I posted this at ShamelessRestaurants.com today. It is my reaction to comments made by Steve Hanson, the CEO of BR Guest Restaurants, in the NY post article “Unsavory Kitchens.”


I don’t know Steve Hanson of BR Guest Restaurants. I’ve never worked for him. I read the horror stories about him on this site (ShamelessResturant.com) with a grain of salt. I understand there are lots of disgruntled waiters with an ax to grind.

However, after reading the NY Post article “Unsavory Kitchens” I was struck by his comments on waiter blogs like ShamelessRestaurants. I think they provided a real glimpse into his character.

This is not some anonymous posting – these are his words in a newspaper of record:

“If it was written in a newspaper, it’d be slander. The problem here is with accountability,” Hanson says. “There’s no legislation. It’s malicious.” (Baby the word you’re looking for is libel – and it’s only libel if it’s not true.)

“I’m waiting for the day when restaurateurs start posting information on waiters that shouldn’t be hired,” he says. “Wait till that happens. Just wait. It will.” – Hanson

Now compare that with comments made by Anthony Bourdain and Four Seasons co-owner Alex Von Bidder:

“Paper is patient, they say, and it’s the same with the keyboard. You can spill your guts onto it but your computer will just get clogged,” he says. “Waitering is a highpressure job. They’re just letting off steam, which is a good thing to do.

And, if you want to lead an organization, you have to take the criticism.” – Bidder

“You have to take it with a grain of salt. Some of it is just waiters whining. But it’s like Amazon.com, when you write a book. It’s a blank bathroom wall. Anyone can write, good or bad,” he says. “It can be valuable, and at the very worst, it’s funny! Sure, the day will come they might write about me, but I won’t complain. Someone could say they saw me grinding dog meat. Is it true? No. Is it a good story? Yes! It’s ‘reader beware.’ Certain gripes ring more true than others.” – Bourdain

Just from Hanson’s comments in the Post I can tell he’s a little baby. Bourdain and Van Bidder laughed off or saw the value in waiter’s venting steam. Hanson sputtered with rage.

Why? We’ll I think Boudrain and Van Bidder are very secure in themselves and their careers. Hanson’s comments reek of insecurity. Insecure people are bullies. If you do read the postings on this site, Hanson acts in a bullying manner. After his comments in the Post I now view these stories as more credulous. Nice going Steve! If you had a brain you would have laughed off the whole thing too.

Mr. Hanson is a rich and powerful man with a legion of lawyers and underlings. Internet sites like this one and mine (www.waiterrant.blogspot.com) are one of the few venues where the powerless can have a voice. Control freaks can’t stand that. They have to control every aspect of the image and message.

Steve, anonymous speech is an old American tradition. Thomas Paine wrote “Commonsense” anonymously because he was afraid the British would hang him. Waiters don’t want to get fired, blacklisted, or sued as you indicated you would like to do. The Supreme Court upheld anonymity in political discourse saying: “Under our Constitution, anonymous pamphleteering is not a pernicious, fraudulent practice, but an honorable tradition of advocacy and of dissent. Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny ofthe majority” (McIntyre v. Ohio Election Commission) Some legal scholars believe that the Court’s decision has implications for blogs and websites like this one.

Steve baby – you are a tyranny unto yourself.

Steve you are a very successful man as business goes. But something tells me you are not as successful in your relationships with people. I bet you have a high staff turnover. I bet you yell – a lot! I’ll bet most of your wait staff and mangers loathe you. I’m sure you say “I don’t want people to like me.” Secretly you want them to like you.

A successful leader nurtures his employees. You do not. As a reader wrote me: “I am waiting to see if karma will catch up with him in this lifetime ’cause at this point he is very successful in the business sense of that word; he can continue to treat people like they are pieces of shit as long as there are others waiting to take the place of those who have been burned by him.”

Karma’s a bitch Steve. Try treating your employees better. Try to relax and enjoy life. Be careful. It’s almost Christmas. You don’t want the “Waiter Ghosts” of Christmas Past, Present, and Future paying you a little visit!

Oh the Post said you’ve never looked at ShamelessRestaurants.com. Bullshit.

You read it every day.

Merry Christmas.


I welcome comments from Mr. Hanson or any employees of BR Guest Restaurants.

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