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Wanna Be Put On The Spot?

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: batkevn | October 20, 2021

I worked as a server for a small, brand-new, family-owned restaurant. The place was one step below white tablecloth and had a bar on one side with the restaurant on the other. The owners were awesome and provided industry professionals to train us on how best to treat customers and maximize our tips. As an example of how effective this training was, on opening day I dropped an entire tray of drinks down a woman’s back, yet this family returned several more times and would only let me serve them. The owner brought them a parka the first time they returned.

One technique we were taught was to establish who was paying based on social cues and make sure they were happy. If a couple comes in and you believe the man is paying, make the woman feel like a queen. When it’s time to pay, she’ll likely encourage a higher tip. Incredibly effective.

As I finished taking an order, I noticed a family of four being sat in my section and stopped by immediately to introduce myself. My assessment was this: husband and wife, very nicely dressed, their beautiful daughter in her twenties (my age), and what I gathered was her boyfriend, wearing a suit and tie. Dad was very clearly paying, but the aspiring businessman here (the boyfriend) interrupted Mom when she was ordering her drink.

Boyfriend: “I’ll be ordering for the table.”

If looks could kill, the father would have taken out this young man and probably ten people in the bar area. Oh, buddy, your night is NOT going to go the way you thought.

Every time I returned to the table, I would face him, only look at and talk to him, and turn my back to the father. The daughter asked for something, I don’t remember what, and without ever acknowledging her, I asked the boyfriend:

Me: “May she have that?”

Boyfriend: “Yes.”

When I brought the bill, I set it right in front of him. They hung around for a while and I continued to check in and refill drinks while the bill remained untouched. I think Dad was making him sweat. Eventually, Dad grabbed the bill and put his card in. I brought back the receipt, thanked the young man for coming in, and walked away.

I was returning from another table when they were getting up from the table and the young guy moved to the door at a speed that made lightning look slow. The other three were all smiles, and the dad looked across the dining room and mouthed, “Thank you.” I gave him a smile and a nod and continued on my way.

I don’t remember how much the tip was, but I know it was good. Really good.

It must have been a small wedding because I never received an invite.