Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I've had better pasta at the Olive Garden!

Last night was horribly, horribly, and I mean HORRIBLY slow.  I had three tables.  Two 5 tops, and one 2 top.  My first five top was the junior execs from some corporate law or financial firm.  You know, dressed all fancy(ish), spending money on the company card, bragging about the new promotion, spend $300 and tip 15%...just like the blokes in the video here (skip to 13:25)

The second five top was straight from the hills.  Literally.  I guess they saw the fish on our sign and figured we were like Red Lobster or some crap like that, but they decided (after a menu price conference) to stay.  And of course into my section (with the last remaining table that can hold them) they came.  They were nice, mind you, but had a certain odor to them, and talked like, well, I'm sure you've seen the beverly hillbilly's, Jed.  And with most folk in the south, bread was requested for each course of their meal...and not just one or two loafs, but lots of loaves.

Four of the five of them ordered entrees, while the fifth ordered our Clam Linquini -- our new monthly special corporate decided to bless us with to draw more folks in before the holidays.  Most of the servers didn't like this dish.  In no way did I suggest this dish to this old man, he just wanted a pasta that wasn't spicy (the other pasta thats on our regular menu is spicy).  

So a bit of time goes by (actually quite a bit because I forgot to ring their order up) , and their entrees are delivered.  I check in with them asking each how their food tastes, and if there are any problems or requests....the usual server check back ordeal.  Everyone is happy, except for the old fart with the pasta.  He yells down the table at me "I've had better pasta at the Olive Garden!"  I walked over to his side of the table to ascertain what was troubling him, and he said that the pasta was nasty, and that, like he said, he has had 'better at the Olive Garden.'   I reply "well yes, sir, that is probably right as that is the type of food that the Olive Garden specializes in.  We specialize in grilled seafood."  Thinking he was clever, he asks "then why do you have a pasta on the menu, let alone the 'specials' menu?"  "Because in every group of people, there is always one who refuses to try new things, or there is the person who is there for the company but doesn't really care for the type of food that is being served.  That is why the pasta is on the menu"  

The two top next to them (my last table of the night) was listening in to all of this and laughing.  Even the old man's kids and grandkids were laughing at him.  In the end, I still managed to pull off 25% from the group (well, officially 20%, but the old man slipped me an extra $15 for making his granddaughter laugh on her birthday).  I guess what I'm trying to say here is this, folks:  If you want a pasta, go to Olive Garden or some Italian joint.  If you want pizza, call dominos, or go to a local pizzarea.  If you want a steak, find a steak house.  In other words, if you dont like the food the place is known for, go somewhere where your taste buds will find solace.  And remember, if you can't find any place to suit your tastes, I'm sure your stove could use a little action :)