The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.
Переклад цього матеріалу українською мовою з російської було автоматично здійснено сервісом Google Translate, без подальшого редагування тексту.
Bu məqalə Google Translate servisi vasitəsi ilə avtomatik olaraq rus dilindən azərbaycan dilinə tərcümə olunmuşdur. Bundan sonra mətn redaktə edilməmişdir.

New York restaurant through the eyes of a waitress from Russia

My interlocutor - a pretty young blonde named Maria - came to New York from Moscow a few years ago, when she was only 22 years old. In the capital of Russia, she moved, one might say, in a bohemian environment - she worked in the theater as a props artist, studied. They say about such - a well-bred girl from a decent family. In the United States, Maria was not entirely of her own free will - her relatives persuaded. Long tossed between the two countries, but eventually settled in New York. And I got a job in one of the restaurants in Manhattan as a waitress. She had no experience of such work, except for two months of internship in one of the Moscow bars a long time ago. I had to learn everything in the shortest possible time. There was no money for life - by that time she did not communicate with her family. Maria quickly joined the team, began to earn money, and also noticed everything that she had no idea about before.

Фото: Depositphotos

Mary, if you compare the service sector in New York and Moscow, is there a difference, and if so, what is it?

When I come to Moscow, I always compare our American service and theirs. In Moscow, you will wait a hundred years until you are seated at a table and your order is accepted. Usually half of what is indicated on the menu is not. And the more pretentious the menu, the more ambition the staff has ... No one is in a hurry and does not try to "serve". In New York, on the contrary - here the client is God, the light, but that's all! And therefore they will do everything here to please him. Sometimes, in an effort to please the guest, the staff reaches insanity! And, by the way, I do not like this either from the position of the waiter-bartender or from the position of the client.

Sometimes you write posts on Facebook about the wrong side of the restaurant business ... Frankly, after reading you do not really want to go to restaurants. And you yourself go?

I myself go and go with pleasure, but I can not get rid of the professional habit of seeing, noticing and evaluating everything. I involuntarily follow what is happening around as a hall manager. I go, by the way, to restaurants to friends, where I know, everything will be not only tasty, but also fresh. But even in such places I try not to think about forks, knives, napkins, ingredients, sanitary conditions .... After all, you can go crazy. But many friends, having worked in this area, really stopped going there somewhere. By the way, there are films on this subject. For example, "Soul kitchen”- there and about us, the waiters, and in general about the darkness that is happening behind the doors to the kitchen.

And what is the darkness going on there? And is it worth telling the general public about it?

It seems to me, yes, it is. This will help tosomeone to avoid unpleasant moments - I mean both visitors and potential waiters. Here we, the staff, smile at you in the restaurant, but, of course, you don't want to do this, and you never want to, just everyone is trained. With a smile on your face, they will sit you at a table by the window, from which it will blow in your face or back like from an abyss, or by the kitchen, where all the running and running waiters will stumble over your feet and jackets, and you will hear all the abuse at all languages ​​of the world, coming from this very kitchen. But I guarantee that if you ask to be transplanted, you will either be refused with the same sweet smile, referring to the reserve tables, or, if transplanted, cursed to the seventh knee. And the waiter assigned to you, most likely, already expects that you, forgive me, shit, but dealing with you will not be easy either.

Ok, you sat down, they brought you a menu that you just started reading. And a waiter with a white-toothed smile is already at your table and asks - what kind of water should I bring you? Believe me, he really doesn’t like it when you say that you don’t need water, and immediately start listing: “Please give me squid to start with and hummus…”. The waiter is unhappy: “Answer the question about water, bitch !!!”, - he yells to himself. But he smiles and quickly begins to jabber a learned phrase about the special dishes of today.

This is what I do not advise you to take especially, so these are special fish dishes or filet mignon. And at all I do not advise taking anything that the waiter recommends especially. Because, most likely, this good dofiga lies in the kitchen, and the cook said to the waiters to sell it at any cost. And whoever sells more, he will receive a bottle of beer or inexpensive wine from a nervous manager, who finally managed to shove a stale batch of bronzini.

Фото: Depositphotos

And if you can not push the customers?

Then feed it to the staff!

So about the water. In a jug there will be, of course, tap water, in New York everyone drinks it, since it is tasty and pure. But in the jug itself can be absolutely anything.

