Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip--Confessions of a Cynical Waiter
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Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip--Confessions of a Cynical Waiter

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  8,927 ratings  ·  1,384 reviews
According to The Waiter, 80 percent of customers are nice people just looking for something to eat. The remaining 20 percent, however, are socially maladjusted psychopaths.

Eye-opening, outrageous, and unabashed—replete with tales of customer stupidity, arrogant misbehavior, and unseen tidbits of human grace in the most unlikely places—Waiter Rant presents the server's uniq...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 21st 2009 by Harper Perennial (first published July 28th 2008)
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Lindsey
Feb 04, 2011 Lindsey rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: bitchy self loathing foodies
Don't get me wrong- this book seemed like it would be right up my alley. I like cynicism, I like bitchy people... and if you're funny I'll listen to you complain all day and night. The Waiter was just whiny. Half the time he was trying to link a boring story into some grander theme (like wanting to be a firefighter when you're a kid- WTF?) and the other half of the time he was wistfully talking about how writing this book was going to save him from his woeful life of being a waiter.

Also, while...more
Amanda
How did I come to possess this book? Well, the combination of a Books-A-Million going out of business sale, my mistaken assumption that it would be a collection of essays written by various people who had once waited tables, and a cover blurb from Anthony Bourdain calling it "painfully funny" was apparently a heady combination that led to this bit of buyer's remorse.

To be fair, this is not a bad book, nor is it a terribly interesting one. Alas, Waiter Rant is by one waiter who depends upon his...more
Joshua
Aug 18, 2008 Joshua rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any one who has never been to a restaurant before and wonders what they are
The buzz surrounding this book likens it as a front of the house version of Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential . While superfically, they both concern themselves with working in a restaurant, that is where the similarities end. While Bourdain uses his mystery-noir style writing to tell a gripping tale of working as a chef, "The Waiter" is a competant writer at best. Bourdain's work is scathing and the mesmerizing. This author is a waiter trying to be a writer. I know this book used to be a...more
Petra X
Too much waffle. Where it wasn't waffling on in the body of the book or in the appendices that padded it out, about how you should behave as a customer in a restaurant it was a good, if light read, more brunch than dinner. But, EXCUSE ME - I'm the one paying, you don't tell me how to behave, or that I can't request a table change when you seat me by the toilets or complain the food is undercooked, or tell me how much I should tip, you should be giving me good service because that is your job.

Yo...more
Wealhtheow
Although this is ostensibly a collection of a waiter's experiences on the job, I hesitate to shelve it in non-fiction. Dublanica so clearly takes artistic licenses that very little rings true. There are a few sections that seem real, but the majority of this book is either Dublanica talking about how he's so much smarter than all other waiters&customers or psychoanalyzing himself. Not even half of the book actually concerns actually waiting tables. In every one of those stories, customers ar...more
Katie
I had a couple of problems with this book...

1. The Waiter isn't a particularly good writer.
2. He could at times be a little condescending, which kind of pisses me off.

So in regards to numero uno...this wasn't necessarily a deal-breaker. I don't think Waiter thinks he's writing epic literature here, so his less than stellar writing didn't ruin my life or anything. It read like a blog - I suppose because it is a blog - so really, just like with any blog, I was hoping just to get a few laughs and...more
Anina
If you ever waited tables at a fine dining restaurant, this is amazing. It so happens that's me. If that isn't you, I might guess you would rate it more like 3 stars. Anyhow, I'm giving it five and i could not put it down.
Davytron
I honestly can't bring myself to finish this book. What a terrible, self-indulgent, boring, unfunny rant.

The whole book is formatted like "I don't normally hate _________, but _____ really gets my goat" or "I'm not racist, but [race] are the worst people ever" or "I don't hate homosexuals but I will readily engage in a homophobic slur contest with the despicable [race]." He prefaces every statement with a prior statement that tries to make him look like a great person. I don't doubt he is - I j...more
Aaron
Having been a waiter for a while, I knew that I wanted to read this one when I heard about it. The anonymous author first caught the bug of pseudo-fame with his blog of the same name. Basically, the book (and the blog, too) share the waiter's experiences of becoming a server and his history in the field over the course of 10 years. Each chapter is a short essay focusing on different aspects of the job from the unique interaction between the servers and the kitchen staff to the challenges of havi...more
Thomas
My family and I eat out at least two times a week, so reading Waiter Rant was definitely an interesting experience. I'm almost convinced that if I tip under 15% that my waiter is going to hate me for the rest of their lives. Hm.

