Foodie shows and tomes from big-name and wannabe chefs having been coming off the assembly line lately faster than Big Macs at a truck stop, yet rarely do we hear anything from the folks in the trenches.
Author of the uber-popular WaiterRant.net, the Waiter (aka Steve Dublanica) has amused hundreds of thousands of cubicle monkeys with his tales of woe from behind the lines in the restaurant industry. Started in 2004, WaiterRant.net became a top time-waster as he shared his front-of-the-house experiences regarding nasty customers, mean managers and slacker co-workers. Over the years, he gained a following and a book deal.
But now the formerly anonymous waiter-turned-scribe is out of the closet with the release of “Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip — Confessions of a Cynical Waiter.” The Waiter’s blog adapts well to paper as the thirtysomething cafe manager recalls the trials and tribulations of a career waiter, as well as debunking myths (and proving a few true) about the food industry.
Think of “Thanks for the Tip” as a guide to going out to eat. The Waiter chats about those he serves, both good and bad. For the good, readers are offered inspirational stories of hope and kindness in humanity. For the bad, the wait staff launches psychological warfare.
Ever send back your food more than once? You are running the risk of the kitchen staff playing hockey with your filet mignon. Lousy tipper? You might encounter the “thousand-yard stare,” which can render small children and annoying patrons helpless. Or even worse, the staff will have a call placed to the police about you being a possible drunk driver.
The Waiter’ pulls you to the frontlines of a busy, high-priced New York cafe. War stories of Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, shady managers and patronizing clients smack of shades of David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs, but with a purpose: to educate foodies on the do’s and don’ts of proper dining etiquette.
While the entertaining read will probably not turn the literary world on its ear, it will entertain readers with a taste for the sardonic, and might just inspire a precious few to leave more than a 15% tip at the Cheesecake Factory.