“This falls along the lines of "Kitchen Confidential" and other such "behind-the-scenes" books that have come out lately. That doesn't make it not worth reading, though, and I bet you're on your best behavior at dining establishment of all kinds afterward, too. The Waiter started all this as, of course, a blog, and finally collected enough rants, got himself a publisher, and voila! A book was born.
There are all sorts of good insider gossip here, everything from how the wait staff are abused by managers, the rampant drug and alcohol abuse by many in the restaurant industry as a whole, and the blatant paranoia of restaurant owners. It's pretty eye-opening stuff, or at least it was for me. Then again, I don't dine in fancy digs very often, being more of an Applebee's kind of girl. Good food for a good price is my motto, and quite frankly, the dive right down the street from work is more my style. Great burgers, fabulous breakfast stuff, and the hubby & I can go eat for right around $10 every time. Jacket and tie attire is not my style, so it was interesting to read about that world.
Of course, there are several "rants" about the customers, and rightly so in most cases. I think everyone should read this book just so they know how not to behave when they're out and about. I could never be a waitress - I would've told off several of the people described in this book. Just because you have money to eat somewhere expensive doesn't give you license to be an asshole. The worst rant was about a couple insisting on a specific section of the dining room, even when it became obvious that someone in that section needed urgent medical attention. While the EMTs were trying to get this woman out the door and save her life, these yahoos were still complaining that they would be most unhappy if they couldn't sit in that section. The Waiter was far kinder than I would've been, I can tell you that, but he does give his inner monologue, which is more along the lines of what I would've said.
It's a good little book, a bit repetitive at times, but overall worth the read. Again, if you see anything in here that even remotely reminds you of yourself, it's not too late to change your behavior and learn to be a good restaurant patron!
“This guy is pretty self absorbed. I was expecting something like Kitchen Confidential but instead got a lot of kvetching. He should have called it 'Whining Waiter'”Bill S wrote this review Monday, November 17, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Eh. It's good when he dishes on the restaurant stuff, not so great when he gets into philosophical musings about why he's still a waiter at 38 and whether or not he'll ever become a great writer.”JayCee wrote this review Friday, October 31, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“While the insider restaurant view was interesting, the tone too often was whiny and self-indulgent. There were quite a few laugh-out-loud moments, and I now know a new meaning to the term “crop-dusting”. However, the crudeness of the language was unnecessarily extreme and often detracted from the story he was telling. Overall, a bit of a disappointment.”Steve Yohn wrote this review Friday, October 24, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This title gives you a glimpse of what it's like to be a server... good to read if your a server or if you've been a customer in a restaurant”Meghan wrote this review Tuesday, September 16, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“So good. Everyone, especially those who have not waited tables needs to read this! I'm just mad he beat me to it. ”Shananigans wrote this review Tuesday, September 30, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Good writing, but I find myself lacking too much sympathy for the self-admittedly arrogant writer of this prose. Some parts are humorous jabs at selfish customers, and the occasional glimpse of deep humanity.”Eris wrote this review Monday, May 26, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No