Wednesday, April 05, 2006 by Ospite.

I'm not yet sure how I feel about the "regulars." I mean, repeated patronage is one thing, but when it's at the point when we know exactly what to ring up before ever taking the order (but you can never do that, you must always take the bloody order)...come on people, get a little bit of a life. Perhaps I view it differently because it's my place of employ, and not a "hang out spot." I look to make money here.

Some regulars are wonderful. We have several pro hockey players who come in at certain intervals with team members. We greatly enjoy their presence because, for one, they eat like horses. Extra meat, extra pasta, large desserts. On top of a large bill, they are fabulous tippers. One of our not-so-coordinated waitresses once spilled a glass of water completely on one of them...they still left her a 23% tip. Their average tip is 28%; I've seen them leave 50%.

Now, there are others who are the exact opposite. They come in frequently and somehow feel that they run the place simply because they spend large amounts of money. I want to tell them to open their own restaurant if they want to run one so badly. It is this type of regular for whom I have no patience. It was one of these who was in on Saturday,

Saturday...the day we make our highest wage. The day that usually finds us with a 2hour walk-in wait time. I have never taken the pains to learn this guy's name, and I hope to never learn it. So for the sake of reference, we shall call him Grey, for his startlingly bright grey hair can be seen bobbing on his skull from the far side of the floor. Grey saunters in with his slightly rotund wife, walks up to me and says,

"I want that table...right there..second from the left. I always have that table and I will sit nowhere else. If they've just been sat, ask them to move. If they've already ordered, then I'll wait for the table."

Every visit is the same. He acts as if we've never heard this all before. Once I flat-out asked him:

"What is so special about that table, sir?"
"Nothing. It's my table."

Maybe there's microfilm in it and he needs to check up on it from time to time. Whatever he's not sharing is clearly of the utmost importance.

Saturday, "his" table had been sat, and the two top at it had not yet ordered, but there was no way I was going to ask them to move after having waited 50 minutes to eat. Not to mention, Grey is too pompous to make a reservation...naturally we would have that table free for him no questions asked.

"Sir, I'm sorry, but you will have to be added to my list, and sat promptly but in order or arrival."
"Fine...just make sure we get that table. Got it?"

He humphed off to the bar, his wife, rolling through the crowd. Part of me wants to hold that table open for an hour and seat him right next to it.

We can expect at least one repremand per meal from him and this night was no different. The veal was apparently "made of rubber" and the chef had not been informed of the trasformation and should clearly be shot. But that was not all. He was in rare form. As I passed he hailed me much like he would a fellow Nazi. He points to the table next to him:

"Excuse me. Their food was not served promtly. It took far too long to come out."
"I'm sorry. Are these friends of yours?"
I glance at the nearby table and the 3top seated there is trying to hide behind wine glasses and napkins. They very clearly want nothing to do with this complaining regular.
"Did they say something to you about it?"
"No. I think they're too afraid to. But it quite obviously took their food forever to come from the kitchen. And it was probably cold."
"Thank you for bringing it to my attention."

He shot them a look as if to say "You owe me one." I walked away to finish what I was on my way to do and returned to the 3top. Grey had just exited towing his wife behind. To the 3top:

Me: "How is everything?"
Head of 3top: "Actually, everything's been delicious and the service exemplary."
Wife of 3top: "Who was that man? One of the managers?"
Me: "No ma'am. He's a regular here."
Wife: "Not even and employee?!"
Me: "No ma'am. Another diner, such as yourself."
Head: "Well, he certainly is an ass. I cannot believe he had tha gall to complain about our service...something which had nothing at all to do with him."
Me: "I've come to expect it from him."
Wife: "Well, everything was great and we will definitely be back soon."
Me: "Splendid. I hope you have a pleasant evening."

As the 3top left, they caught my attention and the gentleman came over.
"Thanks for everything tonight. I appreciate you fielding all the complaints from appalling customers."
"Why thank you sir. It is nice to be appreciated."
He shook my hand...with a $5 bill. It's nice when appreciation can buy a pint at the pub.


Blogger meatball666 said...

I guess i should've been a hockey player. I always tip over 20% and if the food is not that good i feel it's not the waiting staff responsability so i still tip good and don't go back. The "funniest" or pathetic story about bad tippers happenned to my girlfriend. She went to eat with her aunt, wich is the same age as her, to a restaurant. At the end of the meal the aunt doesn't leave any tip, so my gf complaints to her that everything was more than ok and 20% is a minimum. The cheap aunt doesn't want to tip so my gf leaves the whole tip. Later my gf asked the aunt if she was eating there regurlarly and the answer was that she ate there 2-3 times a week. My gf was laughing her ass out when she told her aunt that she must have eaten a lot more than what she ordered. We never go with her to a place where she's known. I'll leave her eat spit and who knows what.lmao

sorry for the spelling english is not my primary language

keep up with the fun blog

12:34 PM  

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At your service, Ospite

I am not in the restaurant business, I am in the people business. I use every opportunity to people watch, because to me, even the most mundane is fascinating.

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