I Always Feel Like... Somebody's Watching Me!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Questions of the Week

I know the book Waiter Rant has already published some of the most unbelievably ridiculous stories to be told about working in the restaurant industry, but sometimes customers can still surprise me! The author Steve Dublanica started his work on an anonymous blog and soon had enough stories (and enough followers) to put together a book.

What he writes is SO on point, and easily categorizes all customers into specific categories. Some people are egomaniacs who dine in restaurants to abuse the staff and build up their own broken egos. Some are people who tip in compliments - as in, they think the more that they say thank you, the less money they have to leave at the end of the meal. Oh! if my bills could be paid with nice words. However, my favorite statement is "If you can't afford to tip your server, you can't afford to eat out." These should be lessons passed on to our children along with simple please and thank you.

I don't encounter many non-tippers at my restaurant. It's too small-town and friendly for that to happen often. Not to say it doesn't happen - especially if we are busy. Someone might take the signed credit card slip with them or assume their friend put the tip on their portion of the bill.

I do, however, encounter a lot of dumb questions. Yes, dumb - to describe it any other way would be dishonest. Here are two winners from this week:

- A man looks at his menu, scans all of the items and asks, "Do any of these have tortillas?"

1. We're talking about a Mexican restaurant.
2. All of the menu descriptions clearly say "choice of flour or corn tortillas". (And while I'm on the topic - I can't count how many people have asked, DUH, What's the difference?)

- A woman, without looking at the menu, asks, "Which of your lunch items are hot in temperature?"

1. You mean, as in "cooked"? Restaurants cook food. Welcome to the world.
2. I clearly explained that all of the meat or seafood was grilled, along with the other ingredients - EXCEPT for salads. Just to clarify.

When I hang out with my friends who have spent time (like prison) in the restaurant industry, these stories can go on for hours. From fast food to high-end hotel bars, customers can still be pretty obtuse. Does anyone out there have a good "dumb" question they've heard while serving?


  1. I got called at Little Caesar's once and was asked whether our wings were from male or female chickens. I didn't know the answer and was too embarassed to ask the manager so I just hung up.

  2. this has nothing to do with the food industry, but when I was in college in my freshmen WRITING CLASS for ENGLISH MAJORS...we were writing an inclass paper. it was quiet and Marla, next to me, leans over and asks "do you know how to spell m&m"? (this was before the cute rappers time) To which I reply, "Like the candy?" At which I get a "yes". Still my best question ever!

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