Anyway, Waiter Rant was filled with meaningful anecdotes - some of them were emotionally driven and powerful, others were more on the cynical and disturbing side. The book managed to hold my interest, and the writing was good but not superb. Recommended for people who are...more
Rose
I loved the blog, but if I read one more memoir about how somebody became a writer I'm gonna scream. If only there were some way to find out about people in other professions who actually are those professions, and not just a writer pretending to be that profession or somebody who's disappointment with said profession leads them to become a writer. I guess I need to read more ethnography and less memoirs, will I ever learn?
Kristin
A painfully funny look at the other side of the restaurant industry. There have been plenty of books about life in the back of the house and now an account of what your waiter really thinks of you.
Mazola1
Waiter Rant is a quick and breezy read. If you eat out fairly often, it won't tell you anything you don't already know or suspect about the restaurant trade, but it will probably confirm some of your most cynical suspicions. It's a little heavy on stories about how customers can be such self absorbed, insensitive and demanding shits. The Rant drips with resentment. But then, the author proudly brands himself a "cynical waiter," so what else would you expect?

The Waiter is an OK writer, but he co...more
Riccol
I agree with everyone else who thought the Waiter comes across as an insufferable, pompous know-it-all. He speaks Arabic to the busboys, Spanish to the kitchen staff, lectures co-workers on finances and immigration, lectures customers on food, performs the Heimlich maneuver on one customer, is ready to perform first-aid on another who has a stroke, mediates relations between front and back of house and owner, presents himself as a kind manager who helps "his" employees when they need it, and cla...more
Jonny99
If you are a fan of the blog this book is an extension of, or work in the food service industry, or just enjoy watching an amateur take a crack at writing you might find this exercise in naval-gazing interesting; otherwise just skip it. The author was known at publishing only as “The Waiter” but has recently unmasked himself. I didn’t bother to google his real name.

My chief complaint is presumably the editor didn’t insist the writing quality be brought up to non-blog writing standards. The most...more
Peep (Pop! Pop!)
I picked this audiobook up because I saw that it was nominated for an Audie. I tend to like the audiobooks that were nominated for awards so I thought, "what they hey!", and it sounded interesting. The audiobook itself was good. The guy who read it made it enjoyable. Wasn't my favorite, but still good listening.

The subject content of the book was a whole different story. I thought it was OK for the most of the book. But then the author just kept annoying me. I noticed how he tried to slip in ho...more
Allison
Entertaining, but mostly for the wrong reasons, including but not limited to: the narrative voice (a little too preciously enamored of its own cleverness); the heavy influence of Kitchen Confidential, especially the author's attempt to cultivate the burnt-marshmallow-with-a-heart-of-gold persona (charred and crispy on the outside, squishy and tender on the inside--Bourdain does it better); his Humbert Humbert-reminiscent ruminations on young girls blossoming into women; his keen insights into wo...more
Tiffany
Dec 16, 2008 Tiffany rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Waiters ... duh!
Shelves: memoirs, 2008
I of course found this amusing, considering I was a waitress for three years. Serving supported me through college, and the money was good. Waiter Rant is an extremely accurate portrayal of the restaurant industry, both in the way the author describes the customers and the staff's reactions to the not-so-great ones. (However, I'm proud to say I've never "crop-dusted" a table.) He didn't really tell me anything I didn't know, though. You don't have to be a server to know they don't like bad tips...more
Will Byrnes
Yes, the book is written anonymously. The author had for four years written a blog about his experience as a waiter in a New York Restaurant and needed to preserve his anonymity in order to prevent mayhem at his workplace. His is a tale of having wandered a bit, never really catching hold of a career, until at age 31, he found himself in a situation with which I am far too familiar. I found this to be (occasionally) a laugh out loud funny read, with much information to impart about what life is...more
Maria
My guess is that those who have been a server will rate this high and those who haven't, won't. The reason, like every other life experience, is that it's hard to fully understand or appreciate an issue or experience, unless you've walked in the shoes. Being a server, like being an athlete, fireman, teacher, someone with an eating disorder, etc....whatever you want to pick, is a secret club. Those who've been there, "get it", and those who haven't been there, couldn't possibly "get it". What I l...more
Sunda
The guy's a pretty good writer & I enjoyed the book. It did contain some of the same stories he's blogged about, and some new ones, too.

