Tuesday, January 01, 2013
If you are still drinking, depending on your time zone, your bar laws, or just how much of a raging alcoholic you are, make sure you are tipping well. New Years has always been good to me in terms of tips and good times. I can't remember a bad one in either sense.
I took a few years off altogether from waiting tables once. Yes, I thought I had left it behind me, but little did I know that it was just the break in my time serving slop at Red Lobster. So my first year back at it, and literally just a few weeks out of being retrained, I picked up a New Years shift covering 3 bar tables - tables that were normally reserved for the bar tenders. But on NYE it is far too fucking crazy to get a bartender out to them. I thought I'd make a bit of cash, have some fun, and be able to get out early since I was to be the first one cut. I clock in and immediate a family of 4 seat themselves at the table (they could do so at these bar tables normally). This is one of the few times a year you're supposed to be seated there by a host, there are already people waiting in the lobby for tables with a handful of us servers just coming on.
So I walk up thinking I'm going to have to ask them to move, but I give them the old waiter once over and think that they might just be worth the hassle. I take their orders, Mom & Dad both order premium drinks, and their two teenage kids order virgin drinks. 3 appetizers, ready to order entrees, and they know exactly what they want with no questions. I pace the meal great, keep M&D's liquor flowing, and make sure I take my normal good care of them. Meal closes, and the bill for the 4 of them is $120. Dad pulls out $250 and tells me to keep the change. On my first fricking table of the night. You know that night is gonna be nothing but awesomeness from then on!
Getting a whale tip to start your night makes everything else gravy. Make a big buck to begin with, the rest just pads the bank. Those night are all too few and far between, but when they come, they are like manna from heaven. I went on to make nearly $400 in tips that night in just under 5 hours of work. I was cocktail serving everyone in the lobby that the bartenders couldn't get out to. Kept my 3 tables moving fast and everyone was ordering large and tipping big. If only that were the norm, I'd still be doing it.
So if you are still out there, add a bit more green to the pile. You're drunk, you won't miss it. But it just might make some waiter/bartender's 2013 start of with a little extra bang. Share the love, be generous, and gracious when needed. There's your wisdom to start the year. That and don't eat the yellow snow, and if you see Dick Clark stab him in the heart.