May 31, 2009

Facebook for the Steakhouse

We use to feature a Brazilian BBQ every weekend at the Steakhouse. It's a $35 dollar all you can eat endless meat buffet, (sounds like amateur porn). Basically, the cooks prepare different cuts of meat and grilled fruit on huge skewers, and walk around slicing off pieces until people have had enough.It was hugely popular, but due to food costs we had to stop serving it. However people are still requesting we bring it back, so our managers decided we would bring it back for one weekend in June. Today we were all asked to promote it the best we could, when I suggested to management that they create a Facebook account. We currently don't have a website, so other then paying for overpriced radio and newspaper ads, they have no way of promoting special offers. They looked at me as if I was a miracle worker, speaking words of wisdom into there brainless heads. Then they offered me money to create an account, and start networking within the community.

It really doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how to advertise more effectively, but apparently my high school drop out managers think it does.

May 30, 2009

Suggested Gratuity or Required Gratuity?

Fellow waitstaff, I request your feedback concerning a situation I found myself in last night.

At the steakhouse we are required to add 15% gratuity for parties of 8 or more. It is written on the menu, and it is told to everyone calling in to make reservations. It is not optional, and therefore is rarely an issue.

Last night when I began my shift I was told I would have a party of 20. I was immediately excited. I was scheduled to be first off, so I knew the large party plus a few additional tables may be all I would have the entire evening, and that with added gratuity I would be leaving with a nice chunk of change.
As I began setting up for the big top, I was approached by my spineless manager. She told me the lady who called in for the large party refused the added gratuity, and threatened to go elsewhere unless we made an exception. So of course my manager fearing the loss of business, complied with her wishes. She apologized to me, and said there was nothing she could do, but said that if they stiffed me, she would "make it up to me."
The excuse that was given for the gratuity refusal was that they didn't want to feel limited on the amount they could tip. Well, isn't that the dumbest thing I've ever heard. If they wanted to tip more then 15% they could easily just leave a few extra bucks on the table. I was not fooled. I know there is only one reason to refuse gratuity and that is because you have no intention of tipping.
Eventually, the 20 top turned into a 10 top and half the people didn't even order, so all the commotion was for nothing. But it left me feeling somewhat uneasy. Our policy is clearly stated on the menu. Why have rules if no one will enforce them? And would it have been better for the manager to let them take there business elsewhere, and keep her dignity knowing she didn't sell herself out? What are other restaurants policy about gratuity, and are they enforced?

Also, as the 10 top left, I couldn't help but laugh as I noticed they did in fact stiff me. And I didn't hesitate to remind my spinless manager that she definitely did "Owe me"

Eating at the Steakhouse

As I have mentioned in the past, The Steakhouse use to be my favorite restaurant in town, as well as my husbands. It was in fact the place where we went on our first date, and so over the past few years we would frequent it together on special occasions. However since I began working there, our visits became less and less. The problem being, once I begin working somewhere as a server, I feel strange and awkward coming in as a guest to eat. I feel that I am never given proper service, as the waiters and waitresses become my friends, and the novelties of special things that are now at my daily disposal lose there value and are therefore not interesting to me anymore. ( The yeast rolls and honey butter, the peanuts on the floor...and so on)
Well, last night was the hub's birthday so naturally I allowed him to pick the restaurant. He chose the steakhouse, as it's still his favorite and he hasn't gone in once since I began employment. I agreed, and so we went in to have dinner.
Dolly was our waitress, so I expected we'd be taken care of. Much to my dismay she pretended like she didn't even know us, almost as if we were first time guests. She proceeded to try and hard sell us everything from add cheese and bacon, to top shelf liquor. I was a bit annoyed throughout the meal, mostly because I know the menu, I know my options, and I did not want any thing except exactly what I ordered.
After we finished eating she came to us offering dessert. I said no, and she tried again saying "are you sure you don't even want a piece of cheesecake??" I said no thanks, and she tried one more time saying that we just had to try the chocolate cake. I was so annoyed and just wanted her to leave us the hell alone when I said "No dessert. Its my husbands birthday and we have two cakes and two gallons of ice cream at home waiting for us." She stepped back looking shocked, and said "So, nothing then?!?" I just looked at her and shook my head. How dense.

