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

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  12,841 ratings  ·  1,721 reviews
According to The Waiter, eighty percent of customers are nice people just looking for something to eat. The remaining twenty percent, however, are socially maladjusted psychopaths. Waiter Rant offers the server's unique point of view, replete with tales of customer stupidity, arrogant misbehavior, and unseen bits of human grace transpiring in the most unlikely places. Thro ...more
Hardcover, 302 pages
Published July 29th 2008 by Ecco
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3.51  · 
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 ·  12,841 ratings  ·  1,721 reviews

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Will Byrnes
Sep 15, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Petra Eggs
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
Bill  Kerwin
Jan 01, 2009 rated it liked it

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. Walter Dublanica (known here as "the Waiter") does a good job of showing us the considerable skills and great patience needed to be a server in a good restaurant. Also, as a former seminary student, he is sensitive to the moral dimensions of the situations he often finds hi
Mar 03, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: meh, untumbled-turds, 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
Aug 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
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 rated it did not like it
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
Mar 18, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Oct 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 27, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Jan 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 17, 2009 added it
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?
Jan 13, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Waiters should be properly salaried, and not receive tips at all. If not for their livelihoods, then definitely to stop the feeling of entitlement (from both waiters and customers). But, of course, livelihoods come first. Anyway, Dublanica is really irritating. Just as he judges his customers, his customers judge him. It's a two-way street. Sometimes deserving, sometimes not. I mean, steering yuppie couples towards the most expensive items and bragging about it?

Calling 20% tippers "average pain
If you have read my reviews I am often snarky, cruel, nasty and disdainful toward bad books. So I figured I would love a book where someone else is the same way. I've read other books, blogs and sites that are filled with servers, salespeople and chefs venting their spleens on to the public at large.

This book was rather disappointing. Sorry Steve I don't care that you don't like your coworkers, get an ass rash or drink too much. I want amusing anecdotes about annoying foodies, drunk customers,
Feb 02, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Helen Dunn
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Got this as a bargain book on Kindle and spent the whole book wishing it was more interesting than it was.

I guess I've read too many kitchen/restaurant books because nothing in this seemed new or original to me.

Writing is fine and I think many will enjoy this but I think I came too late to this party
Dec 08, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Jul 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
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!

Jan 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
Any merit this book has about the amusing insights to the behind the scenes experiences of workers in high end restaurants and the individual struggles of finding one's true place in the world are vastly overshadowed by the repeated and blatant normalization of sexism and objectification of women. "Soon miniskirts will be replaced by long pants, and shapely legs will disappear into unshaven hibernation. I tell myself I should move to a town where short skirts are a 365-day-a-year proposition—som ...more
Jul 31, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Apr 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
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
Nov 17, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Apr 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Aug 23, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: cooking, audio
Dublanica did a very good job. I never would have thought he could hold my attention for that long, but he comes at it from an interesting angle--former seminarian and social worker. By the end of his tale, however, he may have been more influenced by his restaurant environment and coworkers than he influenced them, but what can one expect? I'm glad his daily blog turned out for him. And I really enjoyed knowing more about how restaurants work from yet another perspective. I have no idea what it ...more
Sep 26, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Certainly an eyeopening exposure to the not-so-great practices of restaurants (although if you head to the back of the restaurant you can see for yourself). But more than that, this book is just about a guy who's stuck in a deadbeat job (no offense, but that was the vibe I was getting) and the experiences that went along with it.

The woes of the workplace take a prominent place in this book: angry boss, uncooperative coworkers, work overload... Everyone can relate to those problems.

This book, s
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“The Waiter” is a pseudonym of Steve Dublanica.
“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.” 28 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.” 14 likes
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