t get any food. They finally realized that I was being serious and they ordered. All told it took about six minutes to get their orders out of them and into the computer. Within ten minutes total I had their drinks on the table. Of course about two minutes later they announced that they are going to move to another table across the restaurant. I told them what I tell everyone who says this to me. That’s fine but your food is being delivered here and you’ll have to pay for it before you leave. Once again they realized that I was not kidding and took their seats.

Unbeknownst to me the situation across the restaurant was playing out very differently. First about 15 guys surrounded the two blond girls that were having dessert and started to harass them. They were finally ushered to their seats and then proceeded to tell my friend Suzette that she wasn’t sexy enough to wait on them. She would have to get them another girl to wait on them. So she did the same thing I would have done. She went to the manager and told them what had happened. Of course by this time all of the management staff is in the dining room because it’s quickly becoming complete chaos. I should also mention that our management team has a very strict no tolerance policy on people belittling or harassing the staff or other patrons. In the meantime there are people running around everywhere. No one will sit down and by this time the orders should have all been in the kitchen because it closed fifteen minutes ago.

And so the manager goes over to talk to the guys who didn’t like Suzette. He was there about two seconds when they started yelling at him and one guy told him to suck his dick. At which point Allan suggested they leave. And so half of them got up and head out. But the only sensible guy in the whole group calmed them down and they started back in. Unfortunately, the less sensible ones got the rest riled up and finally Allan had had enough and he told them all to get out. And get out they did. By overturning tables and chairs and cursing and basically making a scene.

And as the only black waiter on the floor tonight said, “They really aren’t doing a lot to help their cause. And it only reinforces the reason people as a whole react toward young black men the way they do.”

And the night ended. And I did my side work. And I clocked out as usual. And I changed my clothes. And I waited for Leslie because we were riding home on the subway together. And we walked out of the building and headed toward the deli when 45 black teens (mostly men) started running toward us, and then past us, all screaming run, run. And we realized at the exact same time they were the same teens we had had in the restaurant. Who knows what they are up to, or what they were running from. But I would bet they had been up to no good.

Update: 

I realized this morning that I should have wrapped the story up a little differently.

I will still strive not to make generalizations that effect the service that I give my guest.  I also know that it’s a minority of any group of people that ruins it for the rest.  And at the end of the day, it’s my job to make sure every guest has a great time in my restaurant and that there needs are taken care of as quickly as possible.

But I still think Canadians are lousy tippers.

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Things I learned today…

Things I learned today and last night…

First.  It’s not a good idea to try and pick a new book to read at 4:30 a.m.  Nothing sounds interesting.  Everything looks too serious.  And they all look like they will take too much effort.  And then when you finally pick a book and brush your teeth and settle in to bed to read for a few minutes before you go to sleep…..the book you chose SUCKS.  Next time I’ll choose the book in the afternoon so I’ll just have to go with my choice.

Humanity doesn’t suck.  I had a great night at work tonight.  I had fun.  All but a couple of my tables were fun as well.  Nobody yelled at me.  No one was rude to me.  I didn’t get pissed about the tables that didn’t tip.  I was there, I had a good time and actually enjoyed being there.  I’m glad to.  After the shifts I’ve had over the past couple of weeks I was beginning to think there was something wrong with me.  I guess not.  I also wanted to share this with you since I seem to complain about work on here a lot.

When you don’t go to bed until 5:00 a.m.–sunny days suck.  When I woke up this morning the sun was shining beautifully.  At 9:15…a.m.   I think on the mornings after I work it shouldn’t be allowed to be sunny until at least noon.  I’m just saying.

It’s equally wonderful when you walk down the stairs into the subway station just as the train arrives.  So that you don’t wait even thirty seconds to get on board.  It makes very tired people very happy.

It’s nice when half the wait staff is gay because everyone is on the lookout for cute boys.  About a million times tonight someone would come over and say, “Have you seen the cute boys on table 104?  Have you seen the German boys at the bar.  I have the most beautiful Australian boys at table 701.”  It makes the night ever so much fun and it’s nice to take a 10 second breather from running around to see cute boys.

