Confessions of a Charlotte restaurant manager

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Note: Love confessions? Here’s the entire confessions series collection. If you’d like to participate, please email hi@charlotteagenda.com. We promise to keep you anonymous.


I’m not suited to work in a restaurant. When I used to be a server I would drop plates, talk back to rude customers and steal curly fries every chance I got. Luckily, there are lots of Charlotteans who excel at food service. Here are one restaurant manager’s confessions about condom notes, “rehydrating” food and crude burger buns.

What’s the best part about your job? The worst?

The best part is teaching, coaching and developing the managers and employees in the hospitality business. The worst part is the constant no-shows of employees.

Do rude customers really get their food spit on?

I have never seen anyone do that.

What’s the weirdest thing someone has left in the restaurant?

A condom with a phone number written on it.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you at work?

A tire from a tractor trailer truck flew through one of the windows of the restaurant … from a truck that crashed on the highway more than 1,000 feet away.

Is there anything on your restaurant menu you refuse to eat?

No, I love everything.

Are there any weird ways restaurants cut costs?

After four to five hours in the hot table, hot and ready foods (like soup, beans and meats) should be thrown out. Instead, a lot of restaurants will add water to “rehydrate” the food and save money.

Gross. What’s the most annoying thing your employees do?

When employees show up late, or sometimes not at all.

Do you ever eat leftover food off customer’s plates?

No.

Do attractive servers make better tips?

Yes, but only if they are also providing good service. You can’t be attractive and rude.

Do servers ever add extra food to people’s bills on purpose?

This does happen. Depending on the restaurant software servers will add food (especially sodas) to customer’s bills and then move that beverage ring up to numerous checks to make extra money. This is why it’s smart to always look over your bill before paying.

Do servers ever try to cheat the restaurant out of money?

Yes, this is why managers should never give employees their security card (unless they make sure to check what they did with it after). Some servers will void or delete items that they have already collected money for and pocket the cash.

Any other confessions?

One of the best stories was when a boyfriend (our cook) was fighting with his girlfriend (a server). She put in an order for one of her tables and the boyfriend spelled out “F… You” on top of a burger bun using ketchup and mustard. The girlfriend never saw it but the 10-year-old boy who it was served to definitely did. That was not a fun conversation with his mom.

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Mary Gross
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My name is Mary Gross and I am a copywriter, a craps player and an excellent napper.