“Regulars” exist in every restaurant. You know, the people who dine at your place at least once or 4 times a week? Everyone has them, and everyone has a love/hate relationship with them. You love the business they bring (especially if they tip well) and you hate them for being major assholes if their specific needs are not met.
I’ve met and worked with a LOT of regulars over the years of working in restaurants… so I’d like to consider this the first installment of the Tales of a Restaurant Regular series.
ONCE UPON A TIME, years ago, I met this man who I will call Mr. T. He was a very rich man, who obviously had a thing about change, because he dined at the restaurant I was working at EVERY Monday and Thursday. Since they opened. It had already been 4 years when I met him. Things obviously were already in place. I looked at his history (in opentable you can check on people’s history and see their specific preferences and how many times they’ve dined there, etc.) and his notes looked more like a scroll. He had a LONG LIST of servers he put on his “X” list. Can you believe that? There were about 8 servers on the list that were NOT ALLOWED TO WAIT ON HIM. I wonder what possibly could have happened to get put on the “X” list of Mr. T. Maybe they were not his type, or too sarcastic, democrat, or smelled funny, or spit in his food? I can only imagine. Mr. T did have about 3 (it might have been 2, honestly) servers that were on his GOOD list. Phew! Thank god the manager scheduled Mr. T’s servers on Mon/Thurs. Though I’d be curious to go back and see if his head blew up or if he just went ape shit and broke all the glassware in the restaurant if someone from the “X” list showed up and asked him what kind of water he preferred. Water was another highlight of the notes. He liked his water with NO ice and in a wine glass instead of a water glass. Probably to feel fancy? That’s why I drink water out of a wine glass. He had a special tea that he liked in a special tea kettle that he purchased for the restaurant to keep for him. HE HAD A FUCKING SHELF IN THE KITCHEN with his little cast iron tea pot. I didn’t even have a locker and I was a full-time employee! WTF man. Mr. T. was using us as his dining room. He owned property at the restaurant and had the worlds highest expectations that everything would go according to plan when he walked in that door. And he always dined with one woman, who I will call Betty. For the first year that I worked at this place, I thought Betty was his wife. One day a server corrected me and said that Mr. T was a huge queen and Betty was his secretary. What? They were both like 70 years old, and I’d already pictured their house in the country and the two of them sipping tea on a patio under the summer sun. Once I learned about their relationship, it all made sense. There were moments where he would SHUSH Betty and I thought, omg does he beat her? One time, they were walking out of the restaurant and before I could give them a proper goodbye, he flipped on Betty and said “Why the hell do you not have the keys out? The unlock button works from here dammit.” Betty seemed to be used to the silencing act Mr. T clearly had done before. She looked at me and shrugged her arms. I think from that moment on, I was happy she wasn’t his wife. I wonder if his tea kettle still sits on the Mr. T shelf too. I know one thing, I NEVER made it onto the “X” list! Wahooooo!
More “Regular Guest” stories for another time… thanks have a great evening!