Frank Sinatra – “My Way”

Tomorrow will be the last day as waiter.. at least for the moment. In two weeks I’ll go back to Rome, Italy for almost six months to work in an infopoint of Camping Fabulous, followed by a yoga teacher training at Samyak Yoga in India and traveling in Thailand and Indonesia. So no more tables, orders and guests anymore for this moment, but you know:”Once a waiter, always a waiter”.

And guess what will be the final song of CrazyWaiter – The Musical ??

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Hooters waitress donates kidney to longtime customer

Sometimes I joke that I do everything for my guests, even giving away a kidney. Mariana Villarreal, a waitress at Hooters in Roswell isn’t joking but did it really and might be the waitress with the most compassion in the world. At least she earned illimited karmapoints for this good deed!

Read the whole story at Hooters waitress donates kidney to longtime customer.

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Broken illusions

After almost 20 years of hard work in the restaurant business, I have the illusion that I understand mankind a little bit more. But that illusion can be thrown away when I think of some guests in the past…

  • People who pay 50 euro for only some shrimps, potato smileys or spaghetti. Or asking for only an omelet. Vive the kitchen food mark up
  • People who drink coke when eating the most luxury meals.
  • People who get impatient when you can’t take their order when there are four tables entering in your station.
  • People  who are acting in a very arrogant, unpleasant way and take you for the biggest dumb-ass in the world when they don’t understand your way of speaking their language (with an accent, I admit). Pfff, learn six languages yourself !
  • The lady who was very pissed when I asked for her vouchers before eating when she was there with her guests. (“you think that I’m a thief?”). Standard procedure lady…
  • The man who was threatening me in a way that my colleagues called almost the security. What did I wrong? I was very unpolite to his son. I asked his son to wait a second for his coke because I was serving his mother. Ladies and older poeple first, isn’t it?

But don’t worry, all my other guests are very cute, beautiful, friendly and comprehensive. But sometimes….

(Foto:  Waiter – B1 by h.koppdelaney / CC BY-ND 2.0)

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What can CrazyWaiters learn from Navy Seals

By Wesker100 /  CC-BY-SA-3.0 / http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Navy_SEAL_Reenactment_Group.jpg

Totally different but what can we learn from Navy Seals ?

Preperation

It’s all about preperation. A good set-up, mise en place (all your side work done) and knowledge and above all trained skills. It makes you that you don’t have to think about things and do it automaticaly and take decisions intuitively

Feeling of control

In fact, the illusion of control is so powerful that overconfidence is an asset, not a liability, during disaster scenarios. When you keep thinking:”I’m in the weeds”, you only make yourself crazy. Just breath in and out, do some yogaposes and think:”Everything under control”.

Humor

We can’t without humor. It makes everything so much easier

(Source: Fearlessness: 3 Things You Can Learn From Special Ops And Navy SEALS. Here are 8 other secrets)

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Once upon a time…

The Castle

Once upon a time ….

… there was a beautiful lovely princess wandering around in a park. Suddenly she found on the floor a very very magical wine-opener. She tought: “The person who did loose that one must be very special”.

She asked every waiter in the country whether he lost his corkscrew. Everybody said they did, but couldn’t open a bottle of wine of it. All the time the cork stayed firm in the bottle of wine she brought with her.

Finally after visiting all the restaurants in the country, she saw someone in the very last one who was cleaning the legs of the tables. “Don’t ask Cinderello, it won’t be him”, everybody said. However she did, showed the opener and by the happy look in his eyes she knew it was him. He took the opener and the bottle in his hands and with a magical movement the cork glided smoothly out of the bottle.

It seemed to be CrazyWaiter who was deemed to clean forever the restaurant because he couldn’t do his normal job anymore. Who wants a waiter who can’t open a bottle of wine?

After he thanked her with a hug they looked eachother deep in the eyes. They fell in love, he moved into her castle …

…and they lived happily ever after…..

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30+ Reasons to date a waiter

Laughing_couple

Every girl likes firemen and rich managers. But smart girls date a waiter ofcourse :)

