malwethien (malwethien) wrote in bookish,

Book Review: Waiter Rant

Like dining out?  Ever wonder what goes on behind the kitchen doors of your favorite restaurant?  Well, wonder no more, for Waiter Rant is a tell-all book about everything you ever wanted to know about the cutthroat world of the restaurant industry.

A New York Times Bestseller, Waiter Rant, started out as an online blog where “The Waiter” shares his experiences, pet peeves, insights and anecdotes of being a waiter at a posh New York restaurant for the past 7 years of his life. 

The Waiter, or, Steve Dublanica (he has since identified himself as the author of the book), talks about everything in the restaurant industry, from kitchen crew and waiter dynamics to how to tell if the owner of the restaurant is a cheap asshole.  He shares his knowledge about waiters and how to be one, from how to ensure getting high tips to how to handle difficult customers; from how to pamper favorite customers, to how to exact revenge on overly demanding ones (spitting on one’s food is the least imaginative way waiters get even).  He also gives waiters (aspiring or otherwise) useful tips on how to get along with the kitchen staff, bus boys (and girls) and most especially, the managers and owners.

Not only focusing on the glitz and glamour of working in a high-end restaurant, Dublanica also shares the dark side of being a waiter; of  using drugs, alcohol or a combination of both to get through double shifts, or to numb themselves from abusive (verbal and emotional) diners.  Mostly, Dublanica talks about his love-hate relationship with his job as a waiter – the allure it holds for some people – college students looking for fast money, aspiring artists, etc in need of a stable source of income, but also the dangers of being stuck in a job that most people don’t view as a serious career choice (except for professional waiters from Europe). 

Waiter Rant is an enjoyable read which delves into the culture of waiting tables – a job that most of us take for granted.  When dining out, most people praise the ambience of a restaurant, or the skill of the chef; they rarely notice the waiters – unless of course their service was terrible. Dublanica’s anecdotes are often funny, albeit cynical and a bit dark at times. 

Waiter Rant is a very informative and eye-opening book about the struggles and challenges waiters face on a daily basis.  It has made me see dining out and being served by waiters from a different perspective.  After reading Waiter Rant, I have strived to be a better customer when dining out – to be kind and courteous to my servers, to treat them with respect, and to give them a bigger-than-usual tip. 

I think Steve would be proud.

Tags: genre: non-fiction, xxx author last name: r-z

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