So You Want To Be A Waiter

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Daily Archives: July 24, 2009

From slashfood – Kid Rock launches American Badass beer

“Kid Rock has a new gig. Rock star turned brewmaster, Robert Ritchie (better known as Kid Rock), will debut his American Badass Beer this weekend for concertgoers in his native Detroit’s Comerica Park, where he will perform two shows. They don’t call it Detroit Rock City for nothing.

The rock star is partnering with Drinks Americas to launch the line that will be produced in-state at the Michigan Brewing Company in Webberville, Mich”.

Read the rest of the article here:

http://www.slashfood.com/2009/07/17/kid-rock-launches-american-badass-beer/

Frankly, I’m not surprised, but I’m disappointed by this statement from Kid:

“Kid Rock describes his “American Badass Beer” as an easy to drink lager with no aftertaste”.

I don’t mind “easy to drink lager”, I suppose, but no aftertaste? Yuck.

Also, he plans to roll out the beer in four of the states where he and Pamela Anderson either got engaged, got married or celebrated honeymoons – Tennessee, Michigan, Nevada and California. St. Tropez is not on the agenda though.

As Kid is a frequent patron of my restaurant, I wish him great success, but wish he would allow a little of his rather broad personality into the beer.

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Note to my Canadian couple two nights ago

Just one day after the Germans invaded, you deigned to dine with me.

You’re travelling in the US and whenever you’re here, you like to eat in one of my restaurants whenever you find it (uh oh, deja vu all over again)? You know our menu pretty well so you really don’t need a big song and dance? You order an appetizer immediately and accompany it with a nice bottle of wine? You also want to have lobster AND steak? Yes, a salad for each of you would be appropriate? Like the Germans, you have a four course meal, but you have coffee instead of espresso?

It seems eerie – I seem to be the United Nations of servers. I fight my natural instinct to accept the fairly common 10% that Canadians are known in these parts to prefer and I switch on my game face. As with the Germans, I grin and bear it. After all, this couple is equally as nice as the Germans (who are also known for poor tipping when dining in the US). It’s also a fairly slow night so I can make sure that I have no service issues that can justify a poor tip, just as I did the night before. I keep their wine glasses at the proper level (temp wasn’t an issue since they were drinking red). I give them free rein and don’t rush them, but I’m always close enough to be available should they need anything. Plus, I don’t have to be bilingual. Even though he doesn’t speak Southern, they do speak a form of English that I’m somewhat familiar with.

And then, I get the whammy when he presents the credit card. There’s an MD after his name and his signature has Dr. in front of his name. Oh no, it’s actually a double whammy! Unless doctors are regulars, they compete with lawyers for being mediocre tippers. They can sometimes also be demanding, imperious, cold and distant. Fortunately, this doctor showed no prior signs of such behavior. He (and his wife) were friendly and engaged and I never would have guessed his occupation (I would have pegged him as a professional favorite uncle).

In fact, I semi-good-naturedly commented to a co-worker, “Uh oh, I’m screwed! Canadian and  a random doctor”!

Of course, I brought the check presenter back and said, “Here you go Doctor X” and I shook his hand, just as I did with the German guy.

So, when I got the slip back, I was shocked, amazed and completely taken aback to find a $30 tip on a $160 check. Actually 20% on the pretax total.

I’m sorry that I didn’t give you my business card.

:singing O Canada vigorously and with gusto: and popping open a Rickard’s Honey Brown…

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More ways to keep a flagging restaurant profitable (from The Onion)

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Yesterday, I posted about P.F. Chang’s ability to adjust to rough economic times.

A year ago, The Onion (now apparently 100% owned by a 75% real Chinese company itself) uncovered some strategies that other companies have started employing, and I thought that I’d share them here in hopes that other restaurants will be as creative:

Restaurants Struggle To Keep Customers

The recent bankruptcy of the Bennigan’s and Steak & Ale chains is one symptom of the struggle that casual dining establishments are facing during the economic downturn.

What are these restaurants doing to keep their customer base?

T.G.I. Friday’s: If you like something on the walls, go on and take it

Outback Steakhouse: No longer charging customers to see the menu

Chili’s: Unlimited napkins before 4:30 p.m.

Cheesecake Factory: Health insurance coverage extended to customers dining there three or more times a week

Olive Garden: Has stopped forcing diners to constantly smile, laugh, and eat endless pasta

Applebee’s: To warm the hearts of its patrons, every night at each franchise a troupe of young actors sits at an extra-long table and plays a defeated, but still proud, local high school sports team

 Restaurant 

Abuelo’s Mexican Food Embassy: Finally accepting the many asylum requests from desperate Chi-Chi’s refugees

Cracker Barrel: Now serves homosexuals

As an aside, I’ve also heard that Ruby Tuesday’s is now serving silver dollar sized burger shooters for a buck, Krystal’s is not only supplying free wi-fi but providing smartphones for the homeless as they drink their coffee while seated in the restaurant and Morton’s is selling prime steak by the gram (28 grams minimum purchase).

As for my restaurant, we are issuing cards that we punch with each entree. After 10 punches, our GM goes to their house and details their car.

PS, I’m sorry that I couldn’t show a graphic of the new Chinese-owned first edition of The Onion, but my lawyer (whose firm is also owned by the Chinese) recommended that the Chinese government would pound me for copyright infringement if I should choose to do so.