Wednesday, 13 August 2008

"Ask not what your waiter can do for you...

...ask what you can do for your waiter"
"Ich bin ein Waiter"

Here's some things you can do for your waiter now that you ask......

Book in advance. Waiters cant handle surprises, surprises like you and your five friends twenty minutes before closing. In this era of wondrous communication you really have no excuse.

Turn up on time. See above, communication, surprises blah blah blah. Also if you arrive late the waiter WILL use it against you all night. "Waiter my steak is overcooked." Yup and you were late so we're even.

Have some inkling where you are. I mean does it look like we do pizza and burgers? The moment you call the waiter over and ask for a quarter pounder with extra cheese and a side of onion rings you are signing you own death warrant. Ok maybe not death warrant but the waiter will give up on you at this point and that means your night out becomes a whole new and very different experience. Google your restaurant before stepping out.

Read the menu. Please read the menu. If there is a dish served in a wonderfully spicy chilli sauce then you should go ahead and assume that the dish is intended to be a spicy one and any attempt to remove the chilli element will render the dish dull. If you don't like plum chutney or if nuts make you die then my advice is don't bloody order the meal with those things in there. Chef does the cooking, you do the eating. Lets leave it like that shall we? Oh and if you don't see it, don't order it.

Trust the waiter. He knows stuff and things. Stuff and things like what goes best with noodles. Mashed potato doesn't go with noodles. If he makes a face like he is chewing on a shit covered shoe then he is trying to tell you something, maybe the fish pie isn't up to it today. The waiter isn't out to screw you over, quite the opposite, he wants to love you, he wants to make you happy. So tear down your walls of suspicion and cynicism and let the waiter help you.

Tell the waiter. Don't keep secrets from your waiter. We don't like secrets or surprises or ambushes either whilst we are at it. With that in mind when the waiter asks, and a good waiter will and I'm sure a few bad ones too, "Hey is everything good for you guys folks?" you need to respond truthfully. Saving it to the end and acting the martyr doesn't help me to help you. And clearing your plate and then whinging you didn't like it doesn't work with me anymore. It did when I was a wittle waiter, but I'm older now (and bigger) and I don't fall for such nonsense anymore. So come on, don't be shy, just spit it out. Not literally of course.

Have some decorum. Honestly I shouldn't have to go over this at your age, your mummy and daddy should have done all those years ago. Eat with you mouth closed, please, please for the love of the little guy in the manger please close it up. I saw the food arrive on the lovely lorry. I saw the chefs cut it, craft it, cook it and plate it. I served it. I have followed the process as much as I want to, the rest is up to you and it's a one player game. SO SHUT IT! Burping, farting, picking, and scratching anything below the waste line is inappropriate in your own front room so don't do it in my dining room. And no track suits are not considered proper dining attire, especially the hideous velour numbers that seem to a la mode these days.

Keep it in perspective. So the tuna was overcooked and our spuds are harder than Tony Soprano. First thing to do is breathe. Flying off the handle, no matter how serious and legitimate your complaint may be, will get you no where. I know it's difficult but you must resist the urge to start swearing and shouting. If you take this route you can expect to meet resistance all the way, and you will leave unhappy. Your waiter is your best hope of having the situation redeemed. So don't be blaming us or getting shirty. I'll happily forgo your tip if it means I get to fuck you over. Seriously drop the anguished, 'I'm just about to cry' look. There's no need for partners and dining guests to hold your hand through the, supposed, pain of it all.

Be in your seat. If I bring your food out and you ain't there I'm just gonna bloody leave it. If it goes cold that's your look out. You ordered it, the chef made it, I served it. So it would be chuffing well nice if you could be at the table and not out smoking when the food arrives. And if the call of another Marlboro Light is so strong that you cant wait then tell me. I know how it feels. I'll happily get chef to hold it for you. It annoys them so I'm all for it.

Give us a clue. Are you done? Eh? No, seriously. I have no idea, there's a bit of uneaten cow loitering on your plate and your cutlery is in the twenty to four position. Does that mean you are done or are you taking a break to discuss the latest "fab" YouTube video? I DON'T KNOW! Help me to help you! Push your plate away from you a little, put your cutlery together and relax. Your waiter will pounce on you be with you presently.

Leave quickly taking all your stuff. Finished? Bill paid? Please get out. I don't mean to be rude but I need that table back/want to go home. We've had a blast, you enjoyed the food and my cheeky chappie service. You paid and tipped with the generosity that makes me want to serve you again with glee, now don't ruin it. Don't overstay your welcome. Don't have me to make you up a rent book.

29 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Medbh said...

Manuel, surely there should be the reminder to tip generously.

Manuel said...

medbh: crikey you were quick! I hope somethings go without saying......!

bendersbetterbrother said...