Lesbians are fun.  I had two lesbians who sat at one of my tables right at the beginning of the evening.  A couple of things happened that could have upset someone else but they laughed it off.  First, we didn’t have honey for their hot tea.  And then the milk they put in their tea was bad.  We made jokes about it and no one seemed to mind.  About 30 minutes into the visit, our cute little gay manager stopped by to do a table visit.  As he left they said to me, “Damn he’s cute.”  And I agreed.   They then ask me if I had a boyfriend.  I replied no and then told them that almost no one I wait on assumes that I’m gay.  I also told them that I also don’t want people to know, not because I’m embarrassed but because I want to be what ever they want me to  be.  If little old ladies want me to coo over them and flirt with them, I can do that.  If 20 something girls want me to joke around with them and tell them are great I can do that.  And if butch straight men want to talk sports…I change the subject and hope they didn’t notice.  So the conversation with the two lesbians continued and they asked me if there was anyone I had a little crush on at work.  And there is.  His name is Anthony and he’s absolutely beautiful.  He’s about 24 or 25 and has a great body, is somewhat intelligent and is nice on top of it all.  I told them I would have him stop by and say hi.  They immediately said no…and I laughed and told them I was kidding.  After they paid, they said they were going to hang out for a while because they had tickets to a show.  It was only 6:15 and so I asked if they would mind moving to my bar area so I could seat another table where they were sitting.  They said they didn’t mind.  After they were settled at the bar they asked for drink refills.  So I went to the kitchen and made their drinks and just as I was heading out of the kitchen I passed Anthony.  I suddenly acted like I was in the weeds (the weeds are when a waiter is super busy and everyone wants something at the same time) and asked Anthony if he would take their drinks to them.  He did.  And about three minutes later I walked by them and we all burst out laughing.  They screamed, “We know what you did.” To which I replied, “I told you I would have him stop by.”  And then they said they approved of my crush.  And that he was HOT.  H.  O.  T.  Hot.

And that my friends is what I learned tonight.

And isn’t nice when you spell check your blog post and it tells you nothing is mispelled.  What a nice way to end the evening….Of course I’m also glad it doesn’t check for grammatical errors…I’m just saying.

Restroom Humor

Sorry for the inconsistent posts this week. Ex-boyfriend Curtis has been here and has made it difficult to write new posts and catch up on my favorite characters. He left today so I’ll get back to normal.

I know that I owe you guys some pictures from Maine and a detailed update and I promise I’ll get to it in the next couple of days.

I have been working a lot since I returned from my little working vacation. And luckily the restaurant is busy again. And when I say busy I mean busy. As you know the place I work isn’t fine dining. It’s what a friend of mine calls “slinging hash.” So to make money I have to turn my tables, give awesome service and hope like hell that people tip. Tonight the restaurant was a zoo. And it was like that at 5:00 when I started my shift. In the first 60 minutes of working tonight I sold over 500 dollars worth of food and drinks. That’s as much as I sold in one whole shift in the days before I left for Maine. And to tell you how much I was running, I was selling alcohol two to one to food. I was at the bar more tonight than I was at my tables.

And I would love to tell you that I made a million bucks. But unfortunately the bad tippers were out tonight. I calculated that I was stiffed (and as always, not in the good way) on almost 500 dollars in sales tonight. If you do the math that’s somewhere between 75 and 100 dollars that I should have walked home with. Not that I’m complaining. When you are in it for the volume, you still make a decent amount of money.

The real fun of the evening was looking up to discover my roommate and two of his friends waiting for a table in my section. I had been telling him he should stop in since I started work and he finally took me up on my offer. Of course he got there seconds before I had to do the thing I hate most about my job. A birthday shout out. Ugh. You have to get the dessert, get the candles, go to the table, make the guest stand on a chair and then announce their birthday to the restaurant. You can’t imagine how much I hate this. It’s so bad that some servers just refuse to do it. I figure if it’s the difference between 15 percent and 25 percent it’s worth it. Of course I never give the free birthday dessert. If you want me to announce your birthday, then you damn well have to order dessert. Other wise, I hope your mom sent you a card.

