I’m a restaurant kid. My parents have owned restaurants my entire life. I literally grew up sleeping on pizza boxes in storage closets. When I was four-year-old, I told my parents I wanted to be a dishwasher when I grew up. They promptly grabbed a crate and had me start washing dishes. They were always good at making my dreams come true.
Now, three decades later- I no longer want to be a dishwasher. Actually, I’ve dealt with so much restaurant crap that I if I never work as a server, hostess, chef, floor mopper again- it’ll be too soon. BUT, as any restaurant kid will tell you- Once your family is in the business, you will always be in the business. Which is why I will get calls on Saturday nights in a panic saying that they need help behind the bar and BOOM!- I’m a bartender. Or, a server didn’t show up (for the fourth day in a row) and BAM! I’m a server. It just goes along with the territory. One of the benefits of being a restaurant kid is that I will never go hungry. Ever. Actually, I have personal chefs who will cook anything for me whenever I want. It’s not a bad perk… but it doesn’t mean that being a restaurant owner isn’t hard. Mostly because people are jerks. I can spot a person who has never worked in the restaurant industry a mile away… and for the most part, they can be terrible humans. I’ve compiled a list and if you have done or plan on doing anything on this list- You are not only a jerk, but should rot in hell… Enjoy!
10. Make up a name, insist you have a reservation, then freak out when you “Can’t believe they lost my reservation!” You Ma’am (or Sir) are a jerk.
9. Make a reservation for ten people (or a high amount) and not have any idea how many will actually show up. Then you don’t even seem apologetic when your table of ten (that takes up a fourth of the dining room) turns out to be three adults and one screaming toddler.
8. Even though restaurants spend hours creating special dishes and executing a menu that best showcases what they can prepare- You will make up your own dish. Thank you for not even opening the menu.
7. Fake wine connoisseurs. You know who you are. You ask for a “taste” of every single ‘by the glass’ wine, swirl it around extensively, chug it- then ask for another taste. You are corny, cheap, and annoying.
6. The table pickers. These are the folks that stroll around the dining room as though it is their actual home and choose where they want to sit all the while the hostess is gently trying to guide you to your actual table. I’m sorry you want to sit at a table set for six when there are only two of you- We need that table for a party that is actually made up of… SIX people.
5. You don’t tip on booze. Really? No one poured you that drink?
4. My biggest pet peeve are the patron hostesses. They are the people who come in to eat, you apologetically tell them it will be a twenty-thirty minute wait and they proceed to walk into the dining room and scrutinize every table and question your statement. “Why is that table empty and I have to wait?!”- Because you’re not next in line and I don’t have to defend my reasoning to you- Jerk.
3. Nickname bandits. These are the fools that think it’s okay to call you by a “nickname”. I’ve been called Sweetie, Honey, Little Lady… and my personal favorite “Food Bringer”- We are people too- and I’m going to bet all of us have names- I will also bet that not one of us is named “Food Bringer”.
2. The people that complain about a “cutting fee”. A “cutting fee” is the amount a restaurant charges per person when they bring their own dessert- Like a birthday cake. Although this may seem unfair- We are not in the business of serving you OTHER PEOPLE’S FOOD. So, sure we’ll stick a candle in it, hell, we’ll even sing (terribly) but you will pay $3 a person for me to serve you you’re cake. This isn’t your house. We have a mortgage to pay too.
1. The random complainers. Table one says is too hot. Table 12 thinks it’s too cold. Table 16 would like to know if we can turn up the music. Table 19 thinks the music is too loud. Table eight was wondering if they could go in the kitchen and meet the chefs. Table six wants to know why we don’t carry gluten free pasta. Table 21 thinks we should offer a fat-free salad dressing option. The people in the bar that have been waiting for 19 minutes want to know why their table isn’t ready when you specifically said 20-30 minutes.
Keep in mind, this applies to some restaurant patrons- not all. There are plenty of great people out there too. If you are one of those- thank you for being normal. If you walk into a restaurant twelve minutes after placing your take out order and complain it’s not ready yet, then you fall into that jerk category.
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