Sunday, January 28, 2007 by Ospite.

Typical Saturday night found us with the average hustle and bustle of the weekend crowd. Big reservations and oodles of walk-ins kept us scampering around hoping to be quick for the best buck.

Frank normally has a quality presence with larger parties and fares well. This night was no different. 8 guys were taking out one woman for her birthday. It was a large celebration with joyous laughter, constant witty banter, and much alcohol.

He took extra-special care of this table, for Frank tends to be both a ladies man, and a Man's Man. Almost everyone likes him. This is a wonderful trait when your well-being depends entirely on the generosity of your customers.

To celebrate the year anniversary of birth, we presented the woman with a birthday cake.

"Sing us a song! Sing us a song! And none of that boring old 'Happy Birthday' stuff!"

They had heard me sing other tunes throughout the evening and were hoping for a raucous affair to match their boisterous goings on. Naturally I obliged with the beginning toast from La Traviata, "Brindisi"...a tune you would all know should I sing it now. They laughed and clapped and cheered and seemed very pleased.

A short while later, the party departed. Frank was standing at the cappuccino machine and looked crushed.

"You alright? How'd you do?"
"It was horrible! He signed the credit card receipt but didn't write any dollar amount down! I got stiffed on a 9top!!"

I thought for sure he was going to burst into tears. I would have come close. His night was completely ruined, and it was only half over. When you have an atrocious experience with one table, it's so tempting just to give up on the rest of your tables.

One of our oldtimers found out about it and decided to change the outcome herself. She went to each of the waitstaff, explained what happened to Frank, and asked for a small donation. The old management used to do it this way, using the generosity of the servers to up the staff's spirits as a whole, and also mend what damage was done with the stiffed server.

We all chipped in, because we know that what happens to one of us, happens to all of us. By the time she was done, she'd collected over fifty dollars. She gave Frank the stack of cash. He didn't know what to do. He was shocked, and humbled by the gift from the servers. It was a moment when we were all proud to be part of the staff, knowing that each of us had a touch of philanthropy in our hearts.


Blogger Ya Looblue said...

this post gave me major warm fuzzies. *~Sarah

1:17 PM  
Blogger Moxie said...

What a great story. The good karma ought to be amazing!

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Kris said...

That is amazing. I've never heard of such a thing, but how wonderful for everyone involved!

5:06 AM  
Blogger Augs Casa said...

I really enjoy you blog, but I especially enjoyed this particial one. Good for you all for pitching in and making Franks night. Kudos to you all.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was great that you and your co-workers went out of our way to make the guy feel good again. Just the gesture alone is worth so much-let alone the money.

I wonder if the man who signed the credit card receipt - and didn't fill in a dollar amount - was just spacing (or drunk). He probably meant to fill in a tip but got distracted and just signed the name. We've done that (once when our two year old was acting up)but later realized it and called the restaurant and had them add a charge for the tip.

6:41 AM  

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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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