After you have ordered the food, wipe all appliances with wipes. And God forbid you to do it with fabric! Only disposable paper! And wipe the plates too. Because both the instruments and the plates are washed in this way, and one hundred fifty times they fall on the way to the table, they rise from the floor and are placed on the table. Cloth napkins are folded with dirty hands (without gloves) by tired and swearing employees. You can easily find hair in them (often not even staff, but laundry workers, where they are washed), and when they are delivered from washing, they are first thrown where they are, then they put it in the original form and put it where the dust was last wiped when they opened the restaurant ...

The moment has come when they bring you drinks. I'm talking about alcohol. 90% of the glass is ice (read, bartender's money). Alcohol there is the cheapest, of unknown production, it is purchased in boxes, and it is impossible to drink it in its pure form in any way, therefore, if you want to taste what they brought you, ask for ice separately. And if you want good alcohol, then ask for "top shelf", that is, well-known brands, although it is not a fact that you have rum together "Zacappa”They don’t pour out of a bottle with a blue label and palm trees on it. And in any case, do not squeeze and do not put a lemon, orange, or what you have there on a glass wearing in the drink itself! Fruit bartenders, before they are cut into slices, do not wash! And why should they do extra work? And yes, if you brought a straw without a paper wrapper on top, then throw it away right there. By the way, according to the law (and where is our health department looking?) straws can not stand without packaging on the bar, because so, they collect dust, and even touch them with dirty hands.

Or a salad. Oh ... I myself have not eaten salads in restaurants for a long time. With rare exception - if I myself was in the kitchen of this restaurant. Why? Because usually vegetables that are brought to the kitchen are unloaded in boxes and immediately cut into cooking or the same salad. They are not washed! They rip off the labels at most. Well, why ... Because there is no time to do this. By the way, if there are different greens in the salad, then this is not a salad, but rather an imitation of the fact that there is a lot of things here. In fact, you will be looking there for half an hour for pieces of cucumbers and tomatoes, which are unlikely to be there. And yes, check these very greens for freshness ...

An interesting point is the serving of the dish. Do you know why the food on the plate looks as if it was very neatly placed on it, and not a bit splattered around the edges? Yes, because when the ingredients are already on the plate, its edges are wiped mostly with hands, but if there is soup, then with rags that are immediately thrown onto the countertop, or hung from the belt of a dirty apron, or wiped with the same dirty apron.

Do you know how to test the readiness of meat? Yes, yes, the one you ordered the midium reair? The cook pokes his finger. Yes, without gloves. Then he licks them or wipes them on himself, and shouts: the next plate to check! Exactly and not otherwise. Everything on your plate is exactly the beautiful side. And you turn over a piece of meat / cutlets / something else there and you will probably see there either burntness or a cut to check readiness. And if it is generously poured with sauce and sprinkled with herbs, then for sure - something was disguised. It either already fell, or burned out, or was poked with forks, or the piece does not reach the standard mass and shape.

Desserts. Who doesn't love desserts? Ask the waiter on the forehead - which one is fresh and which one has already been in the fridge behind glass for three days. Ask what is his favorite. Clarify how this dessert is served. Ask if it's home made or purchased from somewhere. And, most importantly, ask not to sprinkle or decorate your dessert with anything. Know that if they brought you a dessert sprinkled with powdered sugar, doused with sauces, decorated with a scattering of berries and mint leaves, then it either fell, or has been standing for a long time and has already lost its appearance, or something else unpleasant happened to it that they tried to disguise.

If you are taking food home, do not ask to pack, ask to bring you containers and shift the food in them. Because your food will be scraped into a container haphazardly, maybe with your hands, maybe with a fork from another plate, in short, a pleasant little. Well, the waiters do not have the time or desire to stand on ceremony with you.

When you ask for a bill, pay as soon as possible and leave as soon as possible. The staff is waiting not to come back to your table and to finish with you altogether. And yes, leave a tip 18-20%, otherwise you will be damned again. In most restaurants, waiters work for tips, that's their money. If you think you already paid dofig, think about what you paid the owner, and the tip is the waiters' bread. The waiters share the tip. Don't be mean. Leave them in cash, so they get more, because this cash is tax-free.

