I used to go on Yelp to help me decide where to go to eat or get takeout.
I don’t really do that anymore.
Because despite the assertion that Yelp exists ostensibly for this purpose, I’ve found that it skews largely negative, at least where I live. I suppose this makes sense in some way. People are more likely to be moved to write a review of a restaurant if they’ve had a bad experience there. (People fucking LOVE bitching about stuff.) Otherwise they’re too busy stuffing their faces and then being content and lazy afterward. I know that after I face 20 delicious fried wontons in 10 minutes, I’m not doing anything except sitting on the couch and loving life.
This often results in an unbalanced impression of most restaurants.
This got me to thinking about what it would be like if the people of the restaurant had a forum in which to review the people who dined at their establishment or ordered takeout/delivery.
It might look a little something like this:
A dude came in here the other night and ordered enough nosh for probably three people. Then he told me that the last time he had come here, he was pretty sure he’d gotten food poisoning shortly after. But he had to come back, he said, because nobody could make naan as delicious as ours, unless he was willing to venture into New Jersey, where the Indian food is fantastic, apparently. 4 STARS.
This woman got irate with me because her gazpacho was too cold. When I explained to her that gazpacho is a dish best and always served cold, she told me that she had gone to college and that she’d be damned if some waitress was going to lecture her about soup. 3 STARS for unexpected and unintentional comedic value.
This fucking fat guy (can I say fat or does it have to be “obese” now?) came in the other day with a bunch of his friends and I jumped at the chance to wait on them because they were all morbidly obese and we specialize in unhealthy fried stuff that fat people love to order in triplicate. Which generally means a large bill and a long stay at the restaurant, which usually yields a large tip. I attempted to be colloquial with these fellas by saying things like “Want 10 more orders of mozzarella sticks, boys?” and “Should I refill that pitcher of Bud Light for you boys?” I wanted to make them feel welcome. But then when I picked up the signed check at the end, I was flabbergasted by a large zero in the tip bracket, accompanied with a handwritten message that read “Boys don’t tip.” Apparently he thought I was calling them “boys” in the way that slave masters used to use the word, which is a comically insane inference to make on account that it is 2014 and I make my living serving people as basically an indentured servant. A colleague told me later that I had been waiting on Warren Sapp. Apparently he is somebody who used to be relevant for being overweight and tackling people for a living or whatever. ZERO STARS.
This guy kept telling me to “put the bread in the basket” in this strange Buffalo Bill voice. 4 STARS. Because his Buffalo Bill impression was scary good.
I have some sincerely conflicted feelings about Mary. I mean, on the one hand, she is the fiercest individual bar trivia participant I have ever come across in my life—she’s like the Bobby Fischer of 90s sitcom knowledge, and I find myself wanting—no, needing—to cheer for her success. But on the other hand, Mary always orders a bottomless iced tea and then takes up a booth made for four for at least four hours while she cuts down any trivial adversaries who stand in the way of the gift card that will buy her dinner the next time she comes in for trivia. And she tips almost nothing at all. But at least she isn’t mean to me… 3 STARS.
This potential couple came in on what seemed like a first date. The guy ordered steaks for the two of them and the girl had to interject to say that she did not eat meat, and hadn’t since she was 10 years old, and that she had told him about this on their first two dates, and asked if it was so hard to remember. In an effort to save some semblance of dignity, the guy tipped super heavily. As a waiter, you dream of something like this happening to you. Something super heavy on the awkwardness, but also yields a very large tip. 5 STARS.
I was really stoked to wait on this crew because there were 16 of them and they hadn’t asked me to split the bill up at the beginning of their dining adventure, which is cool because it’s super inconvenient for me to split a bill so many ways. But then they asked me to split the bill. When I brought the one all-encapsulating bill. How difficult would it have been to tell me to do this at the very beginning? 1 STAR.
This guy comes in here like twice a week on dates. I think we must be his go-to for OkCupid and Tinder meet-ups. And every time, without fail, he orders champagne. When he knows damn well we don’t serve champagne—that we only have sparkling wine, which is the same as champagne but you can’t call it champagne unless it was made in a certain part of the world. It’s this whole thing. When we explain this to him, he gets all huffy, like he would never take a girl to a place that doesn’t even serve champagne that they can use to toast their fortunate in-real-life meeting. 0 STARS.