  1. We are highly passionated about food. Isn’t that the first need in life?
  2. We know everything about wine. And if you don’t like wine, what about a cocktail? We have an extensive knowledge about all the other drinks a bar offers
  3. We have a positive attitude in life. Otherwise we don’t survive
  4. We always smile!
  5. We have a great condition and endurance because we walk more then 5 kilometers a day!
  6. Our communication skills are best in class because there’s nothing else we do.
  7. We have always great stories… “Once I had a guest…”
  8. We are very, very kind. That’s the way we earn money.
  9. We have humour and we are smiley. At least most of the times.
  10. We can deal with everybody from poor to rich.
  11. We are hard workers and have an iron mentality.
  12. We earn a lot of money because we make a lot of tips.
  13. We are princes who know how to treat a princess
  14. Life is never boring with us
  15. We know a lot. In any case a bit of everything
  16. We can read people and feel in an instance how to deal with somebody
  17. We respect everybody because we know the importance of being respected
  18. We know how to organise a party or diner. Most likely we’ll help you or your friend while throwing a party
  19. We can connect people.
  20. We are born problemsolvers. Lifeproblems, work problems, logistic problems… say it and we solve it!
  21. We have a lot of patience
  22. Work hard, play hard. We know how to enjoy life
  23. We have great listening skills because we (have to) listen all day to guests and collegues
  24. In the hospitality business people come and go, so we appreciate a stable factor in life a lot
  25. We are capable of handling stress and yes, we can multitask and know how to plan
  26. We know how to deal with children
  27. We pay a lot of attention to our grooming.
  28. We speak a lot of languages, so we can help you order food or find a taxi wherever in the world
  29. We have everywhere in the world (ex-)collegues we know, so traveling has never been that nice
  30. We don’t work at office hours, so if you need food, clothes or other stuff it is calm in the shops
  31. We are galant and we know the etiquette while dining with you and your parents
  32. We have a good taste for clothes (uniform? Who wants a uniform, we wear whether custom made suites whether nice casuals)
  33. We can read a restaurant or bar with a single glance, so you will always going out in the right places
  34. We believe in karma so we give a lot! We are givers by nature!
  35. We are used to take care of people and especially of those who are really important!

So ladies, where are you waiting for ?

(Because I’m a man who likes ladies, I wrote from that perspective. But every combination (M/F, F/M, F/F or M/M is possibile of course!) (Partly inspired by firemenlists etc and this page) (Photo : CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Peter Drier)

 

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Leadership for Crazy Waiters

A quote of a recruiter tickled me:”People apply to be a teamleader but they don’t know nothing about teamwork or leadership. It’s in the word. Team-Leader” This has made me thinking about leadership. What is leadership? How can you show leadership if you are “just” a waiter and not the boss?Now I’ve set my new focus for the next five years… being a leader, in whatever form or position….

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CrazyWaiter is back!

cwisback

Happy 2015 everybody! I just discovered that I didn’t post for a year. Oops! Partly this was due to being offline because of too much traffic. Another reason is that I spent 5 months at the infopoint of Camping Fabulous in Rome, Italy. But I ended 2014 at the place where dreams come true (a big entertainment parc with a castle and a mouse near Paris) and I retook my job as CrazyWaiter. So you will hear more from me soon!

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“How to manage the CrazyWaiter” – for dummies

I’m working already 20 years in the restaurant business and I think I can say I know how to do it. I’m very easy to manage, but even better if you keep the following things in mind! I guess it doesn’t work only for me, but for most of you – so feel free to reuse it!

  1. First of all: never ever use the imperative. You absolutely don’t have to beg but at least ask friendly :) because I’ll do it anyway
  2. Say what I have to do and try to avoid explaining how to do it
  3. In 90% of the cases there is a reason when I do something in a different way as usual
  4. Try to collect as much tasks as possible and give them in one time. It is annoying if you keep giving a new task after I completed the former task. When given the complete to do-list I have (also) an overview and I can combine things and make priorities
  5. Don’t stay immobile watching after giving orders. Help me, do something else or walk away
  6. Most of times I know what and how to do. If I don’t do it immediately I’ll see it a moment later or something else has a bigger priority to do
  7. Don’t give feedback when the heat is on
  8. Give me the chance to work as independent as possible. Just let me do my thing.
  9. Don’t worry, when I need help or don’t know anything I won’t be afraid to ask
  10. I’m not blind for the interests of other stakeholders but never ever forget that the guest is the central point in (almost) everything I do!

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The fifth chair

An interesting story about hospitality:

“On this premises I’d like to tell you a little story that occurred to me a short while ago when I was visiting the beautiful city of Trieste with my wife and few friends. (..)

Our research soon produced a typical trattoria owned by an old couple, with 25-30 seats, husband in the kitchen, wife is in the room – and you immediately notice it. The interiors’ decorations, the courteousness were a clear sign of a woman’s touch hence we felt at home the moment we walked in. But something weird caught my attention. Sitting at the rounded table set for four people, I noticed something unusual: five chairs for four people…I couldn’t figure out why was that and when I looked at the rest of the room I was really intrigued since all the tables presented the same layout. That’s not a mistake – I thought – there must be something related to the service.”

Read the whole story at Serving is a supreme art.

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Unexpected Acts of Service

Nowadays everybody nows the “random acts of kindness“. Let’s translate that to our business and call it “Unexpected acts of Service”. It’s doing something small that gives joy to the guest (and yourself) so that the service quality experience is higher. And happy guests are returning guests :) It can be very simple.  The secret is looking and listening very careful to verbal and above all non-verbal comunications.  The best thing is when you do the act of course unexpected with a smile and when possible walking away without saying anything like nothing happened.