I picked up the bill and noticed she had charged me for my iced tea. Now, i'm all open for discussion on this topic, but I never charge a fellow team member for any soft drink/tea/coffee. I also noticed she had added small charges to my husbands meal for slight modifications. I thought at this point I couldn't be any more frustrated with her, until I saw her dumb smiling face walking around the corner ringing the cow bell and hollering with the entire crew coming to sing the birthday song for my husband.

I have never wanted to stiff a waitress more then I did then.

May 29, 2009

Fired Over Makeup

A story came across my inbox this morning. The story of a beautiful waitress fired because she refused to wear makeup to work.

"Shenoa Vild worked at a Trophy's restaurant in Mission Valley, San Diego, for five years when new management bought the place and started requiring waitresses to wear makeup in an effort to class up the joint. (Because nothing says classy like pancake makeup and six coats of mascara.) Well, Shenoa's not a big fan of makeup and said no. Management asked her to take her natural, glowing complexion elsewhere."

I was shocked to find out it is technically legal to fire an employee for not wearing make up, and couldn't help but think that this move had nothing to do with "classing up the place" rather had everything to do with "sexing up the place."

May 25, 2009

86 Jimmy

I've mentioned my disapproval of management hiring teenagers when there are so many possible candidates, but so far, besides just annoying the hell out of me, the teens really have not been that bad. However Thursday night we were all standing around complaining about how slow the weekend was going to be due to the holiday, when Jimmy Chin-Strap pipes in that he and his "bro's" are going camping, and they had a friend hook them up with lots of beer.

I didn't think anything of it until I walked into work Friday and saw him arguing with the managers. Doing my best to eavesdrop I heard him say that he didn't like his job and that he was quitting. After it was all said and done, he walked back into the restaurant to return his work shirt and asked me if he could borrow my cell. I let him, and he just stood there making his call right in front of all the servers, and the manager he just quit on.
His conversation was quite brief but went something like this;

Jimmy Chin-Strap:
"Hey Bro, what up!!? Ya, good news homie, I just quit, so I'm still down for camping."

Apparently he had forgotten to ask for the weekend off, and instead of just talking to a manager, or getting a fellow employee to cover his shift, he just quits.
We all were pretty shocked at the audacity of this guy, but had a few good laughs about it throughout the night, and after shift over drinks. But the best part about it was Saturday morning when I walked into the Steakhouse bright and early to Open, and I see "JIMMY" written in big green letter on the 86'ed board, right under "THE LAKERS."

I love my job.

May 23, 2009

A quite perplexing thought...

Why are most restaurant cooks male, but most household cooks females? Any ideas.

Sent via iphone

Thick and Hearty?

So, I'm not entirely sure why, but the managers decided we would stop serving the traditional A1 Steaksauce, and only use the new A1 Thick and Hearty. Assuming it was strictly a food cost decision, I figured the new stuff was probably cheaper and therefore didn't taste as good as the original. But upon tasting it, I realized quite the opposite. It truly is an identical flavor, only a slightly thicker paste.

I was so puzzled by this, as I thought it was almost ridiculous to make a product so similar to the original, but slap on a new design and give it a new name. Whatever though, its what the managers want us to serve, so it's what we'll serve.

Well tonight I had a lady order a Tri-tip. She requested A1 so I returned with the bottle, and then moved on to another table. Moments later she near stood on her seat, while frantically waving to get my attention.

Patron: "You did hear me when I asked for A1... right??!"

G.H: "Yes mam, Its right here." (pointing to obviously labeled bottle of A1)

Patron: "This is BBQ sauce"

G.H: "It is A1, its just the new Thick and Hearty."

Patron: "No it's not, it's BB.....I didn't ask for BBQ, I want my damn A1."

G.H: "I'm so sorry mam, unfortunately we don't carry the traditional A1 any more, only the thick and hearty."

Patron: "Well then bring me a to-go box, I'm taking my steak to Sizzlers."

May 22, 2009

Meet the Staff Part 3.

The Co-Workers
Part 2

6. Elvira- With even bigger hair and absurd amounts of make up, this bartender looks worse then the Mistress herself. She's a very sweet hearted gal, but as a woman living in the 21st century, I cannot figure out her sense of fashion and style. Working with her makes everyday feel like Halloween, and I left my costume at home.

