Wednesday, January 25, 2006

More insanity at Red Lobster

Today was a mess at our restaurant. At 11:50 AM we went on a line, as our stupid 3 table system forces us so often to do. I was waiting on the tables closest to our host stand and heard the following exchange between one of our hosts and a potential guest.

Host (H): Hello Sir! Are you having a great day?
Guest (G): Yes, it's been good so far. A table for two please.
H: We have one ready for you in 5-10 minutes, please take a seat
G: What the hell? I'm not waiting to get a table.
H: I'm sorry sir, it'll just be a few minutes and something will open up, please have a seat.
G: I can see tables right there in your bar are empty, can I sit there?
H: No, I'm sorry sir, you can't sit there, nobody can wait on you there.
G: That's crazy. (He then turns and walks out the door while flipping his cell phone open to presumable call his other guest).

Yep, there you have it, the wonders of the brillance and intelligence of the plan designed by the corporate leadership of Red Lobster. Way to keep those guests happy! No only are they angering customers on a daily basis across the country, they are loosing profits, and angering their best staff. A great way to run a business. I think there are a couple of monkeys at the local zoo we could pay in bananas who probably wouldn't screw things up this badly.

So 2 of my first 3 tables decide that today they would like to take up residence in my section. This means that I have two old ladies on one table with a $16 bill between them who are going to leave me a $2.40 tip and sit in my section for 2+ hours. My other camper table is a younger pair of women who must be friends who haven't seen each other in a long time. A very long time. And today they are going to rehash every story since they last saw each other. They left me $6 on a $32 which is nice, but not after sitting in my section for 2.5 hours. So I made $21 in 4 hours today. Such a great wage. That barely pays for the gas for me to drive to work and lunch. Red Lobster is doing wonders for my ability to pay my bills. I also appreciate the fact they require me to purchase all my own uniform (many other local resturants provide them). I dream of an uprising of the share holders of Darden stock rising up and firing these morons. Or at least maybe a couple of them drowning in Scampi butter and being replaced by someone with a clue about how to run a resturant.

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Anonymous said...

I also work at Red Lobster in a small little town... so I know about the 3 table system... I also don't think it's a bad idea. I've been a server for a few years and I've never had to stress out as much as I do when I work at Red Lobster, because everything is so much more demanding. I don't think the team work at the store is good enough for most people to support more than 3 tables at a time, and still give the customers good service. Maybe if there was better teamwork then it would be easier. I think if you hate it so much yous hould quit. I don't think it's the best job, but I'm in college is it's kind of extra money. Stop being a hater I'm sure you're not doing anyone good there with your attitude. Also the guy who couldn't wait for a seat, well, that guy has some nerve thinking he's the most important person in the world if he couldn't wait 5-10 minutes. And by the wayk EVERY restaurant is like that if every server already has maximum tables... If you're going to bitch about stories at least bitch about something worthwhile

Lobster Boy said...

Ah yes, the luxery of being a college student waiting tables for extra cash or beer money. I remember those days, they were good times. You apparently do not grasp the full issue here. While perhaps you are limited in skills and can only handle 3 tables (which is the case for many servers at our store as well), for some of us more experienced and tenured wait staff, we are bored out of our minds. While we don't mind helping you, we're there to make OUR money. So rather than doing your work for you, we'd much rather have 4 or 5 tables, greatly increase our earning potential, and not be bored stiff.

Additionally, you probably don't understand the impact this system has had on people like one of the single mom's I work with. She had 2 children to support on her wages (her ex is a deadbeat) and Red Lobster over night cut her income by 40+%. She's more than capable of carrying 4-5 tables all day/night long. She's sweet, does far more than her share of side work, and helps everyone. So her reward for many years of great service is a kick in the teeth. She's struggling to get by on what she's making on a weekly basis now, and has actively started looking for a new job. Who looses in this scenereo? Red Lobster does, because they loose one of their best wait staff, one of their hardest workers, all of their training hours gone down the tubes.


Anonymous said...

Lobster Boy,

I've never waited tables, so I can't comment on your job in particular. However, I'm 61 years old and have been around the block a couple of times. I've done everything from flip burgers for sixty cents an hour (back in the dark ages) to working as an RN in a large city/county hospital ER. One thing I can tell you though, about the great nation we live in, is: If you don't like the job you're currently doing, you have the freedom to change jobs....even professions if you wish. So.....quit your complaing and either accept your position in life, or make the effort to change your situation.

Lobster Boy said...

I hear you Cookie, there is things in the works (I have some apps out). We'll see what happens. I've been delaying a knee surgery that might impact my working for a period, so I've been a bit hesitant to move to a new position.

Lobster Boy