Tuesday, May 22, 2007 by Ospite.

I can feel it...and I'm not the only one.

We started seeing the signs around Christmas. It's a dark cloud. An imminent dread. Our clientele is changing.

Dinner finds us with a whole new playing field. We're finding an influx of the 10% tippers, the ratio leaning towards their end...their numbers growing. Particularly on weekends. My favorite was the hick with no sleeves, a sunburn, Looney Toons tattoos, a wife with big hair, and a kid with sweatpants...and a 9% tip. That's right, we're starting to get the Olive Garden crowd.

What to do? The money's getting worse, but I get a flawless schedule. I'm a big fish in a small pond. And I'm only in town for a year. Grad school auditions are coming up, so I need pull in the scheduling department. It's like a slow but steady torture.

Wines sales are at an all time low, except our pathetic house wine. It used to be that people would ask me to try it, I'd pour a sample and they'd almost laugh and then order a nice DOCG Chianti. Now, people ask for a large glass of the house "red" (they don't even care what it is), and then rave about how wonderful it is. Seriously? The last place I had a decent house red was in Tuscany, at a tiny hole-in-the-wall trattoria where the owner cooked all the food. The last person that served me a decent white wine that I didn't have to ask about was this guy: Art House Spoleto.

Our lasagna tastes like Chef Boyardee and we've been selling it in record amounts. Our halibut has sat lonely in the walk-in, waiting for someone who cares. The amount of Beringer White Zin "on the rocks" that passes me everytime I near the bar is depressing.

What is happening to the world?


Blogger 6th Floor blog said...

There are so many good tasting wines that are even cheap, that it amazes me people are so afraid to try anything new beyond their 'red' and 'white' and 'blood, err pink' wines.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Manuel said...

When good restaurants go bad! I feel for you. Its when the owners start changing things to suit the new customers rather than try and attract the good guys back, thats when its time to go. Then the reputation goes, and its game over. My head chef and GM are good people, if not slightly mad from time to time, but every menu and wine list is an improvement on the last. We are taking the customers with us as it where. Our next house wine is the same bottle that Gordon Ramsay serves as his house. So that is quality...

2:31 PM  
Anonymous mj said...

Dude, have you noticed the price of gas, groceries, electric ... man, you are lucky anyone even comes in much less tip 10%

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, have you noticed the price of gas, groceries, electric? Man, you are lucky anyone even comes in much less then tip 10%,,, and it is gonna get worse.

12:05 PM  
Blogger me said...


wait till' you start getting groups of TEENAGERS

i'm one and i can't deal with them.

11:33 PM  
Anonymous flo said...

mj how do you think servers pay for THEIR gas, groceries, electric, food in their kids' mouths, etc...
The economy is no excuse to short your server their deserved tip. People will always go out to eat, no matter the price the gas. They still want to be catered to and waited on. And if they make that choice to do so, then they should tip 18-20%.

6:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point: If you can afford to go out to eat, then you need to be able to afford to tip too. Dammit.

Oh yeah, and EFF Beringer White Zin. Cheap bastards.

9:51 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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