And now for the best question I get asked as a server. Actually they are a series of questions, that I will follow with my answers.

1. Do you know where the bathroom is? No, today is my first day and they haven’t shown me where they are.

2. Do you have a bathroom? No, but Starbucks is just across the street. I’ll tell your server you’ll be gone for a few minutes.

3. Where are the toilets? In the bathroom.

Ah, the fun of serving the public.

30 Dollars Worth of Project Runway

Tonight was slow at work.  When I say slow.  I mean REALLY slow.  If every night were like tonight I’d have to start thinking about prostituting myself to pay the bills.  Of course as my roommate likes to point out, who would pay for an over-weight, middle aged man who waits tables for a living.  All kidding aside, I only made 30 bucks at work tonight.  I waited on about seven tables, and that’s counting the two that didn’t tip.  After tip out 30 bucks was what was left.  I’m not complaining though.  There’s only about two or three more weeks before the business becomes insane again as people start to go on spring break.  At that point it will be a zoo again.  I just have to hold out till then.

It’s been a Project Runway week for me at work.  On Saturday night I waited on a table of four women.  They were out celebrating a 40th birthday, and had been drinking and did some more while I waited on them.  About 10 minutes into my greeting the table I was asked if I recognized any of them, since one of them was a celebrity.  I said no but asked why she was famous.  Turns out she was a model on Project Runway this season.  On Episode 5 the models were all women who had lost a significant amount of weight.  The designers were then asked to use “fat” clothes the women wore before they lost weight to design a new look for them.  My particular model was paired up with Jack.  It was in this episode that Jack got sick and left the show.  He was replaced by Chris who I love.

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So my customer was very proud of her stint on the show and it was fun getting the inside scoop from her.

Jack really was sick and spent a week in the hospital.

Chris is a sweetheart and she loved working with him.

Christian is just as annoying in real life as he is on TV.

She has no idea who wins the season.  In fact she didn’t know who won the challenge that she was taking part in.  They were whisked away and out of the building by security guards long before the winners were announced.

She says that Jillian is beautiful in real life.  I don’t think so but maybe it’s the 10 pounds TV adds.

It was fun chatting with her and she and her friends promised to come back and visit.  They live in Connecticut.

And then today Heidi Klum was in the restaurantproject-runway.gif

Unfortunately she was led directly to the event she was attending and I didn’t get to see her.  My co-worker who was waiting on her said that she was more beautiful in person than she was on TV.  I was just pissed that I didn’t at least get to see her.  Of course I did make 30 dollars so I guess it was a fair trade.

Time for Math Class…

Work sucked tonight. I repeat. Work sucked tonight. I made less money tonight than I have since I started working there. I’d love to say I sold less but that’s not the case. The foreigners were out in force tonight. It got so bad that I kept my receipts so I could share the “good” news with you.

Here are some of my favorite tips tonight.

Bill: $54.05 Tip: $00.00

Bill: $22.22 Tip: $1.78

Bill: $61.01 Tip: $00.00

Bill: $49.80 Tip: $2.20

Bill: $110.71 Tip: $9.29

Bill: $15.28 Tip: $.72

Bill: $28.39 Tip: $1.61

Bill: $25.46 Tip: $.54

Bill: $66.20 Tip: $3.80

Bill: $11.43 Tip: $00.00

Total: $444.55 Total Tip: $19.94

Total Tip Out Expected to Bartenders, Busser and Food runner on $444.55: $22.22

So to wait on these 10 tables it actually cost me $2.28.

The total amount I should have made after tip out should have been somewhere between the amounts: $44.46 and $66.69 if everyone had left between 18% and 20%.

The actual percentage I made before tipout: .045 percent. There seems to be a shortage if you ask me.

It also didn’t help that most of the tables I waited on tonight didn’t seem to be eating. Two beers and a plate of nachos runs about $22.00. It takes a lot of these tables if you are going to make a living. Luckily, most of the tables I waited on early in the evening were very generous. Their 20-40 percent tips helped to make up some of the difference. Unfortunately, because we were slow there weren’t enough of these tables to make it a profitable evening.

