Saturday, November 6, 2010

Friends in High Places

What's my #1 priority when starting at a new restaurant?

It's not making friends. It's not impressing the managers.

I introduce myself to everyone in the kitchen, and to the food runners and bussers. 

Look, I'm a girl. I see absolutely nothing wrong with flirting with being extra nice to the people who make my food, run my food, and clear my tables. They are a huge part of how I make my money. I depend on them, and they depend on me to tip them out for their help.

The first of the many bussers to fall for me was Sylvester. From the first shift, he gave me extra help, and he's also the one who refused my tip out when I made $5 that day. 

Mario quickly followed. Known by most of the staff as "64" (video games, anyone?) he's my guy when I need to make a latte or cappuccino. Sure, I've been trained to make them, but he loves when I come to him and say, "Mario you'd be my HERO if you helped me make a latte!" ::subtly bats eyelashes::
Now whenever he sees me it's, "I'm your hero today, ok?" 

And now there's my food runners. Sometimes it's Adrien, who fist-bumps me whenever he sees me because I told him he'd have to tip ME out for helping him run everyone's food the whole shift. But the star is really Juan, who's known as "Oso." (Spanish for bear) He's exactly what you're imagining: a giant Mexican man who can carry 10 plates on each arm, but is as sweet as a teddy bear. 

Oso and Sylvester have both become my buddies, and after talking to me for a little bit the inevitable question arose: "Why don't you have a boyfriend?"
UGH. I know it's their way of flirting, but boy do I hate that question. Bitter, party of 1.
For the record, this is all harmless and not sexual harassment. They're both happily married. 

***To my old co-workers from Mama D's: (Best Italian restaurant in Orange County, BTW. You should go.)
Tell Roberto I'm DEFINITELY not cheating on him. My heart still belongs to the head chef, and if he ever decides to leave his wife and kids, we're getting married. ;)

Moral of the story: I love being racially ambiguous. 
The guests think I'm Italian. The kitchen staff thinks I'm a Senorita. 
Win, win.


  1. At least you still have bus boys! They got rid of ours =(

  2. good policy to introduce yourself to the kitchen and bussers first. The way "Blaggiano's" is run, the servers would be completely screwed without the support staff. Especially if you work in one of the larger ones. I'm at a larger Chicagoland location, and my favorite people when I get weeded are the bussers and food runners. It's always nice to have someone help you without you having to ask. In my experience, if you become friends with the people dressed in black, you won't have to look far if you need anything. My absolute favorite of everyone is our barista Polo. Keep making people feel special! (so hard to convey sarcasm, but imagine that last sentence with as much as you can) I enjoy reading a point of view from someone in the same brand, and you are very entertaining. keep writing!

  3. Thank you, Lauren! It's so great to see my rants reaching others in the same boat! Let's BOTH keep making people feel "special." ...Immortalizing them online should do the trick ;)


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