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

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  13,308 ratings  ·  1,752 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

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Kindle Edition, 324 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published July 29th 2008)
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 ·  13,308 ratings  ·  1,752 reviews


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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.

description
The author revealed

Steve Dublanica'
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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. 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
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Petra-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
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Lindsey
Mar 03, 2009 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
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Scott
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"How the hell did I end up becoming a waiter?" -- the author, on page 13

Written by Steve 'The Waiter' Dublanica - which sounds like an old-school or low-rent pro wrestler's name, right? - Waiter Rant details his time in the trenches at two New York City-based eateries at the start of the 21st century. At that time Dublanica was in his 30's, somewhat older than average for someone in that full-time position. (As he notes, in the U.S. - unlike Europe - is it not often a lifetime career choice or d
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Amanda
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meh, blog, untumbled-turds
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
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Joshua
Aug 17, 2008 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
Wealhtheow
Mar 20, 2012 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 are ei ...more
Davytron
Mar 18, 2012 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 homophobic banter for fun." He prefaces every rude statement with a prior statement that tries to make up for the following statement. If the words you are saying make you sound li
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Anina
Oct 27, 2008 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.
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
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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
Thomas
Feb 27, 2010 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
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Aaron
Jan 14, 2009 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
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?
Leslie
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
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,
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Yi-Hsuan
Jan 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
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
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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
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Stefanie
Jan 10, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Helen Dunn
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
thewestchestarian
Dec 08, 2009 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
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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
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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
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
Emi Bevacqua
Feb 03, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I'd never heard of the website waiterrant.net before I picked up this book by Steve Dublanica. The cover touted it as an "instant NY Times bestseller" and also there was a big blurb from Anthony Bourdain, and him I do know. As soon as I started reading this book, I knew I would hate it. This unfunny author writes as if he is hilarious, like a jolly king who has a whole sycophantic court on hand to boost his ego, exactly the way Anthony Bourdain sounds on TV as a matter of fact.

I kept notes while
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Tiffany
Nov 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Waiters ... duh!
Shelves: 2008, memoirs
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
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jocelynn
Apr 01, 2013 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
rachel
Jul 10, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Renee
Jul 24, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun and easy read written by a long time waiter in a upscale NYC unnamed restaurant. Lots of interesting stories of obnoxious customers (both American and foreign) with a sprinkling of a few tales of gracious customers as well. I enjoyed the whole "back of the house" operations part of the book, and learning about the food service industry in general. I didn't like what I thought to be, obvious "filler" ie. in preparation for the worse day of the year for waiters (which is Valentine’s ...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

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