Tales from Restaurant Management

Managing a restaurant in addition to WORKING in that establishment can be rewarding of course but more often than not it’s just tiring. This is especially true when you deal with the type of customers that I do on a daily basis! This “tales of a restaurant manager” is where I share with you some of my horror stories from waiting tables. Even though I have to have the mindset that “the customer is always right,” as you are about to discover this is not always true.

My first story happened a couple of years ago now but it’s still as fresh in my memory as the day is happened. A middle aged-elderly couple came in one day and were rather flash with their cash. Those in their fifties usually tend to stick to the early bird special menu but not these. They both ordered the most expensive meals on the menu which I believe was lobster and steak respectively. In addition to this, they were ordering wine by the bucket load. All seemed fine but then the complaints came rolling in. The lady first complained that her steak was not cooked enough, we rectified this quickly. I then recall the man running to the toilet and retreating back to his table quite flush in the face before putting on one hell of a performance. He called me over the exclaimed that I’d fed him bad lobster and he had the “shits”. I told him that we sourced all our ingredients fresh and this could not have been the case (which is true!) He would not let up and demanded a discount on their meal to which I offered them 20% as a goodwill gesture.

This was not enough for them and they continued to scream and shout loud enough for the customers to hear that we had given them food poisoning. To get them to let up and leave, I gave them a 40% discount even though I now realized this was the plan all along. What was a $300 bill, now amounted to around $180 and furthermore they didn’t tip, not a damn dime. The couple left in hysterics and I caught the man grabbing an ice cream as he left, miraculous recovery, eh?

So many more things happen when you work as a waiter and most of the time you have to just smile and take it. I have had drinks thrown at me, I’ve had to clean diarrohea from the toilets amonst other horrible things. 90% of customers that pass my doors are friendly, respectful and offer no trouble but unfortunately the same cannot be said for that 10%. One thing I’ve learnt from my years working as a server is that some people will do ANYTHING to save a few dollars. I’ve had customers plant items in their food that definitely didn’t come from our premises. They don’t always get what they want of course but those nightmare diners rarely return for a second time (thankfully!) The best day of my life will be when I can hang up my uniform and retire but I have a feeling that I will have a few more stories to tell before that time comes!

Check out this video for a look behind the scenes of restaurant life. It’s only funny because it’s so stinkin’ accurate.

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