Book Recommendation: Waiter Rant

WATER RANT by Steve Dublanica
Published August 1st, 2008 by Ecco
302 Pages

I’ve had a slew of jobs since I was 14, from sandwich-maker to hostess, and a whole lotta everything in between. I don’t miss coming home smelling like garlic or lunch meat, and I don’t miss spilling coffee all over myself, or getting hair slivers while cleaning up salons. But WAITER RANT almost makes me miss food service.

Almost.

This book is one of my all-time favorites. Admittedly, it’s probably because I can relate to so many of Steve’s experiences, but anyone who’s ever worked in food service, or eaten at a restaurant, for that matter, should love this. Not only does it give you the head’s up on what goes on behind enemy lines (and trust me, you do not want to be on the wrong side of a restaurant worker) but it’ll make you think twice about the way you treat your waiter when dining out.

First and foremost a waiter, Steve Dublanica started an anonymous blog called Waiter Rant to document his time spent working in a New York restaurant known as The Bistro. It garnered so much attention that he wound up writing two books (I have yet to get a copy of KEEP THE CHANGE, but I intend to). The writing is full of wit and sarcasm, and information you probably didn’t want to know about that place you ate last night. Cooks really do spit in your food, but they’ll do a lot worse, too, believe me. I’ve seen it done, and I’ve heard stories. Steve has plenty of his own to share, and I’d take his advice if I were you — don’t be an asshole.

I’ve read this countless times, and have it in just about every format it comes in. I’ve given it as a gift to friends who are notoriously bad at eating out, and forced it on others simply because I love it so. It’s funny, it’s mean, and it’s honest.

Besides all the nasty stuff, though, it really is a great guide on how to be a better customer. The book details the major groups people fall under, and it makes it easy to see where you are in the grand scheme of things. It’ll explain what days are best for dining out and why, and it’ll make you think twice about skimping on a tip, or dining and dashing.

It’ll also show you that people can still be decent. From strangers paying for a homeless man’s meal, to the camaraderie between people, the book is, at times, really heartwarming. So, really, this book has just about everything you could ever want. How could you possibly refuse?

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