In restaurant parlance a “void” is when management removes an item from a customer’s check. In medical parlance it means urinating or evacuating one’s bowels. I’m in management so it’s all the same to me – taking shit and pissing money away. I authorize lots of voids. I joke with my coworkers that I’ll start charging them a dollar for every mistake they make. If I could do it my retirement would be funded in under a year. Fluvio always gives me a hard time about the voids I tender. He always wants to know pesky details like what happened and whose fault it was. How can I always remember what happened? That’s too much pressure! Besides, Fluvio only has six void categories on our computer system. They are:

1. Customer didn’t like.
2. Kitchen error.
3. Server error
4. Food cold.
5. Wrong item ordered.
6. Wrong check

Gimme a break! These categories can’t even begin to cover the reasons why drinks, food, or entire meals are deep-sixed or given away. Constraining me to six void codes is like asking me to explain nuclear physics using a coloring book. It can’t be done. Here are the void categories I’d like to see on the Bistro’s computer. I think they’ll cover most contingencies.

New Void Codes

1. Inanimate Foreign Matter in food. (Staples, twist ties, hair, plastic shards, nails)

2. Animate Foreign Matter in food.

3. Customer threw up above mentioned voided item.

4. HazMat substance in food. (Bleach, hypodermic, MSG, blood)

5. Customer saw a la cucaracha.

6. Customer had a medical emergency. (Stroke, overdose, choking, heart failure, got the check.)

7. Manager gave hot babe free stuff.

8. Fixing server fuckups.

9. Fixing my fuckups.

10. Entrée didn’t look like the picture in the window.

11. Entrée didn’t look like how Emeril would make it.

12. Customer’s watched way too much Food Network.

13. Customer allergic to main ingredient but didn’t tell waiter until after the food was cooked.

14. Customer decided restaurant was too expensive and left after ordering.

15. Customer had a psychotic break.

16. Customer’s an asshole. (My favorite – covers most situations)

17. Waiter had a psychotic break. (Imminent, trust me.)

18. Customer wouldn’t know the difference between medium rare and medium if it bit him on the ass.

19. Customer intoxicated/wasted and screwed up order.

19. Server intoxicated/wasted and screwed up order.

20. Chef intoxicated/wasted and screwed up order. Everbody must get stoned!

21. Customer didn’t take medication this morning. (Prozac)

22. Server didn’t take medication this morning. (Marijuana)

23. Manager didn’t take medication this morning. (Jim Beam)

24. Everybody must get stoned!

25. Chef busy talking on cell phone and burned food.

26. Customer didn’t listen to waiter’s recommendations. (The I told you so void.)

27. Customer said the fish smelled funny after they put cheese on it.

28. Customer pulled a hissy fit over the split charge.

29. Customer found a floater in the ladies room toilet and freaked out.

30. Customer found waiter overdosed in toilet and freaked out. (Actually happened at my first waiter job!)

31. The shut the customer the fuck up void!

Ideas and suggestions for new void codes? Leave them in the comments section.

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