For your inspiration some examples of UAoS:

  • Bringing a gluten free dessert when the birthdaycake is coming for a girl (*)
  • Looking for some color pencils if you see that those from the guest are broken
  • Bringing some wet towels when people have to shake a lot of hands with a condoleance or wedding
  • Giving a glass of water when you see that someone is very very thirsty
  • Adding some honey if you bring tea to singers
  • Bringing a plate with small cookies if you hear that people are discussing who has to take the last cookie
  • Indicating the way to the toilet if you see someone looking for it
  • Serving grated cheese if you hear a kid complain that there is no cheese on the pasta
  • If you see that a guest (almost) didn’t eat anyting, ask ‘whether you can do something for him’ (never:’something is wrong?’) or even bring another alternative dish unasked (with possible with sit-down dinners)

The management has to create the opportunities for making the UAoS possible, because some acts might cost some time or other resouces. But the added value is immense!

Do you have other examples of UAoS?

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See you later! the CrazyCourier arrives!

You probably saw that the frequency of updates has dropped down the last months. After more than five years of hard work I took a five months rest to try to find work in Italy. And yes, I succeeded!

After tomorrow I will begin as courier for Selectcamp at Pra’ delle Torri in Caorle (40 km above Venice). I’ll prepare the accomodations and I am (together with a collegue) the central point of service and representation of the company for the guests. Maybe I’ll play also the roll of the CrazyCampingbutler :) I’m very happy to work for a company where hospitality is paramount, so I’m very happy to work for them! (my mission won’t change at all, don’t worry folks!)

Working with leisure guests, with families with kids, under the Italian sun, beach at 100 meters away, every day Italian food, great collegues and other people at the camping… it will be a summer that will never end!

Of course I will keep posting interesting things here, but stay tuned also at crazycourier.tumblr.com Arriverderci!

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CrazyWaiters Drinks Calculator

This weekend the CrazyWaiter spent his time spending assisting a friend who threw a party. Of course I concentrated myself on the food and beverage with serving his guests and friends. When J. asked some weeks ago for help to plan how many drinks he should buy for his party, I made a calculator. I’m happy to share it with you. You enter the values in the yellow and the blue cells, and the list to buy will be visible in the pink cells.

As always with calculatingmodels, the quality of the output depends strongly on the input. If you enter 40 guests during 6 hours, don’t be surprised that you can bring back 75% of the stock to the shop when there are only 25 guests during 3 hours. Luckily we could get the money back, but what a pity that we had to spent this money on a parking fine – never felt so stupid :( BTW, when I entered the right data, the shopping list was very close to what the people had consumed in reality :proud:

The party was nice, but it is over now, so here it is…

CrazyWaiters Drinks Calculator

(Disclaimer: use it  wisely and at own risk. CrazyWaiter is not responsible etc. etc. etc.)

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100 skills every Crazy Waiter should know (part 1)

Inspired by this list our own list! Take it as serious as you think it should be! How many points do you have?

  1. Holding 3 plates with food in 1 hand and one in the other (1 point)
  2. Taking orders in 3 langues (1 point)
  3. Taking orders in 4,5 or 6 languages (2, 3 or 4 points)
  4. Handling complaints (2 points)
  5. Inventing your own lyrics on existing songs (1 point)
  6. Singing a song with a random word (1 point)
  7. Flirting with beautiful young (not too young though) Italian girls (1 point)
  8. Flirting with ugly old woman (3 points)
  9. Pre-bussying (clearing) a whole table of four in one time (2 points)
  10. Stop young children who cry and if possible make them smile every time you pass (2 points)
  11. Opening a wine bottle with a opener (1 points)
  12. Changing a beerfust (1 point)
  13. Serving the plates together with a collegue in a synchronized way (2 points)
  14. Make a Margherita (2 points)
  15. Knowing the difference between the production of red and white wine (1 points)
  16. Knowing the difference between sparkling and not sparking wine (2 points)
  17. Influencing the hostess, so you get the best tables (1 points)
  18. Influencing the hostess so you won’t get the latest tables so you can see your ‘girl friend’ (2 points)
  19. Debrassing 10 plates in one time (2 points)
  20. Cleaning invisible the knives while they are already on the table (2 points)

(the other 80 skills will follow in part 2, 3 4 and 5)

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Remarkable CrazyWaiter… part 2

Also this year your CrazyWaiter is one the employees who are cited the most as remarkable. (I believe ca. 60 certificates out of >5.000 employees, 2 in every restaurant.) It’s always nice and inspiring to get some appreciation, even when it’s for the second time. It shows that you’re doing something well…

Although I hope there will be a hattick (also one of the most cited for the third time next year), I won’t be sad when another colleague will get this honour next year because there are so many nice, friendly and good waiters in my workplace. (no names… you know who you are ;)

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