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December 30, 2009

Secrets your waiter will never tell you



I think I want to thank Alexander D. Mitchell IV for discovering this link to 20 Secrets Your Waiter Will Never Tell You for me. It's like watching a train wreck to read them. You don't want to look, but you can't turn away.

And here's the original Reader's Digest article, which unfortunately is in the form of a photo gallery so you have to click through it. ...

I wonder if one casualty of the Internet will be restaurants. After reading about all the ways restaurants and wait staff may be taking advantage of the customer, you start to think delivery pizza at home sounds pretty good.

Some of these "secrets," though, could be helpful. For instance:

We’re not allowed to tell our customers we don’t like a dish. So if you ask your server how something is and she says, “It’s one of our most popular dishes,” chances are she doesn’t like it.
—Waitress at a well-known pizza chain 

The one thing doing this blog has taught me is how much servers resent most customers.

(Photo courtesy of

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 7:14 AM | | Comments (9)


As a server, I've definitely given out decaf as regular. Never the other way. Lying about the stock, though? That just seems wrong.

I used to work on the Harrisburg Riverboat and we would only have decaf. If we got two people asking for regular and decaf at around the same time we'd make a new pot for show but all anyone got was decaf. I figure not a big deal as the otherway round.

My family will always give better tips when we ate out on Thanksgiving or New Years, just a curtesy to those who have to work on the holiday (no special story needed).

That explains why I can drink restaurant coffee after dinner and have no trouble sleeping, but one cup after 6 pm at home will have me awake past midnight.

I've never worked in food service, but I've got plenty of experience as a diner. And it's always seemed to me that I'm completely at the mercy of my server, so there's extra reason to try not to be a jerk. He doesn't want the food to be slow, or my order messed up, so why be a jerk to him about it? Nothing good comes from it.

alternative Kaput - Recaptcha tries music commentary?

Thank you for this! I think between making him watch "Waiting" and the list, my dad may actually quit getting "cute" with female staffers.
Cute meaning not actually a jerk per se, but annoying, chatting them up, instead of just ordering food and let them go about their day in a pleasant manner.
Being an older person does not excuse that sort of bs, and hopefully the short term memory will work well enough that he'll remember it!

I nominate the second paragraph of Matt's 1:55 p.m. comment as "comment of the week." It would make a good New Year's resolution.

twenty sensational things I heard once to get you to read this article

I've read Down and Out in Paris and London three times. If that didn't get me to stop eating in restaurants, nothing will.

I've read Down and Out in Paris and London three times. If that didn't get me to stop eating in restaurants, nothing will.

I've worked in restaurants. If that didn't get me to stop eating in restaurants, nothing will.

Captcha: the lauded (Cleatus' new soap opera)

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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