Waiter Rant, the blog by Steve Dublanica, who wrote a (formerly anonymous) book by the same name, delivered a thorough response to Bruce Buschel’s You’re the Boss blog post entitled, “One Hundred Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (Part 1).”
To no. 35 (Do not eat or drink in plain view of guests), Dublanica replies: “I’d agree with this if restaurants weren’t so cheap and actually fed their employees! I worked at one place where they deducted $2 per shift for staff meals and didn’t give us any! ‘Madam, if your [sic] done with your osso bucco may I have it?'”
His answer to no. 37 (Do not drink alcohol on the job, even if invited by the guests): “Oh give me a fucking break. Without alcohol waiters would be killing restaurant managers and hostesses every day.”
And his retort to an admittedly silly no. 45 (Never mention what your favorite dessert is. It’s irrelevant): “Translation? You’re only a waiter. You’re nobody. You’re irrelevant. Something tells me Mr. Buschel’s a bit of an elitist. Good luck with the restaurant buddy! You’re gonna have a hard time finding waiters when they read this tripe.”
Indeed, Buschel’s list is mostly bang-on, and certainly does sound like, if obeyed, would make for an ideal dining experience. But anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant knows that being completely docile and devoid of personality doesn’t necessarily result in a happy table. A good waiter must welcome patrons as though they were his/her own personal guest. Recommendations and other interjections can often maximize the experience. Waiters are people, too. And, sometimes, it’s okay for them to show it — even if it does offend delicate diner sensibilities.