7. Crippled Vet- This douche-tank is my least favorite person at the Steakhouse. He's been around almost as long as Crack Whore, and is the biggest baby I have ever met. He is in his early 30's, and spent like 10 minutes in Iraq a few years ago, and he wines and complains every single shift about his war injury's, and mental distress even though we all know he was discharged for sleep-talking. Now, don't get me wrong, I respect and honor our war veterans, but this guy is hardly one, he just claims so to get out of doing side-work, rolling silverware, or bussing his own tables. (and No, we do not have a busser, he makes the Host do it.)

8. Tween Surprise-These lovely teenage ass wipes (mentioned here) are the newest members at the Steakhouse. They all bring with them a plethora of high school drama bullshit, and won't shut up about boyfriends, pep ralleys, and there first time giving a blow job. They are incredibly excited about life, and are oblivious to the reality of becoming an adult. Often overheard bragging about spending there last $60 dollar paycheck on a new Ipod, and an Abercrombie mini skirt, these retards annoy me simply because I know for a fact I wasn't like that at 17.

May 21, 2009

Meet the Staff Part 2.

The Co-Workers

Part 1

1. Crack Whore-Crack whore has worked at the Steakhouse since before it was the steakhouse, and longer then everyone including the managers, which automatically gives her the right to act like she owns the place. Having lost more then 90 pounds in less then 3 months, and having more men ask for her section then a Prostitute on a busy night in Vegas, we all know her secret.

2.Pregnant Bitch- (Also known as the vicious table thieving K.B) She's having a rough pregnancy, I get that, but don't take you morning sickness, ass cramps, and headaches out on me. She's the real nasty fighter type to. The key your car, stab your tires and sleep with your boyfriend if you cross her type.

3. Pregnant Bitch's Husband- This is the funniest, most sarcastic fucking guy I have ever met. and one of my favorite people to work with, unless his wife is working.

4. Pregnant Bitch's Husband's Sister- Have I told you yet that almost every person here is related in some form. Sister is pretty decent however. She trained me, and taught me all the half-assed ways to skimp on everything from side-work, to paying my checkout at night. She's also as witty and sarcastic as her brother, making for an interesting and entertaining combination for the rest of us when they get into an argument.

5. Dolly Parton-5 Time divorcee, is always looking for a new sugar daddy. With an age guess of about 60, she is always getting gifts from numerous men whom she brags about sleeping with. She claims to be plastic surgery free, but the woman looks like a mix between Dolly/Joan River and the creepy Cat Lady but She is a great server, as expected since she's been doing it for the last 45 years.

May 20, 2009

Meet the Staff Part 1.

My beloved Steakhouse and Saloon is in a small town in the middle of nowhere. (Much like this one.) We are primarily a logging and retirement community, and our only claim to fame would be the many Superbowl rings of every one's favorite Steeler. There is next to nothing going on here, and if I wasn't knee deep into my second degree I would seriously considering getting the hell out.
I started working at the Steakhouse as I could not handle one more ounce of corporate bullshit at Red Red, where I was employed for a near suicidal 3 years.
I was happy with the new job, as It had always been my favorite place to eat in town. I loved the laid-back atmosphere, throwing the peanut shells on the floor, and the yeast rolls with honey butter. All things that I have now come to hate as an employee.

My coworkers, and the management here are decent, and certainly better then the spoiled teenage fuck-faces, and overpaid and undereducated asshole management at the Dirty Bird. But still not entirely ideal.

I have decided to take the next few posts and give you a proper introduction of my Steakhouse Family. I figured that since we are going to be spending so much time together in the future, It would be nice for you to know a little bit more about the main characters of all my fucked up, and 100% true confessions.


May 17, 2009

The Great Gift Card Scam

Within my first few months at my beloved Steakhouse and Saloon, I was a involved in a scandalous and dramatic staff meeting.
We were all rounded up one busy Friday night by a frantic and distraught manager, who told us there was an urgent and mandatory meeting the next morning at 8:30am, and that they would not allow anyone to miss it.

Of course, being the brand spanking FNG I knew I had no other option but to peel my possibly hung over ass out of bed, and slink into work earlier then I feel is ever acceptable. But once I heard the cause of all the commotion I was certainly happy that I came.

Over a year prior to the meeting all of our computers had been updated, and somehow with all of the changes a small error had occurred within the program that records and logs all gift card transactions, basically restoring all gift-cards to original purchase amount.

