Icarus Landing loves dining out in fine restaurants. Most of the time, the experience is good, although the quality of waitering is a little unpredictable – sometimes too rushed, sometimes too slow, sometimes too attentive, sometimes too inattentive – you probably know what we’re talking about. So, we’ve developed this Fun-Filled Career Guide to Restaurant Waitering! Don’t be one of those boring, stuffy waiters any longer – be a Fun Waiter! Join the revolution now! This is an Icarus Landing exclusive!

 

1. Don’t be one of those unoriginal waiters who greets everyone with a dull, simple “Good evening” or “Good afternoon.” [Hint: Boring!] Be original and creative! Invent a phrase of macaronic words [mixing foreign languages] first, before your actual greeting. For example: Guests enter the restaurant. You: “Ah, je suis dictum ben penoya pon frair and good evening!” Translation: There isn’t one. It’s utterly nonsensical. But it sounds suave, sophisticated, even sexy, and it really impresses people! After that, just watch your tips go up up up!

 

2. When a party of three enters the restaurant and you just know they’re artsy, literary types, and they want to be seated while they wait for their fourth to arrive, don’t just take them to their table [Hint: Boring!] Refuse! And shout out something when you do, like, “J’accuse!!!” Then walk away. They’ll think you so entertainingly sophisticated, so divinely avant-garde, they’ll give you an appropriately cosmopolitan [read: large] tip because they’ll feel compelled by their inner pretentiousness to do so! [especially if they’re Emile Zola fans]

 

3. If a table is not ready within a reasonable length of time, don’t just offer a free drink or hors d’ouevre [Hint: Boring!]. Say, specifically, “Would you like a free amuse-bouche?” And when they agree, do this: Laugh out loud suddenly and yell “Bouche!” at the top of your lungs. Then say, “See? Get it? Amuse bouche. Ha-ha-ha bouche!” Your guests will kill themselves laughing! Then watch those tips go up up up!

 

4. When it comes to bringing water to the table, do this: “Bottled water or–” then make a face and a sound effect, like, ewww-yuck, “tap water?” They’ll love the animation and choose the bottled water every time, which is great because your restaurant charges $4 per bottle [as opposed to zero for tap], which then skyrockets their bill and, best of all, your gratuity, which goes up up up! [NOTE: We call this ‘Tip Ka-Ching’]

 

5. If your guests are not yet ready to order, don’t just walk away [Hint: Boring!]. Wait there! Dip your fingers in their water glasses and circle the rims of their glasses! Musical sound emanates!!! They’ll love this! And what they’ll love even more? Sing along!!! Opera arias are good, or cowboy songs. Whatever! Then watch those tips go up up up! [especially if you can sing]

 

6. Boring waiters say nothing at all when guests are ordering off the menu. Fun Waiters do! Try the Olympic Judging Game: When a guest orders, yell out “Eight!” Guests will warm to this, trust me! Next guest orders, yell out, “Nine!”. They’ll get the idea, and they’ll get excited! With a really fun group, try the Old Soviet-Communist Bloc Variation: When another guest orders the exact same thing, yell out “Five!” Your table will be laughing their heads off, and you know what that means – Tip Ka-Ching!

 

7. Bland waiters never ‘hustle’ menu items. For Fun Waiters, everything is a different [and better] story! Arrange with the restaurant owners in advance to pay you a 10% commission on any menu item or ingredient they’ve overstocked and need to move. Encourage guests that is the best thing on the menu, that it’s the Chef’s Specialty! Become an Ingredient Pimp! Remember, Fun Waiters are Smart Waiters! Your wallet will be glad you did!

 

8. Waiters are often told to never touch a customer [Hint: Boring!]. When you talk to your guests, put your hand gently on their shoulders and rub a little. It’s warm and friendly. If they look a little stressed, put your receipt book down and get in there and rub their neck and shoulders! If they look a little dusty, dust them off! If they’re a little wet, wipe them off! If they’re sweating, dab them off! This kind of extra personal attention means everything to modern restaurant goers. You’ll see. Do it! Then watch those tips go up up up!

 

9. This restaurant game will always result in bigger tips for you. It’s called ‘Chef the Twin’. If your guest is having trouble making a decision, offer to bring out the head chef, which will impress your guests immensely. Then, go into the kitchen, put on a chef’s jacket and chef’s hat, and return to the table speaking bits and pieces of  another language with a thick accent. “Bonjour, comme-ca-va? Mes oui, you should have les escargots, for sure! Merci!” If someone asks, “Hey, aren’t you the same guy who is waiting on us?”, just say, “That is my, how do you say, twin! We are both working here cette nuit to help our poor mere who is sick in l’hopitale, non?” Makes a fabulous impression and with the sympathy factor thrown in, translation: big money!

