Thursday, October 12, 2006 by Ospite.

Thursday lunches are random. We never know if we're going to get slammed or if we're facing the cold stiff breeze of an empty dining room. Today was one of those pathetic days where we have entirely too many people on the floor so the table spread is too broad. Therefore we look busy but we make no money.

My third table was sat with three placesettings but only two gentlemen. Another incomplete. Lovely. They walked in laughing, these early 60s guys. At least I knew I could be a little relaxed. And it turned out, also remarkably sarcastic...

"How're you guys doing today."
"Good good. But, where's the Irish music?"
"Well, until we change this place into and Irish pub, I think you're stuck with Italian."
"Alright. Just makes sure you call me when that happens."
"Sure thing."
"I do have a couple menu questions."
"Hit me."
"Corned beef and cabbage?"
"Nope, but the closest thing is going to be the salmon."
"So colcannon's out then too huh?"
"'fraid so. I would also like to note we lack bangers, yorkshire pudding, and chips.'
"That's a shame. Maybe we should go somewhere else."
"How about I get you bread and you figure out which country you want to dine in."

I retrieved bread and oil and they decided to wait to order when their 3rd arrived. They hung out for about 15 minutes when their friend walked by...from the back of the restaurant. He had been sitting in someone else's section for almost 30 minutes. Since that waiter had him before I had the two of them, they joined the first guy's table. I was bussing what small amount of things were on their table when the sarcastic man returned.

"Hey, can I take the rest of that bread so we've got extra?"

Rather than retrieve the bread plate, he grabbed the whole uncut loaf with his bare hand. Shaking it at me he said, "Don't you worry. We're gonna tip this guy big so you get some." He then traversed the trattoria, tearing the bread with his hands and stuffing it in his mouth.


Anonymous Michele said...

yeah...that situation sounds familiar. Do they not realize that the best way to make sure you get tipped is to..oh, I don't know, actually tip YOU? silly, silly customers.

2:20 AM  
Anonymous The Pensive Penguin said...

Yeah, I hate those days when you're busy enough that you actually have to work, but not busy enough to make any money. That's a thursday lunch for you though.

10:41 PM  
Blogger Cricket said...

Do they not realize that the best way to make sure you get tipped is to..oh, I don't know, actually tip YOU?

Most people do tip the first server if they want to make sure he gets some money--but many others only have a credit/debit card, so can only tip on their final bill. Unfortunately, this is a lose-lose situation; generally, the second server has no obligation to share the tip even if some is specifically designated to the other server, and if he does share, he's technically required to claim the full amount (also a pain with shared, one-check parties). Still, the guys were probably trying to do the right thing, and it happens to all of us (as servers, I mean--how it happens from the customer point of view, I have no idea--all members of the party should make it clear who else they're looking for, or find a way to contact each other--most people have cell phones now, and I've seen parties where all members have mobile phones sit for half an hour before figuring out they're split into two or three separate tables, all waiting on the others, when a 5-second phone call would've prevented it).

9:36 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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