Behind the Bar with Bing

By -

b2ap3_thumbnail_barfood.jpg

****Lunch at the Bar***** 

Being in the business for as long as I have been, and being a man, I always sit at the bar when I go into a restaurant when I want to eat. Think about it, the person taking care of you is always right in front of you, and if you can be pleasant, strike up a semi-intelligent conversation, and don’t act like a tool, everything will go just fine. Bartenders love when people sit at the bar, that is why they are there, and to be honest, they don’t want you to go to the back because they will lose out on your tip. Now, because I split time between the corporate world, and the restaurant world, I feel that I can bring an insight as to how you can get what you want, and how you want it. 
                   

****Learning Opportunity***** 

Listen, lunch is hectic, and you if you go into any place, believe me, they are trying to deliver your food as fast as they possibly can. In 60-90 minutes, most places can crank out hundreds of plates; this alone is quite an accomplishment. These folks are really doing the best they can. If you have ever seen the back of a restaurant at lunch, I guarantee that you will redefine what you thought busy was. I also work in an office environment and I consistently laugh at these lazy, whiney, life-owes-me desk jockeys who tell me that they are sooooo busy, that they can’t get anything done. While, most of the time, these people are outright “time burglars”, sitting around chatting and stealing time away from the folks that are actually working. 

To the time burglars, let me propose a little experiment: try waiting on 40-50 people in 30 minutes, understanding the point-of-sale system, refilling glasses of iced tea, pouring beers, making every drink for every guest sitting in the restaurant, running into the back to bring extra plates, napkins, refilling ice, grabbing more forks and knives, running food, picking up after little, darling (that adjective is dripping with sarcasm) Jimmy who thought it would be fun to empty 3 sugar caddies onto the floor, while his stay-at-home Mommy, who is unconsciously happy to be out of the house, is so engrossed in her lunch conversation with Suzie the gossip queen, that she is totally oblivious, helping your co-workers who are struggling to get their guests what they need, ringing in new orders, answering the phone, addressing any issues with why the food you ordered wasn’t done the way you wanted it, not to mention that you get hit with a barrage of questions as you walk by each guest that may need something non-stop. It is absolutely surreal. The vast majority of office workers would have a breakdown, seriously. 

The Bartender understands that this is the job, and this comes with the territory, however, on behalf of every bartender, may I ask a favor? If you have a royal crown placed on the top of your head, please raise your hands, grasp said crown and remove it in an expedient manner. By this, I mean don’t come in thinking that you are the most important person in the room at that time. Uh oh, I think I feel a rant coming on here…  News flash: you’re not the Queen of England! Try not acting like the servers are your servants, and I promise you that you will be taken care of. Once the order goes into the kitchen, there is not too much a bartender, server, or even high priest can do to get it out any faster. Food needs to cook, Einstein. Because we know that if it comes out undercooked, or not they way that you want it, you are going to make some ridiculous scene like you are the star in some movie. 

Let’s expand on that for a moment, shall we? The movies are just that, the movies. A typical bar scene in a movie has the bartender in the background, not hearing or part of the dialogue. Well, in reality, when you go into a bar and you start talking to your neighbor and complain, “I have been waiting forever for a drink. The service here is {insert expletive} horrendous! I’ve been waiting {insert expletive} forever for my food!” make no mistake about it, the bartender hears you, and remembers. The reality is, you have been waiting only a few minutes for your beverage and have been informed that your food is indeed cooking, and when it is ready, the food runner brings it out to the bar. When you mouth off, not only do you look like a jerk to the guy your talking to, you look like a jerk to everyone working there, and no one, & I MEAN NO ONE, is impressed. Did you somehow forget that this person behind the bar is a person? You would go off-the-wall crazy if someone spoke to you like that. So why would you speak like that to someone else? Perhaps you are trying to cement yourself in posterity as the world’s most pompous patron? 

Quick reminder, even though it’s wrong to pour rancid bus pan juice on someone’s food, guess who just took the lead to get food poisoning? Ding Ding Ding! Tell them what they’ve won Johnny! Now, because of your need to feel significant around a group of people you don’t know, you have just won an all expense paid trip to the bathroom to vomit to the point of abdominal cramps, and, as an added bonus, you get to wipe your nether region until it bleeds! 

It’s not real hard folks, I said it before, and it bares repeating, the key to the kingdom, is a quick $10 or $20 spot (it may sound like a lot, but it is a small investment to ensure that you are well taken care of), a laid back attitude, and pretend that you are hanging out with the bartender, not trying to be yet another know-it-all, demanding pain in the posterior. The bar should be where you go to get away from it all, and if you’re the guy that brings the crap in with you, no one wants you there to begin with jack wagon.
                                               

***Public Service Announcement*** 

If any of you good folks out there have kids 18 and up, that are looking for a summer job, or something to help them pay for college, there is no better training ground for the real world than working in a restaurant. The pay sucks, the managers are inadequately trained for the job, (and most of them hate their life) and you have to earn your money. I promise you, your kids will get to see a side to life that may never have presented itself before. I feel it should almost be a mandatory, right of passage for every kid graduating from high school. It will give them a much-needed dose of reality, an elixir that has been long forgotten by our education system. 

Proost! (Cheers in Dutch) 

Bing 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *