It looks like the lovely Kyle Smith of the New York Post has posted a follow up article in response to his last article bashing servers (See article HERE). Apparently he received over 500+ emails from angry waitstaff after his last article spread across the internet and social media sites (shocker). It doesn’t seem to have phased him in the least however. In fact, it seems to have made his head even bigger than it already was. Apparently he feels as though he has all of the answers for the service industry and restaurants and how they should run things. He seems to be enjoying all of the attention as well. I think this is one guy who will never “get it” and will continue to be his boastful, miserable self…
I think we agree: France is better
Despite their anger, many waiters agree with me — the American serving system is wrong
By KYLE SMITH
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 2 million Americans are employed as waiters and waitresses. What I want to know is: Which three of you failed to write in to take exception to my comic essay poking fun at your profession last week?
If Christopher Hitchens was correct when he said, “Hatred . . . is a terrific way of getting you out of bed in the morning and keeping you going,” then my column was as efficient as the drill sergeant in “Full Metal Jacket” at separating restaurant workers from their pillows and blankets.
Zounds. In the last year, I’ve printed attacks on such popular items as London, Lincoln and likin’ (in a piece dissing friendship), but never have my provocations inspired so much outrage. I stopped counting after the 500th negative e-mail (though my waiter rant also generated more than 14,000 “likes” on Facebook). Rex Reed and the Onion guy who wrote that Quvenzhan™ é Wallis tweet feel sorry for me.
A common thread, though, was this one: Waiters hate being manically cheerful almost as much as I do. But their employers make them. Some have scripts they’re forced to stick to: “Hi, I’m Mandy, can I start you off with some appletinis and a bloomin’ onion?”
Forced cheerleading in a job that never lets you sit down creates one grumpy workforce, and many were the e-mails that said, essentially, that “We have every reason to hate you, but you should pity us.”
I hear that. I was a busboy myself once, and I paid my way through college in part by working in the dining hall (though no chatting was required) while my mom was waitressing. I’ve done hard work (not lately, I admit, but still).
Ever so grudgingly, many correspondents agreed with me that the French system (in which waiters are paid a real salary instead of being made to balance beach balls on their noses for tips) is superior. These same people noted that their many European customers tip woefully.
See where I’m going with this? These two groups are made for each other. We’ve got every kind of European restaurant in New York except one run on a European business model. Why doesn’t some restaurateur agree to pay waitstaff a full salary instead of $2 an hour and prominently publicize a no-tipping policy?
The gimmick would generate lots of publicity that would ensure a robust opening business, Europeans tired of getting the stinkeye every time they enter an eatery would line up to dine there, and plenty of phlegmatic waiters would be glad to staff it up. Any Americans who wandered in to eat would probably tip a little anyway, out of habit.
I can hear an economist saying, “But tips give an incentive for good service. Service would be poor in your Euroland theme restaurant. ” In theory, yes. In practice, calculating a grade for your server each time and translating that to a dollar figure is too much effort (especially when you’re busy talking to your companions and probably have a couple of drinks in you).
In my proposed establishment, waiters would want to do an acceptable job to keep customers returning and their own paychecks coming. Managers would supervise them anyway.
“If you like it so much, why don’t you move to France?” many of my correspondents wrote. No thanks: Socialism. Better idea: Why not move a little bit of France over here?