Ooooh it's tough out there. It really really is. Tips are falling and restaurants are shutting at a rate of knots. It's even biting in the fanciful and cosseted world of celebraty chefdom. Gordon wants more time to pay suppliers, what a nightmare. Mr Blanc is shutting a restaurant, sacrebleu. And poor old Wozza is really in the mire as he closes four restaurants and stares bankruptcy in the face. So not all bad then. But really it is oh so horrible and fills my heart with dread and fear for the future. Is this the right time to be starting a family? I dunno. But then again how much do dogs really cost?
the empty tip jar
the saddest sight in the whole wide world of waiting...
Closing restaurants has a real human cost, and I'm not talking about the bruised egos of the "masters" of the kitchen either. For every restaurant that closes numerous waiters and others end up on the dole queue and that's not very pleasant at all. What we need is a guide to show us the path to keeping our jobs and keeping the money flowing so that we can maintain the lavish, arf, lifestyle that we waiters have become accustomed to. Crikey even I had to forsake the wonderful world of Marks & Spencers the other day and suffer the hideousness that is Tesco's. [shudder] So many people in anoraks, so many stinky students. It offends my delicate and refined senses.
Yeah what we need is a guide to keeping our waiting jobs and how to still earn tips during an elongated and fiscally challenging credit crunch/recession. Oh look there's one right there, what a surprise....
The Well Done Fillet Guide to keeping your waiting job and how to still earn tips during an elongated and fiscally challenging credit crunch/recession.
- Don't go down with the ship! There are no points for being a hero and sticking it out to the very bitter end. If your restaurant is floundering then do one before they do you because when the door shuts for the last time you and all your waiter chums will probably end up applying for the same jobs.
- Spotting the signs of a sinking ship. Is there a disorderly and quite probably angry queue of delivery drivers waiting for cash before they deposit the asparagus and the beef? Is the boss, "not in" every time the phone rings? Have you noticed the steaks getting smaller and the salad portion getting larger? Is the head chef drunk more often than normal and when sober only found looking at the classifieds for jobs? Has the boss asked you if you can cook? Run Forest, run..and don't look back.
- Remember it's last in first out. It sucks but it's true. When they come to cut the hours or, even worse, people from the schedule all together you need to know who is in front of you. You need to know who is in front of you and how to get rid of them. You need a healthy buffer of people who started after you and a small line of people who have been there longer than you. Set em up people, set em up. What choice have you got? Plant vodka in their bags, make up stories about them and how they said/did something inappropriate. People come and go all the time so did you really like them that much? Eh? They weren't your real chums.
- Suck up to the boss. It blows I know, it really really does but you are fighting for your very survival right now. And anyhoo you are a waiter, how much self respect do you really have? Now is not the time for fighting or mounting your lovely high horse and making grandiose proclamations about how reservations should be taken. Buy them things if you must, I suggest a new coffee cup or key ring, that's the sort of stuff they really like. But remember and take note of all the crap they try to pull that you can't answer back to right now and get them in the long green grass in the future.
- Bend over for the nice guests. Literally if you have to. Guests with money are like hens teeth right now so the ones you do get you have to be really super wonderful fantastically nice to. I know I know, it's just awful isn't it? Occasional one liners and sarcastic remarks really wont work anymore, not in a recession. You need to devise cunning and elaborate party tricks, stand up routines and be able to both fascinate and excite the guests with whimsical anecdotes about your time at sea. I suggest getting a hold of some PG Wodehouse. Do whatever you have to get the money from their pocket to your pocket. But no juggling mind, jugglers are sick fucks and you know it.
Of course if all else fails you could just keep your head down, don't rock the boat and just try really really hard to be nice to everybody and get it right. Whatever keeps you in the folding stuff...