In The Weeds: 20 Percent Is The New Black…and Crazy Russians
Sorry dears, I only have time for a quickie this week. I started my new job yesterday. And like I said before, that’s pretty much all I’m gonna say about it. I’m a quick study on the blogging and working thing, don’t you think?
I’m not-so-secretly flattered that a dude named Eric has devoted lots of space on his blog to writing about how disgusting we servers are and how I am particularly disgusting. But he also says that “In The Weeds” is well written — so I’m smitten. He seems genuine in his attempts to take restaurants to task, particularly on food allergies because he has a severe shellfish thing. But having no industry experience, his utopic and idealistic advice on how things should be done is downright adorable. Kinda like watching a toddler try to tie his shoes. One of his suggestions is for servers to talk to the chef and kitchen staff about implementing training on food allergies. See? So cute.
Chefs are cranky… pretty much universally. Their job is to work hard all morning alongside their equally hardworking immigrant staff getting ready for service. Then they must get consistent food to hundreds of people as quickly as possible for the rest of the day. And they perform this sprinting marathon every week for 70 to 80 hours. Then they go home long after their kids have gone to bed and collapse in a pile of stinky exhaustion. Anything that interrupts this controlled flow of chaos is cause for major additional stress. He won’t try to kill you. But he will roll his eyes. I encourage Eric to do one observation shift at a busy restaurant like The Capital Grille. Even in a corporate environment where all the kinks of the assembly line have been addressed, shit does get crazy on a nightly basis. It’s easy to think things are really “easy” to implement when you only see the labor involved in getting the food to your table.
To answer his question on why 15 percent is no longer considered a good tip, it’s just so ambiguous. Ten percent definitely lets me know things went wrong (I’ve never received a 10% tip unless it’s from a European)…but it would certainly send a message. Twenty percent lets me know that things went swimmingly. But 15 percent, I’m stumped. Is this just how you tip or were you unhappy? I’ll never know. There is not some vast left wing conspiracy to change the gratuity standard to 20 percent. It has been ticking up, like everything else, for the better part of fifteen years. Food prices, due to competition, do not rise at a rate that would cover the cost of living increase, so that may have something to do with it. But like I said, I didn’t make it up. That’s just the way it is. Like not shitting in the airplane bathroom, everyone pretty much agrees it’s just the right thing to do. It’s only a difference of $2.50 on a $50 check and $5 on a $100 check. It costs you very little but means so much to your server. Good service does not simply accompany your dining experience, it enhances it.
Finally kids, the crazy owner of Paradou restaurant in New York sent a certifiable e-mail to his staff after they failed to bully their guests into giving out their email addresses for marketing purposes. Vadim Ponorovsky either needed some Stoli or had already had too much when he wrote this. Check it out and we’ll discuss next week.
Please read this email carefully. This is the last time we will be discussing this.
This weekend, saturday and sunday we had 451 customers. Guess how many emails we collected? 60? 80? 40? No. None of those. We, or more acurately you, collected 2 emails. Thats less than half of one percent. 2 fucking emails.
WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU ASSHOLES?!?!?! How many times do we have to tell you how important it is that you collect emails. Everytime we have a slow night and you make no money and you sit there bitching about how you make no money, remember its because youre fucking lazy motherfuckers. YOU SHOULD ALL BE FIRED IMMEDIATELY!!!!! ALL OF YOU, INCLUDING THE HOSTS!!!!
Let me guess, youre probably sitting there saying “Vadim is such a fucking asshole. How dare he speak to me like this. I dont need this.” Youre right, you dont, so why dont you get the fuck out. Any and all of you.
Youre probably sitting there saying “How dare he speak to me like this. How dare he not have respect for me”. Youre right there also. I have absolutely no respect for any of you. Why? Because every fucking day, all of you continue to show that you have absolutely no respect for me or Alex. So if you dont respect us enough to do the little that we ask you to do, then GET THE FUCK OUT YOU FUCKING LAZY DISRESPECTFUL ASSHOLES!!!!!
Effective immediately, any server or host who fails to collect at least 20 emails per week, will be fined $100. Anyone failing to collect at least 20 emails for two weeks in a month will be fired immediately. No matter what. No matter who you are.
You dont want to do your job, you dont want to do what we ask, you dont belong at Paradou. Go find another place to work.
How dare you disrespect Alex and me this way. How dare you completely ignore what we ask of you time after time after time.
I am sick of all this shit, you bunch of fucking children. This is what I have to deal with at 6AM?!?!? I wouldnt tolerate this from my 13 year old, and Im sure as shit not going to tolerate it from any of you assholes.
You give no respect, you get 10 times back.”
Wow. Man, I have so much to say. But I work mornings now like a grown-up, so I’ll save it.
Goodnight you LAZY DISRESPECTFUL ASSHOLES!