Notable guests

Tips for tips  is talking about notable guest in the restaurant. (Thanks BTW for the plug for my CWSQKB last time!). Since I work in the flagshiphotel of our resort, they are also passing by in “my” restaurant. In fact there are three groups notable guests

  • Celebrities
    Sometimes they are invited by the company for press events, sometimes they visit the restaurant in their free time with their families. Since I’m not grown up in the country I work and seldom watch television I don’t recognize most of them. My collegues do, I have a feeling of  shame when they ask for photos and signatures, especially when they’re there in their freetime. Hey, we’re professionals aren’t we?
    And when I recognize them, I try to pretend to do like I don’t know the celebrities, trying to avoid every subject related to their work and give them a service as usual (which is already at a high level, I hope)
  • Hot spots of the company
    Since I’m working in a large international company, we have a lot of hotspots. Everybody in the local hierarchy is nervous about them, because they can make or break their career. But I think it’s rather hypocrit to show only the good sides and mask the bad ones. For example, once I worked in a restaurant where we had to clean the chairs before the PDG came to visit us. Not remarkable, but we’ve never cleaned them in the four years before!
    Also in the light of service quality it is very bad to do things like that: most “errors” are due to systemerrors, and if we take them away just for them, how do you want to give them an impulse to improve the system by not let them see the truth for all the other guests?
  • Sick children
    Now we’re talking! I work in a place where children with a life threatening disease are invited by the company. Who is the real VIP:  somebody who can play well piano or football or a little girl who’ll never see Eyeore again? That donkey reminds me always of her and her little sister. For me they are the real Very Important Persons and they are always getting a service like that.
    By the way, I also do volunteery work for Make A Wish. Look for your local chapter and see what you can do for them. For me it’s very useful time spent.

(Foto by George Biard, 2007, published under CC BY SA 3.0. The persons on the photo are for illustrational use only and don’t relate directly to the (first part) of the post)

Polina Semionova

A lot of my little female guests like dancing and ballet. To their hilarity, I know the first three positions, and that’s it. I always give the girls the name of this beautiful dancer, Polina Semionova. She is born in Moscow in 1984, is a classical ballet dancer and Principal with the Berlin State Opera. She is regarded as a Prima Ballerina and is one of the youngest dancers to achieve this particular kind of recognition. This is just an amazing video with an amzing dancer!

The music is the backingtrack of “Demo (Letzter Tag)” from Herbert Grönemeyer.

CrazyWaiter’s ServiceQuality Knowledgebase

It might not be a surprise that the CrazyWaiter is interested in Service Quality. So much that he collects scientific articles about this subject, which he has put in a database over the years. There are also articles about tipping and other hospitality related subjects.

Yesterday he read a discussion where somebody told that there is no research about hospitality. “One couldn’t be more wrong”, he thought and skipped a night sleep to build a webbased shell around the database and altough it’s still under construction it’s  ready enough  to proudly present…

CrazyWaiter’s Service Quality Knowledge base

Use the search function to find what you’re looking for or browse a bit. Features will be added in the future!

Little CrazyWaiters

When I was a little boy I had already fun with emptying and cleaning the tables in the café where my parents were drinking a coffee. I also used to play restaurant with my brother. Maybe I knew my destiny already at those times. When working, I also try to make kids enthousiastic for working in the restaurant business. I remember a little girl who was interested and knew her destiny after I gave her a tour in the à-la-carte restaurant in our hotel.

Little wannabe chefs de cuisine and maîtres d’hotel can now play with this box. For the chef there is a book with receipts, a toque, and a plate with “employees only”. The little waiters and waitresses can have fun with a sets for the table, money, menus, writing pads and a book “the perfect waiter”. Damn, I wish I was a little kid 🙂

If you live in France you can order it here or here (around 20 euro). If you live elsewhere order another American box Let’s play restaurant! (less sophisticated and more expensive IMHO) , or start your own business with selling boxes like this!

(Photo by LeFigaro)

Bars, Cocktail Lounges and Cool Pubs around the World

I love to take a glance at nice bars and lounges when I’m on holiday (also when I’m not). But you have to find them, what isn’t always easy. At Bars, Cocktail Lounges and Cool Pubs around the World the most trendy and beautiful bars are listed all over the world. Now I have to take care that I earn a lot of tips, because most cocktails aren’t cheap. But hey, you live once!

The dancing waiter

A part of being Crazy Waiter is to know how to move. Being in a restaurant with a lot of princesses, I waltz sometimes with the kids. Or I do stupid discodance moves. It’s only a problem that I don’t have a talent for dancing (it took me ages to learn the Mickeydance – and still it looked aweful), but hey… as long as the kids laugh it’s good enough…

Also in private life, after work it can be very helpful. Scientists have found out which movements are most attractive for women. So watch carefully and imitate and the most beautiful girls will be yours 🙂

Read More

Cheryl Cole – Promise This

Cheryl Cole is a popstar from Great Britain and very popular over there. (although there are also a lot of people who don’t like her). With Dutch guests I talk about the weather, the Spanish like small-talk about soccer (eh…. ) and with the British I chitchat about Cheryl.

She has a new single with a very catchy refrain.. that the little girls will like when I sing it. I can promise you that my collegues will become crazy.. alouette, -ette, -ette !!!

