Be the patient guest. Be the guest who is gracious to everyone, from the hostess to the busser to the owner. Be the guest who comes in to socialize and have fun. Be the good guest. Be the guest who just enjoys life.
Do not be the guest we do not want to serve. You won’t like it and we won’t like it.
Guest #1: The Modifier.
Look. I don’t like onions and you don’t like onions. When you order your burger with no onions, we’re cool. We’re quite cool. When you say, “No onions….and no tomatoes,” okay. That’s fine. When you say, “No onions, no tomatoes, no bun, no grease, and could you bake the burger instead of grilling it?” we might have a small problem. Look. I’ll put that all in the computer. Trust me. I’m a master at Aloha POS order entry and I’ll put that all in. I can’t promise you what will come out of the kitchen, however. I can’t possibly foretell how our kitchen will interpret your request to have your burger cooked “with a little pink but really hot in the inside, with the outside very tender still! Medium rare well but with a little medium medium on it.” Professor Xavier and the Amazing Kreskin aren’t working in the back of the house tonight so I’m not sure if our cooks can read your mind.
I also want to talk to you about eggs. Where….where do I begin. See, we’re not an egg restaurant. We’re a Seafood and Steakhouse Restaurant. We specialize in very high end, extremely high quality, Michelin-star-quality seafood and steaks. So when it’s 11:02 am on a Sunday morning and you’re asking to have your eggs Basted Soft with the Whites Extra Firm, I’m scribbling on my notepad but not writing anything except a series of proclaimations to never waste another day of my life ever again. Our servers pull down $250 on a slow evening and they’re not particularly interested in the fourteen pence they’ll make from your Multi-Grain Toast and a Coffee That We’ll Have To Refill 24 times in 36 minutes order. The owner isn’t even interested in serving breakfast. He’s just far too busy buying and selling vintage Ferraris to change the restaurant schedule.
Guest #2: The People With Kids.
I want to tell you a little story about my dearly departed mother, a saint of a woman who probably sits less than two rows away from God in Heaven and who worked her way up from war-torn South Korea to the Middle Class of America, the greatest country there ever was and ever will be. She never let me get a Happy Meal at McDonalds. Even when I, with my mathematically-attuned six-year-old mind, clearly pointed out to her that she would be saving money by purchasing a Happy Meal instead of a simple hamburger and small fries—and would be getting her first born son a tasty coke and fun toy, to boot—she simply refused because she did not want to “spoil her children.” Spoil her children with two lego bricks and a minifig. Seriously.
I don’t know why any of you think it’s okay to bring your one-year-old, your two-year-old, your three-year-old, and your four-year-old to dinner at 9:30 pm on a Saturday night to Orange County’s Premiere Weekend Dining Destination. I don’t know why you insisted to the hostess that you needed to be seated on the 10-top in the middle of the waterfront patio on said Busiest Night of the Week.
Here’s what I do know. I DO KNOW that your kids—while adorable in the same way that a stray kitten is adorable for all of six minutes—are really, really bad at ordering entrees for themselves. They’re quite horrible. When I was four, I was already building the precusor to Pinterest. Your four-year-old has absolutely no ability to read our kids menu. He keeps asking for pizza. There is no pizza at this steakhouse just like there’s no sex in the champagne room, except that there really is no pizza at this steakhouse. Your three-year-old is drawing something that resembles a cross between Jackson Pollack and Monet, without any of the artistic significance, with a purple crayon on his kids menu. And your two-year-old seems to okay with eating anything that contains inorganic molecules. So why don’t we just dismiss with the formalities and you order them their freaking Chicken Fingers, Pasta with Butter, and Kid’s Burger, and be done with it? I already know that you’re going to plow down on their leftovers like every mom does after five minutes anyway.
Guest #3: The Foreigner.
Look. This is not about race or ethnicity or national origin. I am an Asian-American born outside this country and naturalized here and I think America is the greatest melting pot in the entire world. We are where everybody wants to be, for good reason. This is about the Tourists who visit our beaches and our Disneylands and our strip clubs and then leave. This is about them. The Foreigner came in last week from anywhere else in the world—England, Korea, Australia, Chile, Antartica, Vulcan, wherever—and came to visit our restaurant because he read about it on Esperanto Yelp or High Valeryian Zagat and thought it would be a nice place to visit.
THE FOREIGNER DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO TIP. THE FOREIGNER TIPS POORLY. The foreigner knows that the tipping standard is 20% just as much as he knows that 2.2 km equals 1 mile and yet—and yet, he persists in not tipping correctly. The foreigner will also share all food family style so you’ll have to break out the share plates. Dear God. The share plates. There really is nothing we hate more than breaking out the share plates. Are you sharing this dish or not? Oh, so you’re sharing this dish but not that dish. Oh, okay. That makes perfect sense. You know, I wrote the Da Vinci Code so I’m quite adept at deciphering encrypted enigmas wrapped around impossible mysteries. Perfect. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT PLATES YOU ARE SHARING AND YOU ARE IMPOSSIBLY UNABLE TO COMMUNICATE WHAT PLATES YOU ARE SHARING. So my only reward for this is that you should tip 25%. When you don’t, I have no choice but to call the embassy of whatever country your from and complain. Diplomatic immunity? Diplomatic immunity ended when you asked for that third basket of free bread.
To be continuned…..