So You Want To Be A Waiter

The best book on waiting tables that you have never read – yet

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I’ve been a bad blogger…

…because I really haven’t had the time to keep up with the ever-expanding universe of restaurant bloggers.

Normally I like to give a little review and add links to fellow bloggers individually because I think that they deserve credit for their hard work and I like to make it easy for my readers to decide whether a blog is worthy of following.

So this is a bit of a departure for me.

I’m going to list a raft of blogs that have popped up recently. I have at least taken a cursory look at each of them and feel that they are worthy of inclusion in Ye Olde Blogroll. I am not listing them in any particular order nor is the inclusion of them a permanent condition. But I think it’s important to give them exposure and I’ll let you decide for yourself which ones you find relevent, entertaining and informative. I’ll be actually adding them to the blogroll shortly. Meanwhile, use the links that are provided here.

http://www.thejadedwaiter.com/

http://aneducatedserver.wordpress.com/

http://dignityandrespect.wordpress.com/

http://fuckmytable.wordpress.com/

http://doyoudothatathome.com/

http://www.gratuity-not-included.com/

http://waitress-tales.blogspot.com/

http://www.servernightmares.com/

 www.lifeonacocktailnapkin.com

I’m sure that there are more that I’ve missed. If I’ve missed your blog, feel free to list it in the comment section of this post.

I apologize in advance for not giving each of these blogs their rightful due. But I think it’s better to at least get the links out there. Perhaps I will comment on them later, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Needless to say, I found a lot of entertaining stuff in these blogs and I think you will too.

I got many of these links from this compendium:

http://www.bschool.com/blog/2011/60-best-blogs-in-the-restaurant-industry/

I’m proud to have been included. I’m listed #2, although I doubt that they ordered their list in any particular hierarchical fashion. Also, there are quite a few related blogs at this site that will be listed later, especially those dealing with the kitchen (i.e. back-of-the-house, chef/cook related).

New link added – More Bread Please

Here’s a new promising blog from someone who is documenting his move from one restaurant to another.  It’s well-written and it’s obvious that this person has a lot of restaurant experience, so we can learn much from this blog.

The blogger isn’t afraid to directly document what’s going on during his or her shifts, unlike myself.

I think that all restaurant people will enjoy getting in on the ground floor of this nice blog.

So let’s welcome this blogger with a slice of ciabatta, a wedge of Manchego cheese and a glass of La Rioja Alta “Viña Ardanza” Reserva Rioja.

New link added – The Bitchy Waiter

It’s been a while since I added a link. It hasn’t been on purpose. Some of the links that I’ve intended to add have been dormant for months. Some of the sites just haven’t compelled me to add them, but that might be as much my fault as any fault in the content. Mostly, it’s just been the general sense of inertia and ennui.

The name of this blog says it all. However, this isn’t just another waiter bitch site. There’s plenty of bitching about other aspects of life.

It’s witty, well-written and there’s usually a point to whatever carping might or might not be going on. I think that my readers will enjoy it to the max, so make sure you not only check it out, but subscribe or bookmark it.

Let’s welcome The Bitchy Waiter with a hardy, “Really”? (Fans of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update will get this reference). We’ll raise a glass of bitter tears as well.  

http://thebitchywaiter.blogspot.com/

Look for the link in Ye Olde Blogroll shortly.

Picture found at http://www.freakingnews.com/Waiter-Pictures-35363.asp

this is a great site called “Freaking News” and is paert of their Photoshop contest. If you are a Photoshop wizard, you might want to sign up.

BTW, the fact that the Queen is pictured as a waiter is not intended to reflect on the author of The Bitchy Waiter. I just found it funny. Also, apologies in advance to any Royalists that might be reading this.

New link added – “Crazy Waiter”

http://www.crazywaiter.com/

I’m adding a link to a very nice waiter blog from France called Crazy Waiter. Full of vim and vigor, here is the “mission statement” from the creator of the blog:

“This page is made by a crazy waiter working in an entertainment resort near Paris. There I’ve learnt that you’re part of the scene. You are to be expected to do more than bringing the drinks and taking away the dirty plates. There are several trainings to make people aware of this.

We want to inform you, teach you and entertain you! On this page you’ll find inspiration, (improvisation) techniques, fragments, information, anecdotes, useful (background) informations etc. etc. for those who want to become a CrazyWaiter, restaurant fanatics and other interested people”.

He says, ” English is not my mother tongue, so please forgive all errors in Dunglish“. His English is very good for a second language, so he really doesn’t need to apologize. I find that the Dutch are usually very fluent in English, and obviously, he’s also fluent in French as well. I’ll bet that his German is top-notch as well…

It’s nice to have a Continental perspective on waiting tables.