So for example, Bob buys a gift card for $50 big ones. Bob and his wife come in to eat, spend $45 bucks, and pay with the same gift card. I run the card, and the receipt shows a remaining balance of $5 dollars on the card, so I return it and wish them well. A week later Bob and his wife return and once again spend $45. Upon paying they hand me the same gift card, mentioning that there's something like $5 dollars left on it, and they will pay the difference with a credit card. I run the gift card, and low and behold it still has $50 dollars on it, I then return it mentioning that it still had $5 dollars remaining. And so on...

It took my brilliant managers almost a year to realize that about 15 different gift cards were being fraudulently used to rack up over 8 thousand dollars of food.

It is quite the unique situation. These guests were not initiators of the Gift Card Scam, rather they were grandfathered in. Can you imagine the surprise on Bob's face the second visit when he really thought there was only $5 dollars remaining on the gift card, but mysteriously there was more, and he would get a second meal free. You can imagine how he must have pondered the third trip into the restaurant with such a magic gift card. Would it work again? Well it did, it worked the next time, and the next time, and as long as he never spent more then $50 dollars, he would keep getting the card back, and although he was told there was only a few dollars remaining, he knew otherwise.

Bob, such a sneaky bastard.

Quite a traumatic situation watching the managers scramble to fix the error. I felt pretty bad for them watching the gravel at the owners feet, but I couldn't help thinking to myself that the whole issue should have been spotted much sooner.

Within a few days the error was fixed and all was back to normal, although the thieving assholes didn't know that.

Yesterday at work a foul smelling couple came into the restaurant. They sat down, and quietly ordered. I was a little annoyed at how awkward they were being as they refused to make eye contact. They purchased a bottle of wine, two entrees, and two desserts and had a bill of about $75 dollars. Before I even made it to their table with the bill, I noticed they had set out a gift card. When I went to retrieve it the man grumbled that there was about $100 dollars on it. I went to the machine to cash them out, and the card rang in as $0 dollars. I tried again, and still $0 bucks. I returned to the table and let them know about there misfortune, when they started harassing me. "Try it again. You didn't try hard enough." They pressured. So as they requested, I did try again, this time bringing back with me the receipt with the big fat zero. The lady look like she wanted to punch me. The man demanded to speak with a manager.

I intentionally eavesdropped on them as they alienated and disrespect my manager, saying the card was a gift, and that they couldn't afford to pay the $75 dollar bill. I watched as my manger retrieved the old gift card log to verify the card number and find out if there really was $100 dollars on it and gasped when she realized this particular card was one being used to steal over and over again from the restaurant.
She demanded they pay their current bill of $75 dollars, and that they never return to the restaurant or she would call the cops and have them arrested.
They paid, and then left, and I sat back feeling a little dissatisfied. We had caught them red handed, and there was no punishment. Sure they were publicly embarrassed, and booted from the restaurant, but it felt so anticlimactic.

I realized only later that this unfortunate situation could have no other ending. There was no way to track WHO exactly used that card over 50 times to steal food. It's their word against ours, and hey...maybe they really did get it as a gift.

May 15, 2009

Things that could make me stab a coworker.

Today was almost perfect. I got to work early. Did my side-work, prepped my section, stocked my peanuts, clocked in, and was ready to go. I was first off, so I knew if I got my stuff done early I could jet the second I was cut off the floor.

My first ten or so tables were amazing. Very friendly, easy, straightforward orders, not alot of extra running around. Their food came out just right, and nobody had to send anything back. Now in a Steakhouse it is quite common to send back an under-cooked Medium Well, or an over cooked Rare, and I understand that. If you are spending 25-30 dollars on a piece of meat it sure as hell better be perfect. But not today. Everyone was perfectly happy with there dinner, and then left 20-30% percent tips. I was in a great mood and then it began, so subtle at first.

A very well dressed man and woman with British accents were sat in my section. They asked to see a wine list, and I went to go grab them one.

Now, I might mention that in the restaurant world, each server is given a very specific section, and must stick to those tables, unless either 1. The manager shifts us to ease up on a server that is struggling, or 2. We personally ask another server to take a table, and they agree.