 

10. Guests just love laughing in a restaurant. If one of your female guests is dressed a little tartily, lean over with a smirk and say something like, “Would you care for a WHORE d’ouevre, madame?” Your guests will laugh so hard they will pee their pants! And you know what all that pee means – Tip Ka-Ching!

 

11. Don’t be one of those prim and proper waiters who only addresses guests as Sir, Ma’am, or Miss [Hint: Boring!]. Every night, choose one of your male guests at random and, every time you pass near his table, point and yell at the top of your lungs, “Dude!!!” They’ll love it! To paraphrase Napoleon the Pig in Animal Farm, All Guests Are Created Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others. Because those who are More Equal will tip you much, much better than those who are Less Equal!

 

12. Subtlety pays. When one of your guests orders a cheaper item from the menu, don’t look disapprovingly at him or her. Hem and haw but just a little. Say “Hmmm…”. Then move on to the next guest. When they order a more expensive item, praise them to the heavens. “Excellent choice! Oh, fantastic! You’ll love it!” Then return to the previous guest with a tincture of sympathy in your voice: “Are you really sure you wouldn’t rather change your mind, now? I think you’ll be glad you did…” Almost always, they do and order the more expensive thing. Never give up!

 

13. Don’t be one of those jerk waiters who won’t serve anything out of the kitchen that looks creepy or runny or just wrong [Hint: Boring!]. Serve it! Serve it all! Say to your guests, “Personally, I wouldn’t feed this crap to a sewer rodent. If I were you, I’d bitch to the manager. He’ll totally comp you for this, trust me.” Your guests will love you for it!!! And you know what that means – watch those tips go up up up!

 

14. Dull waiters watch their guests like silent sentries, respect their privacy, and never interrupt their conversations for any reason [Hint: Boring!]. Fun Waiters eavesdrop constantly, then ‘drop in’ unexpectedly and tell each table what the other is saying, whispering like this: “The woman in the blue dress at Table 8 over there had a breast enlargement last month.” Guests love this, especially when it’s full of salacious details! Try the Hello Dolly Variation: When you have single tables, tell each that the other has inquired about them [whether they have or not]. Who knows! When it works, they shower you with tips, become regulars, and shower you with more tips! Plus you get wedding invitations, Christmas gifts, the works! Even a one in five ratio improves your quality of life and quantity of income immeasurably!

 

15. If invited by your guests to join them in an alcoholic beverage, do it!!! Don’t be one of those stick-in-the-mud waiters who says, “Not when I’m on duty.” [Hint: Boring!] Duty-shmuty! What are they, brain surgeons or something??? Jeez Louise, come on! Your guests love inebriated waiters, especially when you become funny when drunk! Drink up! You know what it means, right? Watch those tips go up up up!

 

16. Don’t be one of those uptight, Calvinist waiters who never curses, no matter what [Hint: Boring!]. Size up your guests first – if you feel they’re hip and with it, lighten it up a bit. Don’t just say, “The foie gras is perhaps an indelicate choice, ma’am.” Instead, say something like, “Foie gras? Now that is some fucked up shit, man!” Hip guests love that shit! Watch those tips go up up up!

 

17. Don’t be one of those buttoned-up waiters who never talks to guests about others [Hint: Boring!]. Get real! People love gossip, and restaurant goers are people, too! So, when you are with your guests, do something like, point to a fellow waitress and say, “You guys see her? She’s banging the sous chef!” Your guests will think it’s absolutely hysterical, and will reward you with 25% and 30% gratuities minimum, guaranteed!

 

18. Remember that you are not there just to serve, you are there to educate! Bring judgment with the ketchup! Bring sass with A-1 sauce. I mean, come on! Ketchup??? HP Sauce??? Sheesh!

 

19. A Fun Waiter understands that restaurant diners, like sex partners, come in two types: Dominators/Dominatrices and Supplicants/Submissives. Be respectful and treat them appropriately! When you bring out the pepper mill to a Dominator/Dominatrix, hand it to him or her to use themselves and then ask if they would like to spank you with it. If they would, turn around and bend over helpfully. When you bring the pepper mill to a Supplicant/Submissive, refuse to use it until they beg you for it. Order them to say please! Yell! Order them to say pretty please! Both types will pleasure your wallet handsomely once suitably satisfied, believe me!

 

20. Remember: Never ever blame yourself for anything that goes wrong. A restaurant is like a mini city – there are lots and lots of people working there you can blame for everything! The Executive Chef, the sous chefs, the chef de partie,  busboys, the hostesses, the dishwashers– the list is practically endless! Repeat this over and over to yourself: It’s their fault! Your tip pocket will thank you later!