It’s a good thing rent is due this week, otherwise I don’t know what I would do with all of my riches.

Ugh.

A Day In The Life of a Waiter

 A couple of weeks after I started working at the restaurant, a fellow server asked me if I’d change sections with him.  I was new and didn’t know any better so I said yes.  Well to be honest with you, the reason I said yes was because it was in the main dining room and I wouldn’t have to go up and down stairs.  We were very busy that night and I made (I’m so tired as I write this that I just spelled “made” m-a-i-d.  Perhaps I should go to bed?) a small fortune.

The particular section that I was in, is considered the “cocktail” section.  What this means is that the people I’m waiting on sit at high top, cocktail tables.  They are offered the same menu and the same service as the rest of the restaurant.  This section is not, however, part of the host’s rotation.  The customers either seat themselves, or I go into the lobby and tell a group of people that they can skip the wait list (sometimes over two hours long) and come sit down immediately.  Most people agree to do this, although occasionally people don’t want to sit at the high tables.

This system works okay, especially when we are busy.  The tables are constantly filled and often people sit down to be waited on before the leaving patrons have put their coats on.  What this means is that the tables tend to turn a lot faster and you can get people in and out the door pretty quickly.  When we are on a wait, only people who are eating can sit at these tables.  If you are in just to drink, then you should sit at the counter (also part of the section) or at the bar.  This insane pace means that you work a lot harder and faster than most of the other servers but you also make more money than they do.

After that first night, I went to the server manager and told her that she could schedule me in cocktails anytime she wanted.  I loved the pace and more than anything I loved the money.  She took this to heart and now I’m only scheduled in the cocktail section.  This makes me very happy because I make more money, and it make the managers happy because I do a good job.  You would think that everyone would want to work in these sections based on the sales numbers and the tips you make.  But it’s far from the truth.  There really are only about 10 servers who will work there.  For most, the pace is just to fast and you have to work way to hard.  And this is what I love.  At any given moment I have 7 to 10 checks open, getting people what they want.  I also discovered that if I tip the bartenders well at the end of the night, they’ll make my drinks first.  So if you order a drink from me, it will be on your table in three to four minutes.  So I work hard and make a lot of money.

And so why am I telling you all of this.  Well as I mentioned, if no one sits down immediately at one of my tables I go into the lobby and find people to fill the chairs.  A couple of nights ago, I pulled four women out of the group and gave them a table.  They were a hoot.  One of them was from New Orleans and the rest of them were from Nashville.  They gave me a hard time, and I gave them one right back.  We spent the hour they were with me doing a lot of laughing.  At one point I walked up to the table and they said, “Can we ask you a question?” I said, “Sure”.  ” Why did you pick us, out of all the people in the lobby, to come sit at your table?”  I took a deep breath and said, “I can’t tell you.”  The laughed but were persistent.  Finally I said, “It’s because as I walked by you, you were speaking English without an accent.”

What followed was a lot of questions about my answer.  I explained to them that we get a lot of foreign tourists, and although most know to tip, a lot either just don’t do it, or aren’t aware they are supposed to.  Either way, I’ll take my chances with an American table any day.  The question I have is:  “Is it wrong to think this way.”  I was talking to a couple of waiters the other night at a bar, and the discussion turned to people who tip.  And the consensus of the group was that the minute you start waiting tables it makes you think in ways that you don’t always approve of.

There are certain groups of people who tend to not tip well.  I realize it’s a generalization but when you work in a restaurant long enough you see the consistency enough to realize that the stereotypes don’t create themselves.  People who order their steaks well done don’t tip as well as people who order them medium rare.  Smokers tip better than non-smokers.  Anyone who uses 1000 island dressing isn’t going to tip well.  If they order Long Island Teas they don’t tip as well as if they order Dewars on the rocks.  Anyone who orders a Strawberry Daiquiris isn’t going to tip well.  If they use their AAA discount they are going to leave 10% or less.  If they get something for free they won’t tip as well as if they didn’t.  Lesbians don’t tip as well as gay men.  Black people don’t tip as well as white people.  Foreigners don’t tip as well as Americans.   People from the south don’t tip as well as northerners.  Baptists don’t tip as well as Jews.  The Irish don’t tip as well as the Londoners.