Well, British Couple order a $75 dollar bottle of wine, and seem very interested in the 30 dollar special. So as I walk to the bar to get the wine, I do some quick math in my head, and figure that I should be getting no less then $25 from this table if I do everything right, and they tip accordingly. This was an exciting thought, as I knew I would be cut soon, and wouldn’t have many more tables.

I head back to their table with the bottle when I see a fellow waitress taking their order, I assume she is just being helpful, so I proceed to the table and pour their wine and say

“I’ll go track down K.B and make sure to get your order in right away…

They smile and nod.

In the kitchen I see K.B, thank her for her help and then ask her for there order, when she responds

“I’ll just go ahead and take the table since I already went through all the trouble of taking their order, but you can have the next table that sits in my section.”

Well, I did take the next table that sat in her section. They were complete assholes, and stiffed me on a $60 dollar bill. While needless to say K.B got a $45 tip from the lovely British couple in my section.

Now, I guess this is all my fault. You’re right I could have told her no, but I really hate to cause riffs. That coupled with the fact that I’m still considered the FNG, and there was no way I was gonna start shit with a 5 year veteran.

And just to pour a little more salt in the wound, when she asked how my table in her section tipped me and I said $0, she laughed and said…

“I guess you should have kept the other table after all….”


Dream Job.

Its official. This is my dream job. Well, either this or Dick's Last Stand in Vegas.

But what i really meant to say was...

On A Busy Friday Night.

Patron: “Could I get some ranch for my french fries?”

G.H: “Absolutely, is there anything else I can get you while I’m back there?”

(What I meant: “Absolutely, but if you need anything else and don’t tell me until I get back I’ll cut your fucking balls off spit in your drink..”)

Upon returning-

Patron: “Oh, I actually meant Ketchup, not ranch”

G.H: “No problem, anything else you need”

(What I meant: “They are not even similar in any way, how could you confuse the two, stupid douche rocket. Oh, and thanks for wasting my time, if I get a shitty tip from another table cause I wasted all night on your useless errands I’ll blog terrible stuff about you and use your full name.”)

Upon returning-

Patron: “Actually, can I get some extra napkins to?”

G.H: “When I get a minute, I’ll bring them right out”

(What I meant: Fuck you and your napkins. When you stop me again in 20 minutes, I’ll apologize and act like I forgot, then I’ll go in the back and pull some napkins out of the garbage and you'll never fucking know!”

Mother's day sucks.

So, as you may know, there are no holidays in the Restaurant world, and Mother’s day is no exception. For our restaurant its absolute chaos and insanity. I opened at 10, and worked straight through until we closed early because we ran out of food. You know that crazy rush for about 3 hours on a Friday night…Mother’s day was like that, only all day long. The lobby was packed, standing room only, and we were putting people on a 2+ hour wait.

It felt like war. We were all there prior to opening, getting stuff ready, prepping as much as we could, trying to be overly prepared, and then the open sign clicked on and we charged forward.

After about 4 hours, I was on autopilot. I hardly remember anything from the second half of the day. I often feel like a robot repeating the same lines over and over.

G.H “Thanks for coming out today, happy mother’s day. My name is G.H, I’ll be taking care of you. Todays Special is a 6oz bacon wrapped Filet mingon, with grilled and breaded shrimp, with your choice of side, and you choice of salad, soup, or chili.”

Conversations From Last Night.

So I work at one of those restaurants where people eat peanuts, and throw the shells on the ground. I know, its fantastic, but people really abuse this privileged. I mean, just cause you can toss your shells on the ground, doesn't mean you can throw all kinds of shit on the ground to. I don't like to be on my hands and knees under your table picking up sugar packets, straws, napkins, etc after you leave.

I’m talking grown adults just dumping their crap all over the floor. Its trashy. But nothing beats last night.

I bring out all the food for my table, and start handing it out. When teen patron #1 says: “What is this shit?” Pointing at the Sour Cream on her baked potato

G.H: “Thats sour cream”

Patron #1: “I didn't order this shit on my baked potato”

G.H: “I’m sorry miss, the baked potato’s always come with butter and sour cream. If you’d like I can bring you a new one without sour cream?”

Patron #1: “No, don't worry about it, I’ll take care of it.”

I say ok, and as I turn to leave I notice out of the corner of my eye, she holds her potato over the edge of the table, and flicks the ball of sour cream onto the ground. I mean, she really punted that thing, and it splatted all over the floor.

