Oh, Brother!

, , , , , , | Working | January 17, 2018

I am job hunting and end up waiting tables at a new, fancy, family-owned Italian restaurant run by two brothers. For the first week or so, everything is perfect; friendly coworkers, good food, fast service, nice pay, etc.

However, about a month into the job, the two owners start bickering with each other. At first it’s just snips and snipes, but over the next week it gets into full-blown screaming. Coming from an Italian family, I can safely say there isn’t a more volatile argument than two Italians from the same family going at it. They go all out, complete with swears and threats, right in earshot of our diners, several of whom have children. Predictably, we get swamped with complaints and demands for refunds, and unfortunately, I even catch a few people recording the outburst on phones. When a coworker goes to tell the brothers that their fighting is ruining the night, the argument gets even louder as they start accusing each other of sabotaging their business. By the time it’s passed, the dining room is basically empty, with a handful of bemused people sitting around, enjoying the “dinner and a show.”

This continues for another week, and unfortunately, the restaurant gets a reputation for the brothers fighting to the point that guests start showing up just hoping to watch. The wait staff and chefs run themselves ragged trying to keep the business afloat, as the owners are now more concerned with their feuding. Eventually, they do make up, but only by reaching the conclusion that the business is failing, not because of them, but because of the staff.

We have all dealt with their crap long enough when it wasn’t directed at us. The first night they try to pick fights with us, the majority of the wait staff walks out without a word, myself included. Before long, the rest of the staff quits as well, either out of defiance, or out of a desire to avoid being the only target left.

I drive by the next week on the way to get groceries and see the restaurant with a “Help Needed” sign on it, and the week after that, it is shut down. I feel bad for them, but if you’re going to start a family business, you should probably do it with a relative you don’t absolutely despise.

1 Thumbs
564
VOTES