Wednesday, June 02, 2010

How-To Guide: The Food Service Edition

Good morning, students. By students, I mean you, Matthew...and any of your twenty-something-I-am-a-medical-student-and-therefore-much-smarter-than-any-of-you-people counterparts.

Ludicrous? I Concur.

Today, I would like to help you all understand the correct way to serve a table of lovely women who are out away from their spouses and children for the evening. It's very important that you do this correctly. These ladies work hard. They deserve a night out free of pretentious young whippersnappers eager to prove their worth by belittling them.

Before we get started, I should explain one very important thing about those ladies...

Girl's Night Out

They are the ones paying for the meal. And the tip. Please remember that.

Now then. Are you ready? Get out your pens and paper, and let's take notes, shall we?

  1. If you aren't asked about the wine list, don't feel a need to offer a comment. Say something like, "very good, ma'am." Or maybe try a "right away, ma'am." Please don't volunteer your qualifications as a sommelier and go on to to tell everyone how disastrous their choices are. If you truly are the sommelier, try to just have good wines on the menu and shut up about it, okay? 
  2. When someone orders a particular kind of beer, feel free to use the advice in number one, above. Your comment that you are a beer snob implies that her choice is a poor one. Given that there were only five varieties of beer on the menu, and that three of them started with "Bud," I'm not sure you are in the best position to judge. Further - if you are offering suggestions as to kinds of beer to try, and you don't actually serve them at your restaurant - it's just annoying.
  3. Don't talk so much. While we are all compassionate and kind women, we really don't care how hard your human anatomy class is. If we wanted to hear whining children complaining about their schoolwork, we could have all stayed home.
  4. Please don't lecture. If you ask someone if they'd like a salad, and they say "no," don't feel that you should caution that person that eating her leafy greens is a healthy choice. Are you kidding me? I'm a 41 year old mother of two. I know all about eating my leafy greens. I invented eating leafy greens. That's all I eat. Give me my freaking crawfish pasta and begone, you pretentious little turd dear boy.
  5. Respond to questions with appropriate answers. If someone happens to ask upon what their delicious goat cheese is placed, and you answer "toast," it seems a bit condescending. We realize it is toast. We've probably even made toast at some time in our various careers. Perhaps a better answer would be, "sourdough bread that has been lightly toasted," or "a nice artisan wheat bread that was placed on the grill for a moment to bring out its nutty flavor." 
  6. Don't assume we're simple. If someone wants to keep her fork, please don't remind her that she has another fork to use. Maybe she doesn't like the other fork. You don't know. Maybe she just neglected to put the fork on the plate in time before you snatched it out from underneath her and now you're calling attention to the fact that she's holding a fork in mid-air for no good reason. Some might call that rude and inappropriate. I call it minus 5%. 

    What the Fork?
  7. Please just go away. We aren't there to talk to you. I see that the restaurant is almost empty, but please, please, please stop talking to me. Please. I don't care that you've surveyed 600 of the 1000 beers available at that restaurant in Memphis. Crystal doesn't care that you're working on a full-body tat and that you fly to San Diego once a month for fill-ins. Marie doesn't want to hear you expound on the multitudinous qualities of capers. We are there to talk to each other. And you aren't that cute.

  8. Pharmaceutical pens are just pens with logos on them. Really. See - here's what happens. The pharmaceutical marketing people order a bunch of pens and they have them customized with their own logo. They aren't magical pens. You can get the exact same pens in a bank. Only those pens have bank logos on them. Please just shut up about the pens. We weren't going to steal them anyway. We're grown women. We have our own pens. If you'd like, I can point you to a website where you can order your own pens just like them. Customized with your own ludicrousness. 
  9. Don't say "ludicrousness." Seriously, just don't. Especially when you follow up by explaining to us that it comes after "I concur," in the dictionary. It doesn't make you sound smart. It does make you sound like an ass. 
  10. When taking a picture of a group, be careful what you say. For instance, mentioning that you're taking the picture while we are all looking up at you because that helps to even out any sags and wrinkles is probably not the wisest course of action. That, of course, implies that we needed help in that area, AND EVEN IF WE DID, are you seriously going to say that to someone? Just take the picture, pat yourself on the back for minimizing the age indicators and shut up, already.

So. I think ten is plenty, don't you? After all, if you're still struggling after all that quality advice, I'm not sure that food service is a wise choice for you. Matthew...if you happen to find this article, I want you to know I'm writing it for your benefit. You see - I walk in a restaurant with a percentage that I want to give as a tip in my mind. The things the server does or doesn't do either increases or decreases that amount.

You got less than half of what I would normally tip.

Ladies...I enjoyed our night out so much, despite the constant interruptions. Next time, let's just sit at the bar...

Olive St. Bistro