I turned back and looked at her, rolled my eyes, and walked away.

The absolute nerve of some people. How could she even think that her actions would be acceptable? People never ceases to amaze me.

Stupid teenagers

So the unemployment rate in my hometown is up over 16%, and everyday many desperate people come in to get applications. Unfortunately I have to tell them that we aren’t hiring.

Well, we’ve recently had some changes and needed to hire three people, (A host, a dishwasher and a busser.) These are definitely not considered good positions in the restaurant world, but with the way things are in my town, people are so desperate for a job, that they wouldn’t mind doing the crap work, in fact they would be happy to.

Anyways, for some reason unknown to me, our brilliant managers decide it would be a great idea to hire three 16 year olds, all of which have NEVER had jobs. Nothing about this is OK with me. And to make matters worse, they all cruise up to the staff meeting in nice ass cars. Now deductive logic would assume that if these assholes have never had jobs and drive nice cars, they probably don’t really need to be working, cause obviously daddy is taking good care of them.

Now I don’t know about you, but I think “Johnny Unemployed, cause I got laid off from my awesome job and now I have to humble myself and do shit work so I can put food in my families mouths” probably deserves this position more then “Sweet sixteen who couldn’t give a shit about reality cause all that matters in life is this three hundred dollar prom dress.”

May 14, 2009

"You must have decreased your portion sizes?"

So there are plenty of regulars that come in to eat everyday, but there’s one who’s been MIA for months. Well he finally came in today, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. He had probably gained 150 pounds since I saw him last. Well, he ordered his usual, a T-Bone well done, baked potato and buttered veggies, Caesar salad with extra dressing, and two sides of yeast rolls with honey butter.

Now, add to that the simple fact that we give every table a bucket of peanut to munch on while they wait, and this fellow just ate a shit-ton of food.

So, when his T-Bone comes out, his jaw drops and he looks like he could cry. “Why does this look so small!?? I remember your portions being much larger…trying to save money by cutting back I guess. What a rip off …”

So, I apologized and asked him nicely if I could bring him anything else. He declined, but continued to pout as I walked away, mumbling “ridiculous…” every time I walked by.

First, how childish can you be whining like a little baby …and second, Yeah, your right, the portions do look much smaller, but not because they actually are, rather because you are literally twice the size you use to be.

“What’s taking so long”

You have no idea how much I hate hearing this question.

Patron: “excuse me ‘mam, why is our food taking so long??”

G.H: “Well since you asked so nicely, I should tell you…our cook is outside smoking, or better yet, he’s in the men’s room taking a dump. He doesn’t give a fuck about you or your order, and he’ll get around to your extra well done sirloin whenever the hell he feels like it…”

First of all, If you go to a restaurant to spend money on over-priced crap, at least enjoy yourself. If you only have 20 minutes left of your lunch break, don’t expect to enjoy your dining experience.

But, if you insist, then let me give you a small pointer. An extra well-done sirloin takes about 20 minutes to cook. If you would have let us butterfly cook it, like I suggested, cook time would have been more like 11 minutes. But since you refused, thats your problem. Don’t patronize me…dont roll your eyes when you food isn’t brought out to you the second you fucking order it. This is not McDonald's. This is an upscale restrauant. If that is not acceptable, then don’t come back.

I'm just saying...

“Oh what..? You want two extra sides of butter? Annnd more syrup? Well geesh, it’s a good thing you ordered a diet coke, other wise all this shit would go straight to your big giant ass..

I’m just saying…”

Hi there.

I’m your server. I know you think that I would just love to refill up your Pepsi 149 times. That it fulfills my wildest dreams to bring you a to-go box, that you will eventually just leave on the table, or throw in the trash. Or that when I say… “Is there Anything else I can get you??” I want nothing more then for you to wait until I leave and come back, just to send me on more ridiculous errands…

But I don’t…I hate it.

I also hate how you alienate me, talk down to me, and disrespect me. For years, I have dealt with your shitty tips, your bad manners, and your rude comments, and taken it with a smile, and a “Yes mam, Yes sir”

Not anymore. I'm here to air your dirty laundry. I'm here to tell everyone just how shitty you tip, or just how ridiculous you sound complaining that the blue cheese isn't blue cheesy enough.