Fake VIPs, more poor tippers and other restaurant ramblings

Categories: Word of Mouth

Welcome to In the Weeds. Kyle will be right with you -- most likely to complain about something. Usually he is pleasant, but this is his place to blow off some steam. Don't take it personally; he just needs to vent because he's been doing this for about thirteen years. Enjoy your meal.

Today I'm serving up a smorgasbord of random thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head. No need to tip....

If you're over sixteen, you're at least six years too old to be really excited about ordering a Shirley Temple.

When my arms are full of hot entrees that need to be delivered, it's not that I don't want to grab your check -- it's that it's not physically possible, so stop waving it in the air.

If you don't have money to tip, you don't have money to eat out. Don't apologize to me because you're strapped for cash as you empty your change purse to increase my income by thirteen cents; just quietly leave with your head hanging and go home to your ant farm or ball and cup. You know what I did when I didn't have much money? I bought my food at the grocery store, picked up shifts, moved up the ladder and waited to go out to eat until I didn't have to check my bank account halfway through the meal.

Feel free to order a skim, fat-free, soy or low-fat latte from a restaurant -- but you're going to get whatever is in the one jug of milk in the reach-in fridge. It's simply not practical for anything other than a coffee house to keep that many kinds of milk on hand. If you ask your server if he can make a soy cappuccino and he answers with a wavering, drawn-out "yeeaah," you're probably getting 2 percent.

If you're drunk at the bar and talking to me about sports, and I agree with everything you're saying, I probably actually disagree with everything you're saying.

Using social status to ensure VIP treatment and then tipping like shit is about as classless as it gets. Let's say, hypothetically, that a friend of the mayor of a northern Colorado city called to make a reservation for four, but requested a table usually reserved for parties of six or more. Let's say this friend made it very apparent while making the reservation that he was coming with the mayor. Let's say this table received excellent service and then tipped 10 percent. Hypothetically, this friend would be a tool who deserves his bank account hacked.

What's that? Your cocktail tastes too "alcoholy?" That's because it's made with alcohol.

What do you mean, "Why am I snickering?" You just ordered a white zinfandel.

Patron is not a particularly good tequila and Absolut is not a particularly good vodka. But it's good to know their marketing works.

The parents who apologize for how their kid is behaving have the best-behaved kids. They could teach a thing or two to the parents who forget their children exist after one margarita.

If the difference between Coke and Pepsi is enough to ruin your day, I have no interest in seeing how you deal with real problems.

If you actually knew the owner in some meaningful way, I would know it. So stop trying to leverage your marginal acquaintance into free drinks and dessert.

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Hmm. I enjoy your columns but I don't know about some of this. If I order a skim latte, I either expect to be given one—or told that I can't be accommodated. I'll live. Why isn't the latter a better policy than falsehood?

Also, though I myself don't drink white zin (because, agreed, it's pretty awful) or Shirley Temples (because they don't contain alcohol, although otherwise they're pretty great), if I did, and then got snickered at to my face, I would consider that rude service. A respectful attitude (feigned or not) cuts both ways between customer and server, no?


Best column you have written. Keep up the good work. 

Amber Taufen
Amber Taufen

You might appreciate this story, Kyle ...

One time, when I was waiting tables in a high-income area west of Denver -- we'll call it "Shmevergreen" -- I had the misfortune to encounter a gentleman who was connected with the golf club somehow. This restaurant was ALWAYS running out of items. Seriously, every day we'd run out of two or three things (at least).

This golf-club bigwig tried to order (of course) everything we were out of, and I kept replying, "I'm sorry, we're out." He gave me a stern look and said, "Do you know who I AM?"

"Nope!" I replied.

"Oh." He sat for a minute. "Guess that didn't get me anywhere, did it?"


I'm not sure what he expected. "Oh, it's YOU. Sorry, didn't recognize you with your golf hat on, sir! I'll just tell the chef to break into the items we're not *really* out of -- we're just saving them for people as important as you are."


If we don't have skim milk I will tell the guest that, I'm just saying most restaurants don't have it and if you received that awkward "yeeaah" from your server, you're probably not getting what you asked for. As for actually snickering at a guest, once again, the column is an exaggeration for entertainment.  

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