I hope that you will raise a glass of Cheval Blanc chased by a sip or two of Jenever and toast the arrival of Crazy Waiter to the fold!

Image courtesy of Crazy Waiter

New link added – Red Lobster Blog

Written by “Lobster Boy”, this blog is a great inside view of the highly corporate Red Lobster chain (now owned by Darden, they are one of the longest lasting “mid-market” chains in the country).

Under the “About Me” section, this passage:

“I’ve worked for Red Lobster for the better part of a decade. They used to care for their employees, now we’re just another warm body in their soulless corporation”. 

Despite this rather bleak assessment, it’s obvious that there’s some affection for the restaurant when you read the blog in toto. It’s a bleak hope for a better working environment, but sometimes you have to basically take this almost on faith. Whether it’s a new corporate directive about station size (which happened early in the life of the blog), to the most current posts about coupons and the lack of trust that corporate places in its waitstaff to process the coupons honestly, it’s always an entertaining read from someone who’s been with the company for years. For those who have never worked in a highly corporate environment, this will be a bit of an eye-opener. For those who have, there will be a lot of “Oh yeah, I’ve been there”.

This is actually one of the oldest waiter blogs out there. For some odd reason, it had always been on my backburner in terms of adding to ye olde blogroll. for that, I have a lot of regret, because it actually should have been one of the first that I added. I mean, ya gotta love someone who counts Red Lobster Training Videos along side Napoleon Dynamite and Office Space as his favorite movies. Right? Plus, as an added bonus, you get the occasional recipe and information on current promotions. What more could you ask for? Just don’t utter the words “endless shrimp” when you’re within earshot. ‘K?

So, let’s welcome Lobster Boy properly. Let’s have some champagne with our lobster, shall we? And no bloody coupons either.

New link added – “How not to do things”

I’m a pretty snarky guy. I show flashes of it here occasionally, but I play it fairly straight in general (if you actually think I’m pretty snarky based on what you read here, then I suspect that your tolerance for snark is pretty low).

So I appreciate someone who lets their snark flag fly free.

Van Der Vecken (or vandervecken as he or she bills themselves) is just that creature. Maybe it’s the Dutch or Belgian background. People who are forced to wear wooden shoes and lace can develop an acute sense of playful gruffness.

vandervecken (I’m going with this spelling because, first, it’s easier and I don’t have to press the shift key which will probably add minutes to my life when it’s all said and done, and second, it looks better, perhaps it’s a tropical finch or the Dutch word for the “pleasure of driving”) will make you chuckle through the blog “How not to do things”. The title is a giveaway that you’re in for some pleasant hectoring. Taking on neocons, craigslist and “Food Knowitalls” in equal measure, I suspect that this “nagelneu” (German for brand new, it literally means “new as a shiny nail”) blog is going to be a force to reckon with.  Adding to that, vandervecken isn’t afraid to comment on this very site and has had the good sense and impeccable taste to add me to the blogroll within mere months of the blog’s inception.

No, there’s no quid pro quo. I would have added it even if my own blog wasn’t linked. And, there’s the added fact that the blog has a similar look and feel to my original “Parchment” Word Press format. So it almost feels like home.

Alright everyone – vandervecken is our people. I hope that the new kid on the block continues striking back at life’s little idiocies. Time to raise a glass of brandy as Churchill would. After all, vandervecken is a kindred spirit. I suspect that vandervecken would salute the Churchill saying, “We occasionally stumble over the truth but most of us pick ourselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened”.

http://vandervecken.blogspot.com/

New link added – Server Not Slave

Formerly called “You’re My Shadow Today”, this is a blog that I’ve been meaning to add for a while.

Witty, stylish and practical, this blog also allows guest commentators as well.

This is another blogger exploring book possibilities.  Waiter Rant has certainly opened the door to possibilities, hasn’t it?  I’m surprised that there haven’t been more books on the subject on local bookshelves considering the rich and spicy world of restaurants. There certainly haven’t been many mass market guides to waiting tables (there are some slender volumes and some hefty “professional” volumes available as special orders and there haven’t been many “slice of life” things either.

In any case, this is a blog that should be followed by every waiter.

Look for it shortly in ye ole blogroll.

http://servernotslave.wordpress.com/

And yes, I like the “official” name change.

And speaking of Serious Eats…

…we’re adding it to our blogroll, under the category of foodie.

Always interesting, always informative, and, in the best tradition of food porn, glossy and moist with tempting photographs, this is definitely a go-to site for anyone interested at all in food.

Just like a 13 year old boy stays in the bathroom for excessive periods of time, you might find yourself stuck in the kitchen with a laptop and a roll of paper towels for a long long time.

Here’s an example of what you will get:

Photos by Erin Zimmer