Welcome!

If you’ve come to this website after watching 20/20 or @Anderson Cooper, welcome! Most of my waiter stories can be found in the archives dating from 2004-2009. After that, you’ll find some fiction I wrote and some observations I’ve made about life. I hope you enjoy all my stories! And yes, you can buy Waiter Rant or my book on tipping, Keep the Change at fine retailers everywhere. Just click on the bookseller links to the right!

Remember to tip 15-20% And stay off those cell phones!


Comments

Welcome! — 14 Comments

  1. I watched your segment on 20/20. It was fun and a little bit unnerving to think about.

    Keep writing the Waiter Rant blog. I really like reading it.

  2. I just heard about your book on 20/20! After waiting tables for nearly six years, I can only imagine the stories that you have to share. I look forward to reading “Waiter Rant” this summer.

  3. I did not see the 20/20 show, but I read your blog vis RSS and I wait tables. I read your book a few years ago. I still talk about it. Can you end every blog post with “Tip 15-20% and stay off your phones” please.
    Keep up the good work.

  4. I watched yesterday on the ABC app I have for my iPad (they have all the recent 20/20 episodes). You looked and sounded great. As a long time reader, congrats on your continued success.

  5. I am a waiter and have some pet peeves about rude customers. One is when customers sit at the tabke for extended periods of time chit chatting. No patron should sit in a restaurant for more than 60 or even 90 minutes. Second, are people who pay with gift cards. Beware!! Some are honest, but recently I had a guest give me a $50 gift card that had only $23 on it, which was unknown to me. The check came to $43. By the time I found this out on the computer, the guests were gone. Luckily, I didn’t have to cough up the balance, but got no tip. If someone gives you a gift card, ask for a secong form of payment, like a credit card. If they ask why, tell them it’s for insurance purposes since you don’t know how much is on theeir gift card. Thirdly, I am so tired of customers asking for separate checks and only one person decides to tip. Usually, they want a flat amount on one credit card and the rest on another. Then I get only one tip amount when it should be one per credit card. Lastly, people need to tip based on original, not discounted totals. So many times they will bring a coupon or gift card and tip me based on the total AFTER the discount was applied. Then I lose a portion of my tip. Always show the totals “before and after.”

    • Are you kidding me? This is a very rude attitude. And I’m sorry to say but those expectations are borderline begging. If you’re not happy with your income find another job.

  6. Just finished your book after seeing you on 20/20! It was truly enlightening to hear that the same crap goes on in the minds of waitstaff everywhere. Having married into the restaurant business, then opening our own….waiting tables and managing a staff is NOT fun anymore. I can’t help but think “I’m smarter than this”. Thank you, thank you for your book…I’ll be a regular visitor here as well! Best of luck to you :-)

  7. Re: Thomas’ comment that “(no)patron should sit in a restaurant for more than 60 or even 90 minutes” -

    Sometimes people are not there idly chatting; sometimes they are there to remember a deceased family member or friend (not a memorial service, simply being with others for a meal at the deceased’s favorite restaurant to remember happier times; I’ve done that a few times and we’ve always appreciated the staff’s understanding) or to work out a problem (I sat with 3 friends for almost 4 hours while we discussed an issue involving the ex of one of those people; it was very emotional for all of us and we all appreciated the staff at the restaurant being understanding, and left a tip that was close to 100 percent of our bill – meals and drinks).

    Thomas, I hope you will take possibilities like that into consideration and have some empathy for people who are going through a rough patch and need the comradeship that a meal offers.

    Thank you

  8. Peaches:

    Context, context, context. If you want to sit and chat for three hours in a restaurant that’s not very full, nor is yet past closing time, you’re probably not inconveniencing anyone. I suspect that this is the case in your example.

    But if people are waiting to sit, that’s another matter. At that point, camping on the table costs the restaurant money, costs the waiter money, and makes other customers wait longer, even those with reservations. Which doesn’t make them well-inclined toward the restaurant.

  9. Really enjoyed “Waiter Rant”. Read it recently, sorry to have missed you on Anderson. I loved your storytelling, your ability to share your insights with so much humor, and how honest you were about yourself. You pulled back two curtains, and while both were great, allowing us to see you made all the difference.

  10. Hey Steve, I reckon this is the most appropriate place to put this comment, even though it’s off-topic. (I have no idea what tv show you’re even talking about!)
    I’m an Australian, found your website while I was working in Singapore, then found your book while browsing through a second-hand bookstore in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. (Sorry you didn’t get multiple royalties from that purchase.)
    But I thought you might get a kick out of how far your stories have traveled with just one person.
    Keep up the good work.

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