December 14, 2010
Better, earn, guests, income, increase, make more, Money, Restaurant, Server, tables, Tips, tips for improving your tips, tipsfortips, Wage
December 9, 2010
12/4, 12/4TMO, dave scott show, Harry Truman, leadership, leadership skills, LVRocks, LVRocks.com, manager, Manual on Military Leadership, Restaurant, Rosabeth Moss Kantor, self improvement, Thane Yost
It took far more than 26.2 miles to make it to the finish line
“Good leaders develop through a never-ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience.” -Manual on Military Leadership
Over the last few weeks I have addressed several important facets of leadership. In these posts I have discussed the power of leadership and how to harness it. In the conclusion to this series, I want to address the ongoing commitment you must make to yourself to grow as a leader. No single series of posts or book will turn you into the ideal leader. In order to continuing to develop as a leader you must maintain a commitment to self-improvement.
Read the full post at The Manager’s Office
December 4, 2010
A Little Humor
12/4, 12/4RL, Arbys, Arson, Bacchi Restaurant, bear, betrayed, Catherine, CAtherine Watson, Chadwick St.-OHarra, Charlie Browns, Cowboys bar, Daniel McGuire, Daniello Carting, Dejlah Bistro, dishwasher, Emman Hernandez-Jaimes, escargot, fake, fake health inspector, fraud, freezer, Friendly's, Gordon Ramsay, Grayslake, Grease, hauling, Hazim Sadkhan, health inspector, health inspector scam, hell's kitchen, Holli Ugalde, invade, jumping snails, justin bieber, kid, La Porte Des Indes, Leominster, London, Louisville, Manuel P. Ingrassia, Maria's, Mayfair, McFadden's, meat, moonshine, Mountain City, Mountain home, mustache, omaha, Pigeon, poison, Police, reality, Renee, Restaurant, Richard E. Moore, royersford, Rudy’s Mexican Grill, San Rafael, Savoy, scam, seafood peddler, Sebring, settlement, Sharky's, snails, springfield, Steve Righetti, stolen, stories, story, Strange Restaurant Stories, tahoe city, Tennessee, Texas Roadhouse, theft, tip, Todd Scull, trash, Venice, Venice Fishing Pier, walk-in, Watson, Weird Restaurant stories, winner
I will be honest. Last week’s batch of restaurant stories was pretty lame. Apparently everyone took a week off of doing really stupid things in restaurants. No need to worry though because this week people nationwide made up for their restraint last week. I am willing to go so far as to say that this may be one of the best installments of this series yet. Enough of me yappin, here is what I mean.
Before we get started, here are a couple of updates on stories featured in previous weeks. The discrimination lawsuit against McFadden’s that I have been discussing over the last month has been settled out of court. The General Manager who (allegedly) sent the text, “We don’t want black people we are a white bar!” has been fired. Also Omaha is the newest city to be warning of fake health inspectors. Has anyone googled, “scam ideas that are more obvious than an email from Nigeria” to see if any information on this pops up?
Now onto this week’s stories. Chad and Steve wanted to have a nice meal for Steve’s birthday. Which obviously means ordering snails. When Steve went to put his fork into a snail it… let me use Steve’s words, “We had no reason to expect that when we put the fork into the escargot, it would explode — literally jump 2 to 3 inches off the plate.” Apparently snails are capable of jumping, but only after they are dead, cooked in butter, and stabbed with a fork. Either that or someone needs to explain to Steve what “literally” means. (San Rafael, CA)
I am an anti-patio guy. I do not like sitting outside to eat. I have seen several meals ruined by bird droppings. I have yet to see one ruined by birds dropping. Apparently the 50 or so dead birds that fell on this restaurant were a better alternative than a little bird poop. Might want to rethink the poison game plan here. (Venice, FL)
I love sticking it to celebrity chefs. Gordon Ramsey usually gets a pass because I am actually a fan. It has been a bad week for the Chef as he made the news twice. First his New York restaurant fails to pay its trash bills. Then the winner of this year’s Hell’s Kitchen does not actually get to work at the Savoy Hotel in London. On a related note, Escoffier has stopped spinning in his grave. (New York, NY)
While Ramsey’s trash might be sitting for a while, others have taken it upon themselves to remove any number of items from restaurants. These include meat (Labelle, FL) grease (Springfield, MO), and even an industrial dishwasher (Susquehanna Township, PA). You know cash spends really easily. Most everyone takes it. I am not sure that WalMart accepts payment in used fryer grease. Maybe next time look for some of that green paper lying around. I don’t think even Kaiser Soze has a fence for this kind of stuff.
An exception to that last rule can be made for the next thief. I am not sure thief is even the right word. We wandered into a restaurant with no money and instantly started scaring off patrons. It was the fourth time in a week this offender had done it. The frustrated owner did what all owners secretly want to do and fatally shot him. I am pretty sure they are rethinking their weekly special of “lovely picanic baskets.” (Tahoe City, CA)
Other restaurants seem to be getting in trouble for their deliveries. Selling something as “made in house” or “locally sourced” is a great marketing technique. It also is a great way to save some money on food costs. This however does not apply to marketing liquor. This story would have been infinitely cooler if the moonshiner was named Beau, Luke, or Uncle Jesse. (Sebring, FL)
The title, “Owner of restaurant set on fire believes he’s victim of hate crime” caught my eye. The fact that someone wrote, “Get out of our country” on the door of his restaurant before it was set on fire leads me to agree. I think I speak for a vast majority of Americans when I say that “our country” does not believe in arson as a proper expression of backward ass xenophobia and racism. This restaurateur has only lived in our country for 8 years, but already has a much better idea of what it means to be an American than the redneck who did this. (Louisville, KY)
For seemingly the hundredth time on this blog I am pointing out that a night manager’s nametag is not some sort of spanish fly for young girls. I will stop pointing it out as soon as stories like this stop happening. There were actually a couple stories this week on this topic, but honestly we all know that there are some real dirtbags in the world. I don’t like reminding everyone each week. This one made the list because of the last line in the story. If I gave an award for the most obvious fact to point out in a story, this one would win. (Grayslake, IL)
Speaking of awards it is time to present the Chef Justus Award for the restaurant hero to Texas Roadhouse. When one of their managers died they donated 10% of the sales from 23 of their restaurants to a fund for his children. Doing it at one store is attempting to do the right thing. Doing it at 23 stores shows a commitment that I think should be an example to other restaurant companies. My sympathy and condolences go out to Suzanne Scull and her family. (Royersford, NJ)
The soon to be renamed (assuming the Saratoga Springs PD can get off their butts and catch the guy) award for the restaurant jerk goes to the Leominster, MA Police Department. They recently busted a robbery suspect by arresting him at a busy restaurant. They did so with guns drawn which predictably unnerved the patrons. They also in their words, “assisted Mr. Manuel Ingrassia to the ground (prone position).” Could that $300 he stole not have warranted arresting him outside the restaurant? I’m not trying to pick on the police here, but this seems pretty darn lazy to me. (Leominster, PA)
Time for the scoreboard:
It was a strong week for the Mid Atlantic region. Florida single handledly carried the South Atlantic region into second this week. At this point the South Atlantic region’s lead seems pretty insurmountable. It is not over yet, next week I will announce a special Christmas version of weird restaurant stories that will definitely be a game changer.
This week the United States got credit for the follies of Gordon Ramsey. It is only fair that Justin Bieber return the favor to London. While the constant facebook postings about “Bieber Fever” from my female friends in their 30s lead me to believe they have forgotten he is a kid, he did a good job of reminding his server. No matter where in the world you go, teenagers can be a pain to wait on. While the owner did not fatally shoot him, I am still giving the points to the world. USA: 8 World: 7.
That is all for this week. Monday I will be coming back with the final part of the “don’t be that guy” countdown. I will also be posting rule seven of the rules of serving and the final installment of the leadership series. For those who cannot get enough of me, I will also be on The Dave Scott Show this Friday to discuss the restaurant business. I will also be revealing a very important announcement about the future of this blog this week. Need more reason to come back to this blog? It is one week til my birthday and anyone who visits everyday gets off the hook for buying me a present. Don’t think I won’t come find you.
