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

3.49  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,363 Ratings  ·  1,591 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
Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 21st 2009 by Harper Perennial (first published July 29th 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Petar X
Too much waffle. More brunch than dinner. So much filler in the body of the book and the appendices just to make up enough pages for a book I think. The author was very didactic about how we should behave as a customer in a restaurant. EXCUSE ME - I'm the one paying!

You don't tell me how to behave. You don't tell me that I can't ask to change tables when you have seated me by the toilets. You don't tell me that I don't have the right to complain the food is undercooked. And you certainly don't t
Feb 04, 2011 Lindsey rated it did not like it  ·  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
Bill  Kerwin

I'm wary of books that start off as blogs. "Waiter Rant," however, turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

I recognized many anecdotes from the original blog, but in almost every case the original has been refined and enriched. Dublonica does a good job of showing all of us the considerable skills and great patience needed to be a waiter. Also, as a former seminary student, he is sensitive to the moral dimensions of the situations he finds himself in.

Note: there are two appendices, each worth the
Dec 15, 2013 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: untumbled-turds, meh, blog
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
Will Byrnes
Hi, I'm Will. I'll be your reviewer today.

Maybe to start I can point you to the author. 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. But you may notice that there is an actual name displayed up at the top of this menu page, so I guess he moved on in the years since his book came out.

The author revealed

Steve Dublanica's
Aug 18, 2008 Joshua rated it it was ok  ·  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
Mar 20, 2012 Wealhtheow rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 14, 2012 Davytron rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
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
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
Jul 28, 2010 Thomas rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Oct 27, 2008 Anina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, biography
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.
Jan 14, 2009 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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?
Dec 18, 2009 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Oct 14, 2008 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 08, 2009 Jonny99 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 16, 2008 Tiffany rated it liked it  ·  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
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
Nov 09, 2014 Sunda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Allison Floyd
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
Apr 01, 2013 jocelynn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sep 26, 2015 Dale rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a "good read". The premise was interesting because those who haven't worked in the restaurant industry wonder just what you don't see when you have that dinner out. This book takes you through reasons people start waiting, stay waiting, or leave for other pursuits. The author takes you through some of the intra-restaurant politics, why your waiter acts the they do, and what they go through that you never see and most times are oblivious to. I enjoyed this book and especially liked the s ...more
Brianna Lawcock
I related to this book, and I work retail. Dealing with customers is never fun. It was a decent book, I flew through it, and a good easy read.

That said, it's probably best if you're in the customer dealing circuit and feeling particularly bitter that day, and even then, it can get aggravating. I can agree with the types of customers, you can see them everywhere, and while this is supposedly nonfiction, it does feel like fiction half of the time.

He's bitterly honest about his faults, and the fau
Mar 28, 2016 Ensiform rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, food, jobs
Based on the blog by the longtime L.A. waiter, this is a series of pieces highlighting some of the trials and tribulations restaurant workers face, from feuds in the back to bad tippers to wanna-be foodies who think they know how the food gets to their table to arrogant yuppies who don’t care that their fellow diner just had a heart attack, they want that window table! Dublanica also muses about the personal lives of his co-workers, dishes about managers who don’t put forth effort, reveals some ...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
Jul 10, 2013 S. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: walrus
book does not deserve the 1-star reviews that are cluttering up the front page of its entry. Dublanica merely provides an easy target-- you'd be a trifle hesitant to 1-star, say, a book written by a executioner or some celebrity CEO who theoretically could have you fired by the next business day, but it seems a lot of people are unafraid to nitpick this 300 page Harper Collins book , and of course, you're probably not going to be in a lot of trouble if you do.

deserves a high 3, possibly the 4 if
Somehow I missed the label saying that this book was in “Instant New York Times Bestseller” when I picked it up at Borders over the weekend. The author, Steve Dublanica, had been writing a blog about being a waiter for years before the book was published, so I guess he had quite a following. I still haven’t looked up the blog, which shares its name with the book, but I intend to do so.

This is a quick read that tells the restaurant story from a different side than Anthony Boudin’s Kitchen Confide
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The Waiter waited his first table at age thirty-one. In 2004 the author started his wildly popular blog,, 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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“The world's a big place. You can't do or be everything, nor should you. Life is bigger than any one man. But when you read about other people's lives, when you read their stories, you catch a glimpse of a world bigger than your own. You may never travel a hundred miles from where you were born, but if you read stories, you'll get to see the entire world.” 27 likes
“Everyone, no matter what kind of job he or she has, fantasizes about freaking out at work. How many corporate drones, stuck in a boring staff meeting, have had the sudden urge to jump on top of the conference table and start screaming obscenities? Strip off their clothes? Kiss the woman or man next to them? We all have. How many employees joke about shooting the boss or blowing the place up? I’m not suggesting we do any of these things, mind you, but let’s not kid ourselves; we all have a little murder in our heart.” 12 likes
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