I like reading about the bad ones. In fact, I've sent a few in.

Manuel said...

bbb: punters? coming my way? how will I know they are from you? and how do you know where I work? these questions must be answered.........!

Manuel said...

bbb: actually did you send me the table of two tonight that arrived a half hour afther their booking time and 1 minute before closing and then failed to leave me a dime despite being ever so lovely to them? eh was that one of yours?

savannah said...

i love your reminders about behavior, sugar! if only there was a way to expand your rules to other areas of life - the one trick pony pontificating pompous ass springs to mind *sigh*

savannah said...

xoxoxox ;-)

Manuel said...

savannah: "the waiters guide to being a better person!" I'll do it!

bendersbetterbrother said...

You told me earlier in the year. You forget? Well, I guessed and made a cryptic entry on mine that wouldn't make sense to anyone else. You been at chef's waccy-baccy again?

As for the customers...soon as you write a couple of consecutive dull posts I send in some fresh "material".
Everybody's happy.
And yes, they were mine. Wait 'til you see what I've got lined up for Thursday.

Manuel said...

bbb: I was trying for a bit of disinformation...pfft....dull? dull? Maybe I should get the shits and write about that....oh and thursday doesn't suit, it;s just me and the new girl and she asked me what a rum and coke was the other day.....I'll be in no mood for benders fun time friends......so expect a good post...

bendersbetterbrother said...

"Maybe I should get the shits and write about that..."

Be careful what you wish for. One dysentery-ish flavoured tip from me and a respected south Belfast eaterie will be closed for a week.

And a rum and coke, as everybody knows, are 2 of the ingredients of a 3am wretch. Hope you set her straight.

heather said...

she seriously asked what a rum and coke was? can she walk and chew gum or is she strictly for decoration?

good luck thursday and just remind yourself that the service sucks in jail, better to write about it here for our entertainment than to actually murder someone.
deserving or not.

Manuel said...

bbb: I did but who knows if it will sink in...

heather: no no she seems bright enough and defo has the capacity to learn......Thursday's the least of my worries believe me......the weekend will be "fun"

daisyfae said...

i shall forever be a better, and certainly more sympathetic, restaurant patron until i'm picking doo outta my shorts from the front porch of the raisin ranch...

but i have to ask: i like to pre-bus my dishes. stack them, collect the paper/disposable items into a single dish, and that sort of thing.

you say this is wrong. but i'm trying to help... am i going to patron-hell?

fatmammycat said...

And don't click your bloody fingers at the waiter to get his or her attention!! Vile practice.

Manuel said...

daisyfae: I have to say yes, yes you are. Pre bussing is cool in BK or McDs.......I have to be strict about this. Sorry.....but we just don't like it....

fmc: it's the lowest of the low.....even lower than not tipping. It displays contempt......bastards

The Idle Wanderer said...

I often take Michael Winner's comments about waiters in his 'Winners Dinners' column seriously. Am I wrong to do this Manuel?

I bet he clicks his fingers whilst eating with his mouth open, chunks of semi chewed food spattered all over his bib - you can just picture it, can't you.

I also admire his casual racism. "The service, led by the restaurant manager, Manuel Gonzales, is immaculate, quiet, professional. There’s no bevy of East European girls who speak no known language and run rampant throughout London’s restaurants." Patently untrue, yet sublime nonetheless.

Manuel said...

idle wanderer: the man is a boorish oaf.......still better than giles coren but an oaf all the same........

boy_wonder said...

If your chef gets my steak wrong I'm making a scene, end of.

Manuel said...

boy_wonder: I'll get the manager for you now......

The Idle Wanderer said...

Anything is better than Giles Coren.

travelling, but not in love said...

I like the list. Maybe you could pass it on to the parisian waiters association and tell them to look out for those customers (i.e. me) who follow these rules.

Tell them I deserve better service!

INNER VOICES said...

im sure all of this falls flat and out the window if the clients happen to be smoking hot with massive boobs hanging out the front of their track suits...

Blondefabulous said...

one would think that these things would be second nature by now, but diners, (being the thick sort), just seem to ignore the obvious.

B said...

Could you have some tolerance for the blissfully ignorant who are dragged along and don't understand the process of how a restaurant works?

Manuel said...

wanderer: yes, yes it is.....

tbnil: ah the masters! there's no talking to that lot....oh I wish I was a Parisian waiter...

voices: rules is rules no matter what or who you are.....honest

blondie: all the time too....


b: no.....hehehehe

lizzie said...

"picking, and scratching anything below the waste line is inappropriate in your own front room so don't do it in my dining room."

yeah, that includes above the waist, too. we don't need to see anything getting picked or scratched at a table. Yikes.

Manuel said...

lizzie: but it happens all the time right? eeeeew......

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