December 3, 2010
A Little Humor
borrow, calling in sick, carry three plates, comedy, common, error, follow, funny, hangover, heavy, humor, hungover, I hate spunk, ideas, jokes, lifting, lighter, Lou Grant, mary tyler moore, mistake, mistakes, new, new job, new server, newbie, Restaurant, rookie, Rules, Server, Serving, sick, that guy, three plates, tools, Waiter, waitress, wine key, you got spunk kid
Nobody wants to work with "that guy."
We were all rookies at one time. We walked in confident the first day at a new restaurant only to end up with a deer-in-the-headlights look by the first rush. I’ve worked at plenty of restaurants over the years and know the feeling all to well. I have most certainly been “that guy” as well. There is something unnerving about being a rookie at a new restaurant.
I have also been the veteran at several restaurants. I have been around long enough to see countless rookies come through my restaurant and make the same mistakes. Most of them are incredibly well meaning. I try to be patient with all of them. Sometimes I even bother to learn their names after a couple of months.
Read the full post at Restaurant Laughs
November 26, 2010
2010, 2010 plaza lighting ceremony, 2011, 47th street, best lights, best views, christmas lights, Country Club Plaza, jc nichols, Kansas City, lights, mission hills, parking, Plaza Lights, Restaurant, ward parkway, wornall
As Thanksgiving approached this year, my girlfriend and I had several discussions about our traditions. Her traditions included a big meal with turkey and all the fixings. We made all those foods over the last few days. We toted them up to my family’s house yesterday and had a great meal. It wrapped up just in time to head home for my Thanksgiving tradition.
For a majority of the last twenty years my Thanksgiving nights have been spent watching Christmas lights with tens of thousands of friends and neighbors. Thanksgiving night in Kansas City is when people gather to watch the Country Club Plaza turn into a beautiful, glowing, masterpiece. With the flip of one switch, the twenty or so square blocks of The Plaza become illuminated. The countries oldest automobile inspired shopping district becomes even more beautiful. This tradition has been happening for at least twice as long as I have been alive and is one of the great things about Kansas City.
I will see the lights turn on thirty or so more times before they leave them off in January. I live and work in the neighborhood. In a few days it will just be the reason traffic drives me crazy. I am certain that any number of censored rants will eventually include “those damn lights.” For one night though it is magical. Last night I took a camera with me to capture what makes it so magical. Neither the camera nor my photo skills were strong enough to capture the sense of the moment. I still thought I would share a little of my tradition with all of you.
(Click on any picture to see it in full size)
For weeks this is what the lights have looked like
Before the lights it is still very pretty
And then they flip the switch
It is very difficult to photograph fireworks
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Come back tomorrow for another installment of weird restaurant stories. For some daytime pictures of The Plaza, check out my review of the 2010 Plaza Art Fair. For some great aerial photographs of the lighting ceremony, check out the KCTV5 slideshow.
November 23, 2010
angry customer, angry guest, complaint, demanding customer, demanding guest, hostile customer, hostile guest, how to deal with, how to handle a, Restaurant, rude customer, rude guest, Server, skills, Tips, tips for, tips on, tipsfortips, Waiter, waitress
There was a better solution
One of the most difficult situations any server faces is the hostile guest. I call them hostile, because they are angry with you long before you have even greeted them. Some people just bring all the hostility of their day in to a restaurant and dump it on their server. From the moment you greet them, they make it clear that they know you are only smiling because you have to and that none of your upselling mind tricks are going to work on them. The average server can spot this right away and provides adequate service while avoiding small talk at all cost.
This approach is the response the guest is accustomed to. It reconfirms their belief that the only reason you were being friendly in the first place was to get their tip. They peg you as a phony and the restaurant version of détente is underway. Most servers try to avoid this type of guest. In reality though these guests are the ones you can make the biggest impact on. Once you learn how to defuse these time bomb guests, you are well on your way to building a regular for life.
Read the full story at Tips For Improving Your Tips