Deliverymen may be the most misunderstood, and least appreciated, of all gratuity-based workers. Sure, there are some bad eggs in the mix, but the vast majority of them work for tips in a completely unregulated, and unstructured, environment—somewhat like café baristas.
Restaurant servers, for example, may not know exactly how much tip they’ll get, but tips generally hover around 15-20% in most of the country. Same thing goes for cabbies. In cities where passengers can use credit cards, there are even gratuity suggestions (15%? 20%? 25%?). But delivery people have no such organized system. They must graciously accept spare change as often as a fiver.
After talking to friends - smart food fans who order out a lot - I found that there’s no consensus about how to tip the delivery person. Below are the 10 key questions we must ask ourselves before forking over cash to the man/boy/woman/snot/angel who finally appears at the door bearing brown bags or boxes - and a bill.
The bill was $5.97. This Steak 'n Steak regular thought her server, Cece Bruce, had gone above and beyond over the years. She tipped accordingly.
This is the twelfth installment of "Eat This List" - a regularly recurring list of things chefs, farmers, writers and other food experts think you ought to know about. Today's contributor is the pseudonymous blogger The Bitchy Waiter. He lives and works in New York City, and has appeared as a guest on Dr. Phil and a guest commentator on CBS Sunday Morning and in a previous Eat This List. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @bitchywaiter - and don't forget to tip.
When customers go to a restaurant, many variables can affect their dining experience. The server is in charge of some of these things, but many of them are beyond his or her control.
This does not, however, keep some people from punishing their poor, defenseless server in the form of a lower than average tip. I would like to apologize in advance for some of the things my customers might be unsatisfied with the next time they sit in my section.
This is the eleventh installment of "Eat This List" - a regularly recurring list of things chefs, farmers, writers and other food experts think you ought to know about. Today's contributor is John Winterman, maitre d' at Daniel restaurant in New York City.
I can be as casual as the next guy. I'm from Indiana, so I don't have much choice. The only known Hoosier engaged in high snobbery was Bill Blass, otherwise no one ever got beyond “local boy done good” status – even James Dean.
I have ripped this joint and raised some hell. I've been to enduros and hydroplane races and at least one tractor pull. I drank my first PBR at age five and I still have a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off.
But I also know the tragedy that is a grown-up wearing shorts in public. I know the difference between the ballpark and the opera house, between a dive bar and The French Laundry.
As the maitre d' at Daniel I get to work in one of the finest fine dining establishments in the world. The restaurant exudes charm and flair, a hybrid of modern French-American style be it on the plate or in the service, a place that requires jackets and frowns on jeans.
That being said, it is a balancing act. We defend a standard of dining in a time where a chef can earn three Michelin stars while eschewing silver, crystal and a jacket policy. Upholding a standard is ever more critical as you try to justify separating people from their money on a nightly basis.
Herein, a dollop of wisdom on why fine dining still matters.
His name is The Bitchy Waiter and he'll be taking care of you folks this evening. Earlier this week, the popular blogger served up five ways that customers get in the way of their food arriving in a timely fashion.
And a whole lot of folks bit back, with more than 1100 comments about the role of waitstaff in getting meals to people in a timely fashion - and even their value in society. Here's a sampling menu of some of the most popular sentiments.
This is the tenth installment of "Eat This List" - a regularly recurring list of things chefs, farmers, writers and other food experts think you ought to know about. Today's contributor is the pseudonymous blogger The Bitchy Waiter. He lives and works in New York City, and has appeared as a guest on Dr. Phil and a guest commentator on CBS Sunday Morning. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @bitchywaiter - and don't forget to tip.
If you have never had the pleasure of working in a restaurant, you may not be familiar with the term, "in the weeds." First off, allow me to congratulate you on never having worked in a restaurant.
"In the weeds" is what we restaurant folk (we're similar to "circus folk" except we smell like fajitas and honey mustard instead of cotton candy and clown tears) say when we are very behind in getting everything done that needs to be done.
One is thrown "in the weeds" for a variety of reasons: the dish guy hasn't run the silverware through the machine when tables need to be reset, the hostess is extremely adept at seating multiple parties at once, or maybe the restaurant is short-staffed because two servers called out sick to go to an audition.
Sometimes, it is the customer who throws us in the weeds and they have no idea they are doing it. Here are five ways that customers, unknowingly, throw their server into the weeds.
5@5 is a food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
Editor's Note: Dan Latimer is the general manager of HUSK Restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina. HUSK is the second restaurant under the helm of James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock and is often regarded as one of the best restaurants in America.
Hiring a team is one of the most integral points in a restaurant manager’s life; a well-thought-out and executed regiment in hiring can save countless hours of “managing” in the future. I remember waaay back in school learning about the Marriott Management Philosophy on hiring. There were many snippets, but the one that has stayed with me the most is: “If you don’t hire the right people, we can never make anything out of them."
One of the biggest keys to success in hiring is understanding the culture of your company and finding people who fit that culture. I have encountered many candidates who had plenty of experience and knowledge, but just not the right personality. If we brought that person in, we would be doing ourselves - and that person - a disservice (and this is the service industry after all).
The environment during an interview is important to keep in mind. We all have to remember that every potential team member is also a potential guest. Even if they aren’t the right fit for an employee, they are still the right fit for a guest. We try to make everyone feel welcome and warm; it is hospitality no matter what the outcome might be.
I have highlighted key aspects of this nuanced practice in the following five points. Remember, there was a lot more in the stockpot when I began. And, I am not going to give you all my secrets because then all of my future candidates would have a leg up on me.
Last Sunday was just an average morning for Anna Kaye MacLean. Her sister, 7-year-old Arianna, had slept over at her house the night before and seemed to have woken up in a good mood - which is not always a given for a child with autism.
After determining that Arianna’s mood was stable enough for a day of fun activities outside the home, MacLean and her husband decided to take Arianna out to lunch, with a bonus visit to the Easter Bunny afterward. They decided to eat lunch at the Chili’s Bar and Grill in Midvale, Utah, where a beautiful thing happened - and went viral.
Protestors have taken to the streets of Beverly Hills accusing Urasawa, one of the country’s most exclusive and expensive restaurants, of theft. The victims however, are not the well-heeled patrons but are instead the servers and kitchen staff who were cheated out of compensation.
Urasawa, a world renowned Japanese restaurant, has been ordered to pay fines and back wages because it failed to pay overtime or provide breaks to employees.
This is the ninth installment of "Eat This List" - a regularly recurring list of things chefs, farmers, writers and other food experts think you ought to know about. Today's contributor is the pseudonymous "Manuel T. Waiter." He's the author of the wildly popular blog Well Done Fillet, and works as a waiter at an undisclosed restaurant in Belfast, Ireland. He'll be right with you.
Complaints are magical little moments that allow you, as a waiter, to look deep into the soul of the guest and see what makes them tick. You see beyond the well-dressed (or otherwise) exterior and deep down into their insecurities and paranoid psychosis. Or something, not that I want to over-think things. Sometimes a steak is just an overcooked piece of meat and not the start of a mental breakdown.
But quite often when a customer complains it's less about you or your restaurant's inability to sling three appetizing courses over two hours down onto a table, and more about the punter and their state of mind. Honestly some days I know they're only one overcooked tuna away from a William "D‑Fens" Foster moment.
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