I could go on.  I have been in the restaurant business off and on since 1987 and all of these generalizations still hold true.  And what that means, is that I walk into the lobby and I make decisions about who I want to sit in my section based on what people look like.  How they speak.  What they are wearing.  How they are behaving.  All because at the end of the hour they spend with me, I want them to leave the most amount of money possible.  And I hate that I do this.  I hate that I’m reduced to this.  But then again I need to pay my rent.

So what are your thoughts on this.  I’d love to hear what you guys think.

Maddog’s Day Off

Winter has finally arrived here.  The high temperature today was somewhere in the low 30’s and the high tomorrow is supposed to be 22 degrees.  Brrrrr.  I have been cold all night, and so as a result I’ve been wrapped in a blanket on the couch.  Of course being cold might have something to do with just wearing a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, but then again maybe not.

I had the day off today and had planned to sleep late, but woke up almost 30 minutes before the alarm went off.  The alarm was set for noon, so it’s not like I got up early either way.  Of course I didn’t get to bed until almost 5:30.  I got home from work last night and was completely wired.  It had been another one of those nights waiting tables that makes you want to push people in front of moving trains.  I was stiffed 9 times last night.  And as always I don’t mean stiffed in the good way.  Nine different tables failed to tip me at all.  Unfortunately to0 many other people only tipped 10% or so, so the great tippers didn’t quite cover it all.  So I was a little grumpy when I got home and not ready for bed, so I read some blogs, wrote a blog entry, watched some TV, read and finally turned the light off at 5:20.

I was watching the news this morning afternoon when my phone rang.  I answered and before I knew it I had been on the phone all afternoon.  I had planned to run some errands, see Sweeney Todd, hang out downtown, and be back home for dinner and Project Runway.  Needless to say I had to re-think my schedule.

I didn’t even leave my house until almost 4:00.  Whoops.  I did manage to get most of my errands done but there was no time for a movie.  By the time I got to the bank, ran by work, and did a few other things my day was gone.  Oh, well I suppose Sweeney will still be playing next week.

What did amaze me was how much money I spent today.  My roommate and I were joking about how quickly money flies out of your pocket on your day off in New York.  I kept out 100 dollars today, to do everything I needed to do, plus eat dinner and get my laundry out of jail.  After I paid for dinner I had seven bucks left and I had yet to pay for my laundry.  How is that possible.  Of course, once I stopped to think about it, all the money was accounted for.  I just hated that I had spent that much money without even trying.  And it’s not like I did anything outrageous, or bought anything nice.  I did get some necessities though, so I guess spending the money was needed.  I just can’t spend anymore tomorrow until after I’ve worked.  Let’s hope the customers are being generous.

Anchors Aweigh!

I had a great night at work.  I made the second most tonight that I have ever made working in a restaurant.  For some reason everyone was in a great mood and tipping very well.  I had one woman tip me almost 25 bucks on a 45 dollar tab.  I have no idea why, but I’m not complaining.  And it wasn’t just her, everyone was very generous tonight.

I have to admit though the best part of the shift was the French Sailors.

Yummmmmeee!  Whoof!

I’m not sure why they are here, but when I got to work there were about 20 or so sailors in the bar drinking.  They were cute, but nothing compared to the 10 boys who sat in my station around 11:00 tonight.  They were HOT.  HOT.  HOT.  And very friendly.  And very touchy feely.  They kept touching me on the shoulder and the arm.  And making jokes.  At one point one of the boys turned to me and asked if he got a present for being in the French Navy.  I just kind of stood there and grinned and thought to myself what “present” I would really like to give him.  They were also very generous and tipped very well.  And the best part, they let me wear one of their hat’s with the red pom-pom on top.  It made me giggle.

What’s not to love, French Sailors and lots of money.  It was a great night.

And the total is…

I had a great night at work tonight.  At least I thought I did.  Till I counted my earnings at the end of the night.  Somehow I seemed to be about 50 dollars short of what I should have made.  Which now causes me anxiety.  Did I set money down somewhere and not pick it up?  Did I give someone the wrong change?  Did money fall out of my pocket and I didn’t notice?  Did someone not give me enough money for the check.

