Waiter, I have been reading your blog for quite a while and really enjoy your stories…
My question is: What are the tell-tales for a bad restaurant vs. a good one? What kinds of things signal that this may be a $100 a plate establishment but they aren’t going to deliver the service we should expect???
I think this might be more of a question for a restaurant critic but here goes nothing……
Signs An Establishment Isn’t Going to Deliver the Service You Expect.
1. There’s an “unsatisfactory” sticker from the Board of Health pasted on the front door. (Ever since the rats at Taco Bell incident the public’s been so picky!)
2. There are glowing restaurant reviews hanging in the lobby for all to see. The only problem? The most recent review is from 1987.
3. No one greets you at the door with a smile and says “Welcome.” That’s because the sexual deviant who owns the place has scared away all the young female hostesses OR the hostess is in the back getting high and/or servicing the owner/headwaiter/chef/sugar daddy customer who told her he’d get her a modeling gig OR the girl’s too busy talking to her agent/boyfriend/therapist/girlfriend/married man she’s having a fling with/ on her cell phone.
4. The waiter greets you by saying, “What up yo?”
5. That same waiter smells like he/she hasn’t bathed in days.
6. The menus are sticky, torn, and out of date.
7. The olive oil on the table is rancid.
8. You smell bleach because some Einstein in the kitchen decided it would be a good idea to swab down the prep area during the dinner rush.
9. The air conditioning/heat doesn’t work.
10. You see a man sitting at one of the back tables surrounded by stacks of bills and crying bitterly. Then you find out that person’s the owner.
11. You try using the bathroom but discover two of the waiters are using it to have sex. (Can we have some privacy please?)
12. When you do get into the bathroom there’s a floater in the toilet and no toilet paper.
13. Think about #12 some more. Now think about the sign “Employees must wash hands.”
14. There’s no air freshener in the toilet either.
15. There’s only COLD waiter in the bathroom sink because the owner is that cheap of a bastard. The liquid soap dispenser is also empty. Please think about #12 and #13.
16. On your way back to your table you catch a glimpse of the kitchen guys and swear you’ve seen all their faces on America’s Most Wanted.
17. When the waiter’s telling you the specials he slips you a note that reads, “Please kill me.”
18. The waiters are inking jail house tattoos into each others arms using the corkscrews on their wine openers.
19. The bartender’s watching some kind of kinky anime porn on the TV over the bar. Ugh! Tentacles! That’s the seafood special tonight folks! . Surf and Smurf!
20. There are no customers in the restaurant and its Saturday night. (DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!)
If you walk into a restaurant and see any of these things — run like hell!
Number 16 actually happened at the Green Parrot in SLC! Patrons and employees watching americas most wanted, and the guy was washing dished in the back….Busted!
On the flip side, if you see a lot of cop cars outside the place (dining, not investigating), it’s going to be inexpensive, but excellent…
Re: #16 (America’s Most Wanted)
In one restaurant I worked in, one of the other waiters was perpetually drunk. In comes a well-tattooed guy with a girl that looked like a 15 year old meth addict. The drunk waiter was always swearing that he saw so-and-so on America’s Most Wanted. He said it so often that we ignored it. He also said it pretty loud like most drunks who think they’re being quiet. Well, this time he said it about (and within earshot) of our meth couple. They high-tailed out of there like the cops were after them.
Even a drunk gets one right now and then.