"We've run out of chile rellenos for the day."
I say this a lot. I say it because I have to - certainly not because I want to. This particular dish is really labor intensive and really delicious. This means that we don't make a lot, they're popular and we run out on nearly a daily basis.
I'm going to announce a restaurant industry insider secret: servers/bartenders do not control the kitchen. We have no investment in whether a certain menu item is available or not. We don't like having to tell people that we are out of any item because it draws us into two annoying scenarios.
Annoying guest option #1:
Complain loudly and over-dramatically about the restaurant being out of chile rellenos. Act like this is a life threatening situation and you're beyond devastated. Blame the server and pout for at least ten minutes. Consult the owners as if you believe there is some elaborate conspiracy to keep you from your beloved chile rellenos. Then punish your server even further by leaving a terrible tip - as if this was a personal affront to you.
Annoying option #2:
Make a stupid joke that you are "going to get up and leave", thus making your server pretend that s/he hasn't heard the joke ten thousand times before. It's not original.
It's very rare that I encounter a normal person who can just say "okay" and move on without either acting like a huge baby or trying to make a bad joke about it.
And since I'm ranting, what is it with customers who obsess about the television when they are out to eat? People sometimes refuse tables because they won't have a good view of Sports Center. God forbid you socialize with your family and stop staring at the same highlights for one hour! And other people will literally flag you down (while you are carrying 10 drinks or someone else's food) to ask that you change the channel. If I'm busy - my last concern is making sure you can stare at the tv screen.