One of the worst parts of waiting tables is that you are your own bank.   At least in most restaurants.  This means that you keep the money the people give you to pay for their checks on your person.  You also keep the credit card receipts and all the other paperwork generated while you are working.  This means you have void/comp receipts, coupons, discounts, etc. etc.  All of this while juggling the tables/people that you have, remembering to smile all the while trying to keep your shit together.   I know many waiters who’ve lost theirs minds trying to keep up with the “cash” part of their jobs.  I also know many waiters who’ve worked a full shift and owed money at the end of the night because their receipts didn’t cover the “cash due.”  The only stressful part of this system that I hate right now, is that we get a LARGE amount of cash customers.  That means on some nights I carry around 12 or 13 hundred dollars in cash.  Mostly in small bills.  Which I’m completely responsible for.    For the most part I don’t mind this system.  I’ve worked with it every restaurant I’ve worked in and it’s always been okay.  Knock on wood, I’ve never come up short at the end of the night and I’ve never lost money that I’m aware of.

Which brings me to tonight.  There’s no way for me to know exactly how much money I made tonight.   I don’t track cash tips, I just add the money to the pile and go on.  I’m basing my comments tonight on the fact that I had a great evening and except for a couple of tables I made good money.  So when I subtracted my “cash due” amount and then counted what was left I should have had about 50 bucks more than I did…at least I think I should have.  And so now, I’m sitting here wondering what happened.  Of course, I could have totally over estimated the tips I was making tonight and it was what it was.  But I really don’t think that’s the case.  I’ve had far worse nights and walked with more money.  So now I’m annoyed with myself.

Of course, it really doesn’t matter.  If I lost the money, gave someone too much change, over estimated, it doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t replace, fix, or make it better.  I made what I made and that’s that.  I’ll go in tomorrow hoping to make a lot more to make up for the shortage and that’ll be that.  Even when it was all said and done, I had an okay cash night so I probably shouldn’t complain at all.

I’m #1!!!

Guess who’s ranked number 1 in the restaurant this week?  You’re right.  It’s ME!!!!  Yippee.   The new rankings came out today and I was number 1.  This means I must be doing something right.  It’s all based on your sales averages, and surveys that are completed by the guest.  And I didn’t think I’d ever be first because I don’t sell certain things at the table.  We sell some of our drinks in souvenir glasses and I don’t push them.  The way I see it, if someone wants a glass with NYC on it, they’ll ask for it.  I also don’t do a lot of up-selling at the table, suggesting things like mushrooms or onions on a burger.  Once again, if someone wants it, they’ll ask.  I just give my guest what they want, treat them nicely and give them a good experience.  I don’t go out of my way to make money for the restaurant.  However, somethings working cause I seem to be doing okay.  Now if I can just sustain it.

Tonight was an interesting night.  We had a full restaurant buy out.  Some company decided that it was worth spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to have their company holiday party at my restaurant.  In fact the figure that was thrown around was about 215,000 dollars.  It seems kind of excessive to me, but then again no one is asking me.  All I know was I had to show up to work, move crap around all day, and clean up after people.  The work was not hard, but it’s not waiting tables.  All the food is buffet style and all three bars are open serving beverages.  So my duties tonight were to bus tables and say “Yes” if anyone ask for something.  This is all fine except that I was at the restaurant  for 11 hours.  It makes for a VERY long day.  And to make things worse.  We aren’t working for tips.  We are paid and hourly wage.  It’s not a bad hourly wage, but when you are used to having money at the end of every shift, it’s a little disappointing to walk out empty handed.  The money we are paid shows up in our checks, but unfortunately it’s all eaten by taxes so I’ll be lucky if I get 10 or 12 dollars on my next paycheck.  It’s nice that it covers the taxes, but as someone at work pointed out tonight, you can’t pay your rent with the money that pays your taxes.  We have another buyout on Thursday night as well.  I’m just hoping that next week isn’t more of the same.  I need to make some “real” money so I can stay  ahead in the rat race.