It is slightly irritating in as much as the author (ironically) seems to feel entitled to a 20% tip and a public who understands the restaurant business; interesting, considering his 'ranting' is often targeted at the entitled attitudes of others. I get that people can be, and are, jerks, and that this is often amplified when they deal with those in customer...more
jocelynn
TERRIBLE!!! Don't waste your time on this one. I tried and tried to get through this but threw in the towel after being a third of the way in. This writer thinks he is God's gift to women and all his customers have the hots for him. He tries to be the super coolest dude ever, but instead comes across as being a complete jerk. he supposedly waits tables at a very high class restaurant where customers buy $1500 bottles of wine and leave $250 to $500 tips...yet these same customers need to be dragg...more
Charlotte
Only marginally interesting and occasionally annoying, this is the waiter/front-of-house version of "Kitchen Confidential," only with worse writing and less juicy gossip. Apparently the author has a successful (and formerly anonymous) blog about the trials and tribulations of being a waiter at an upscale New York restaurant. Alas, his insider stories don't translate all that well to book length. There are a few interesting tidbits, particularly the details about the personalities who are drawn t...more
rachel
You can find a little of everything that gives memoir a bad name right here in this book. Details of the (unknown) author's life that absolutely no one aside from the author could ever care about, such as his blog receiving 900 hits a week (or whatever)? Yep. Author recounting his alcoholism/drug addiction/spendthrift tendencies in a way that's supposed to seem scolding, but actually comes off as thinly disguised pride for having lived such an edgy, "interesting" life? Yep. Masturbatory scene of...more
Joy
I really enjoyed this book. It's similar to Kitchen Confidential but told from the waiter's point of view. Loved the chapter where he talks about the time Russell Crowe ate at the restaurant!

I forgot to mention the Appendix on How to be a good Customer is worth reading and remembering. Also, enjoy What your drink says about you!

Caris
Remember this, ...the people you're trying to step on, we're everyone you depend on. We're the people who do your laundry and cook your food and serve your dinner... don't fuck with us."

I thought Waiter Rant was going to be sickening. I thought it would be a book version of the movie Waiting. I was sure it would be filled with hamburger patties going down the pants of angry cooks, bodily fluids going into chowders. While Tyler Durden's infamous words still ring true, that is not what this book...more
Sarah
Just when you think the world is safe from Hannibal Lecter, he gets re-incarnated into a waiter. People you seldom think have power, truly do possess the magic stick. This waiter's account on being a manager at a bistro in NY is incredible. There's tons of witty comments, ironic moments, times when you're thinking the human race could not get anymore rude and of course times where you're laughing out loud going WHAT THE FUCK! If you piss this waiter off he's not going to spit in your food he's g...more
Carolyn Dixon
Being a waiter myself, I loved this book. I hope everyone reads this book. It is certainly helpful for waiters, and would even more helpful for customers to understand how much it really hurts to be stiffed by them. Please read if you think your in the "bad tipping" category. If i honestly made only 15% from every check i handed out not the (18-20) that it should be but 15, I would actually find myself making my rent and car payment on time for the first time ever. You wouldn't like it if your p...more
Tara Anderson
Sometimes when I'm browsing in the Nook store (which I do almost daily), I go a little crazy and just buy something because I want to read it immediately. Forget everything else on my wish list. Forget researching the title. Forget making it wait in the TBR stack to be sure. I just willy-nilly hit that "BUY NOW" button and tear into it. That's how I ended up with Waiter Rant.

Waiter Rant comes from the website of the same name. The structure takes the narrative of Dublanica's journey as a waiter...more
Jessica
I've been reading his blog for years. Wanted to love the book (especially after it was recommended by my friend Rocky, who had also been reading the blog for years totally separately from me), but I didn't. I think he's a good blogger, but I'm not so sure about his writing in book format.
For instance, I swear he wrote the same paragraph three times in three different places: "I reminded myself that I was in high school when she was wearing diapers..." Okay. We got it. You feel weird about hittin...more
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The Waiter waited his first table at age thirty-one. In 2004 the author started his wildly popular blog, www.WaiterRant.net, winning the 2006 "Best Writing in a Weblog" Bloggie Award. He is interviewed regularly by major media as the voice for many of the two million waiters in the United States. The Waiter lives in the New York metropolitan area.
More about Steve Dublanica...
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