Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica

Kristen and I like to eat out. A lot. In fact, if we could figure out a way to afford it and not gain 1,000 pounds we would probably eat out for every meal of the day 365 days per year. We love the experience of going to new places, trying new things, and watching people.

I’m not going to lie. Waiter Rant exposed just how much I ignore the people who make our dining experience enjoyable. We rarely converse with wait staff and I tend to treat waiters like a caddy. In my opinion, the best waiter is quiet, prompt, and available to answer questions. Steve’s stories of a life in the restaurant business have likely changed my perception of waiters forever. While I’m far from a jerk customer, listening to the waiter’s tales taught me a valuable lesson about the Golden Rule.

Waiter Rant gives readers a behind the scenes look at what it’s like to work at a restaurant. The author explores it from a lot of unexpected and fun angles. He dives into the emotional side as he realizes that his temporary gig turns into 6+ years. He documents the power struggles between the owner, the chef, and the waiters who ultimately decide if the place succeeds or fails. He delves into he pecking order and how that relates to the best shifts and subsequently the most money. He documents what makes a good customer and a bad one. He shares what it means to get a bad tip. He even goes as far as to talk about the nasty parts of restaurants… dirty kitchens and waiters who do things to your food. He places owners, chefs, and waiters into understandable categories. The book even has a couple of appendixes. One is for waiters, so they can know what to look for in an employer. The second is for customers, providing an insiders guide to know if a restaurant is well-run.

This book isn’t about restaurants or even waiting on tables. Waiter Rant is about Steve’s search for his life calling in the midst of dealing with the hand he dealt himself. I think anyone can identify with Steve’s predicament. Sometimes we all get caught up paying the bills while in full knowledge that, while we may enjoy our present situation, it isn’t the dream we’d had for ourselves. In the ebb and flow of that we see the waiter master his life position and then lose control of it. As he feels himself lose control of his once expertly maintained head waiter career, he tailspins out of control in many areas of his life. Anger and bitterness slip in where joy once lived until he could take it no more. Smack dab in the middle of this angst-filled time Steve discovers his true calling as a writer. (One letter off from “waiter,” by the way.) Amidst the toughest of times the waiter see’s his blog, Wait Rant, become a best selling book. Life is just like that.

You’ll certainly never look at a server quite the same.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in Ahwahnee, California.

1 comment

  1. Hello Steve,

    I bought your book, thinking that it would be as good as Kitchen Confidential. You started very well, and I was hooked for a while, but the second half of the book seemed to lack power. Recorded conversations is not writing, nor a good read. Admitting that you are not a good writer is also not enough to make the text charming. I paid $14.99 plus tax, and there was no tip, luckily. I bet you are pissed I did not add at least 15% for your effort.
    In addition, you think that being brutally honest is some kind of virtue.

    As a side dish you served us the readers your shameless tendency to beg. Who in the world begs or demands money? You have to earn it, just like everybody else. And tips are optional, never mandatory.

    I wish I could return the book to you, the way some diners return a dish to the kitchen. This book does not meet my standards, and if you wait the way you write, please don’t call me “madam”. It isn’t professional to take or expect money from your diners. Eat and let eat!

    Rachel Enright
    California

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