Read More

The phantom of the restaurant

No no!!! Don’t touch that table! Underneath is the phantom, who will escape. He lets everything fall down. Don’t you see the little broken glass on the floor? It’s his work! No no! Don’t look underneath the napkin! It’s the spirit of a waiter who died from love hurt. His girlfriend, a beautiful Italian waitress fell in love with a chef and left. All the waiters will drop glasses if he’d escape from underneath!

Yesterday I had a lot of fun with a couple of curious kids who wanted to look underneath the napkin of a gueridon. And if you tell kids NOT to do something, yes you know, they’ll try to do it. Of course inspirated by the Phantom of the Opera

(Photo “Spook” by Rob Boudon, used and adapted under CC 2.0)

The name of the citrus

It’s fun to work in a workplace with guests and collegues from all over Europe. One of my first targets was to learn the six most important languages. I calculated that I can communicate with 95% of the guests in their motherlanguage. Ofcourse you don’t learn only the standardphrases but with the influence of your collegues you learn also the language of the street -and the bed.

Today Italian guests at table 305. At a certain moment they point at a citrus and ask me:’Do you know how it’s called in Italian?’ “I don’t know, I’ll ask the kitchen.” “No no, si chiama pompino, puoi anche dire pompa”.

Mmm.. the guest is not ALWAYS right 🙂

Foto by Martino Franchi under CC2.0

Eye contact

As a good waiter, you don’t just greet the table, you greet each person by making eye contact with them

via Waiting on celebrities « So You Want To Be A Waiter.

I tend to forget that when I’m in the weeds, but this is essential for making everybody comfortable. Just like talking to and making jokes with everybody and not only to those (kids) who talk (a lot) at a table. Also because you want to break the negative spiral (the waiter doesn’t talk to me -> You see, I’m not worth it / my sister is more interesting -> I don’t talk to the waiter ) because you won’t the only one who tends to talk to the cute little sister instead of the big timid boy.

Thanks SYWTBAW for the reminder! (even thought the subject of his original posts is totally different… about celebs I will post later ;))

Foto by OrangeAcid used under CC2.0

The CrazyWaiters pockets

Let’s dive today in CrazyWaiters pockets. Everything he carries has his sense.

  • Winekey To open winebottles of course. The knife is multifunctional. My preferred one is the Cellini of FarmItaly.
  • Pen To write the orders and sign the creditcard slips. Bic Cristal because they don’t leak inkt when it gets warm (read: in your pocket). Of course two because pens are there to loose.
  • POS card to have access to our POS computer. We use Micros
  • Crown cork opener It goes more quickly with a simple one like this than with the one on the winekey.
  • Matches To lighten the candles on the birthdaycake. In France it’s prohibited to smoke in the restaurant, so it hasn’t sense to give a light to the beautiful girl at table 501 🙂
  • Stickers To reward kids who have eaten everything. Or to put on the adhesive bandage to make an exclusive one.
  • Adhesive bandage For ourself, the colleagues or guests.
  • Needle and wire To fix buttons and perform other little reparations to our clothes or others. Also to adjust princess-dresses which are a bit too big. EDIT 24-11-2010 I ruined a dress today after I made it shorter with safetypins… ooops.. so I won’t do it again
  • Faceshield To protect yourself and the other when performing Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The one of Leardael is the best according to my CPR teacher. By the way, I strongly believe that knowledge of First Aid and CPR is a moral obligation of everybody working in public places as restaurants and hotels.
  • Gloves To protect yourself while cleaning vomit and stopping bleedings
  • Earplugs There is a lot of noise in the restaurant where I’m working. Now I have Alpine worksafe but I’m waiting for Clear EAR 20 who will filter more the hightones and less the lowtones (eg. the voicerange). This type of earplugs is very discrete, you don’t see them if guests are looking to the front of your face. The new ones will even be more discrete. (EDIT: view a review on the 3M Clear Ear here
  • Wallet To collect the creditcardslips, tips and the most of the stuff listed here. Fixed with an wire to my trouser because I’m too afraid to forget it somewhere or loose it.
  • Handwipes To give to the guests after eating shrimps. (To give them opened half torned is a nice gesture because the guests hands will be fatty) Also useful to clean tables, shoes and spots on the wall. (NB: Not on the picture)
  • Hotel- and parcinformation To answer all the questions about opening and closing times of shops, sauna’s and other nice things we have to offer.

And what do you have in your pockets what is not listed here?

Give them!

Those who follow my weblog know that in general I adore my (little) guests and that I have a positive attitude. (enough weblogs about waitress who hate their clients) But today I really got mad. I was making a booking and the woman who was with the person who reserved told me:’The candies. Give them‘. I told her:’Please don’t talk like that to me‘. The first lady asked me:’What should she say then‘. If you don’t understand it, you’ll never understand it. I grabbed some candies, put them in their hands, said ‘It’s oke, have I nice day‘ and I turned away… I remember also a five-year old boy who told me:’Take my plate out‘. I was shocked by this impoliteness and walked away. Pff… On my nametag isn’t written Pluto !

(Don’t worry about me, luckily I had 10 tables today with only nice guests… )