 

21. A clumsy though thoughtful waiter who drips or spills something on his or her guests will clean it up or offer to pay for professional cleaning or whatever. This is just stupid. The correct thing to do if you drip or spill something on a guest is nothing. If they notice it, tell them you saw them do it earlier but were too polite to say anything, then offer to pay for their dry cleaning anyway. They’ll feel so bad, and yet be so grateful and impressed with you that they’ll double or triple your tip. Believe me, this works!

 

22. Subliminal messaging works! As you walk through the restaurant, whisper regularly and just loud enough so it catches your guests’ ears. Here are some suggestions: “Twenty percent tip.” Figure out the most expensive item on the menu and whisper it: “Kobe beefsteak.” Up-sell constantly: “Irish coffee.” This technique works, believe me!

 

23. Always remember: allergies are a serious matter; peanut oil can kill your guests. When this happens, it is not gauche to remind the surviving guest[s] that this was strictly the chef’s fault, and should in no way affect the amount of your tip.

 

24. Here’s another great, money-making point further to providing laughter in the restaurant: if there’s silverware missing from the service and someone asks you, say, “Could I get a dessert fork, please?” Always reply with, “New or used?” Your guests will kill themselves laughing, and you will become very, very rich in quality, highest-money tips in no time!

 

25. If someone complains about the music in the restaurant, remember the Cardinal Rule: you are not there just to serve, you are there to educate! Bring judgment to their requests! “Do you have any Michael Buble?” should be met with incredulity and approbation! “Are you kidding me??? Seriously, are you???” Then turn to the entire restaurant and ask everyone, loudly, “She wants Michael Buble??? Why not just request AM Radio, for Chrissakes, right???” People will agree with you vocally. “With lots of commercials!” People will get louder. “People who come here request Bach!” They will agree enthusiastically. “They request Mozart!” They’ll cheer a bit. “Beethoven!” They’ll howl in approval. “People who come here do not go to Ferrari dealers and ask if they have any Yaris trade-ins on their used lots!” People will laugh and roar at this one. “People who come here know their Pythagorean tuning and their pot-au-feu, am I right?” They’ll all shout out, “Hell yes!!!”  People who come here know that Velveeta isn’t beurre blanc, and Michael Buble isn’t music, right?” They’ll shout out, “Yeah!!!” Now, your guests may not leave you much of a tip after that diatribe and embarrassment, but everybody else will! Remember this tip about tips, which we call our Number One Tips Tip: Many bigger tips make you more money than one little tip!

 

26. Don’t just quietly remove a plate full of food remaining on your guests’ table [we call this ‘The Plate Full of Food Remaining on Your Guests’ Table Conundrum’]. Do this instead: Call loudly for the manager to come over. When he or she does, pick up the plate and with obvious repugnance say, “This is disgusting!!! A rotting, stinking, dead road kill carcass would complain about having to eat this! What the hell is going on here???” When the manager scurries off with his or her tail between his or her legs, say to your guests, “He’ll totally comp you for this, trust me.” Your guests will love you for it!!! And you know what that means – watch those tips go up up up!

 

27. Most polite but totally spineless waiters will not say anything after a bad or insufficient tip. Screw that! Restaurant owners don’t care about your tip, not really – they have their markup built into the bill. Take the bull by the barbequed hindquarters and spin it around, as we say in the restaurant biz. Hold their tip money in the air, high above your head and say, “Look at this! After all I did for you??? I’m shocked! I’m horrified!” If they walk away, follow, and have memorized some more really good adjectives. “I’m stunned! I’m stupefied! I’m dumbfounded! I’m hurt! I’m deeply hurt! I’m wounded! I’m lachrymose intolerant! I’m psychologically damaged! I’m electro-convulsive therapy candidated! I’m reduced and diminished! I’m wizened like a winter corn husk in a prairie snowstorm! I’m heart shrivelled! I’m melting!” If you can cry, do it now! [In the restaurant biz, we call this ‘Squirting’] Then continue the diatribe: “I’m mad as hell and not going to take it anymore! I’m morally and ethically outraged on every fibrous and non-fibrous level! I’m insulted pan-and-trans-dimensionally! I’m–… Trust me. They’ll get it. They’ll pay more. They always do. And when they do, say “That’s it??? That’s all??? You’re fucking kidding me, right??? I’m woven into a basket of despair! I’m–“… etc. Never forget the Tip Ka-Ching!

 

Enjoy your rich and rewarding career as a Restaurant Fun Waiter!

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