And the most important thing. What is highlighted above: never, hear, NEVER return the dishes back to the kitchen and say that you have hair there, blood from the meat flows, that there is a dead opossum in mashed potatoes or on this tomato it says on the sticker “you went ... ”, and you would like a tomato without a sticker. You may not spit in the food, but what the chef and his team will do in the kitchen with him (not the waiter, no), you better not know. I'm serious. The kitchen hates more than anything when they return food.

And this is called “customer god and luminary”?

Well, what to do, customers do not like a priori, but will do everything possible to make you like it: one negative review on the same Yelp - and the rating of the institution will go down. And oh, how Americans love to write reviews.

Фото: Depositphotos

In general, we are worth each other. Here I had one client who came every day and every day ordered the food she wanted, and not what was on the menu: “I have, please, this salad, but without tomatoes, onions, pepper, salt, oil, vinegar, and chicken. Let there be greens, cucumbers and add salmon! ... How can they not do this? They always do me! Tell them! How is the kitchen busy with orders? I want like this!". She ate, found fault with everything in the world, and that was not how she was, and this is not so, and yesterday it was better: “And why was it not served? And I'm allergic to that! Take this away! Do you have gray bread with cereals? How not? I won't eat that! Bring me some jam! How not? ”. And then she enjoyed free coffee and desserts at the house's expense. How why? The manager approached her: “We apologize for not liking you!”. She smiled, seeing that she had removed from the account what she, with ... ah, had already eaten, but she was charming, and then she left to return again the next day. One day, when I was especially boiling, and I knew that in any case I would quit today, I went up to her to take an order and said something like the following: “Ma'am! You come every day, you are always dissatisfied with everything, you always ask to redo everything. Ma'am, go to the store, buy the ingredients and make the salad you like at home, and we serve what we have on the menu and we are not going to cook just for you! And there's also a McDonald's on the corner, so why don't you fucking go there and eat there? And if something does not suit you in your salad, then do not come to us! And, if you come, then close your fucking mouth and eat in silence! ”, - she was taken aback, but fell silent, and I left.

Simply, there is a huge category of people who go to eat and fight at the same time to eat for free. They know that managers, valuing their reputation, will remove everything from the account, even if this client, for example, ate the entire batch and “sweat it,” she noted that it wasn’t what she ordered, or that she had cucumbers for which she was allergic. ” The restaurant will do everything to avoid problems with the restaurant, they will even fire the waiter, so that the guest is happy and does not leave a bad review.

And how does the average New York waiter earn? And is it possible to fix something in your opinion in this system to make it better? Because what you are telling is terrible.

Yes, probably, the salary increase and the human attitude towards the personnel (for now, bestial) would change the situation. At a minimum, there would be no such turnover among the staff, which is bad for an institution. It is impossible to put customers in the first place like this because it hits the restaurant workers from basboi to managers. Customers shamelessly use it. They come to eat and drink for free, they make tantrums, “find” hair in a plate or eat everything and say it was terrible. or that they ordered something else, and therefore they will not pay for it. It comes from them and to those who speak with an accent: “Where do you come from? English would have learned first! You serve me here! ”.

And our salary is very unstable. There is both she and a tip. Usually everything starts at 7,5-8 per hour plus what the client leaves. In general, everything is simple in terms of money - there will be no tips, there will be no money. Although there are establishments that do not tip and put people on a rate like $ 10-12 per hour and that's it. And I don't care. Some don't pay at all, just tips. But you can earn a lot in good restaurants and on good days. In 2013-14, for example, I was gorgeous. The checks were from 800 / week to 1500. Although it must be remembered that there are dead periods when people are cut in the schedule, everyone wanders around, without money, in a circle, rubbing glasses and fighting for $ 10. There were days in February 2014 when I went to work stupidly for food and watching with a couple of everyday guests of the Olympic Games. In reality, I could only save up for a metro card. And sometimes for a banquet you could take 300-400 a day at once.

Фото: Depositphotos

In general, it sounds good ... Why did you leave? Tired of it?

Now I work as a designer in the studio of the famous Italian designer and architect Gaetano Pesce. I am incredibly lucky with my job, I am very happy. Although my entire salary is there - $ 1400 a month! I am also studying in one of the colleges to become a graphic designer. Although, I think, the restaurant has not disappeared from my life for a long time. Because I work only three days a week and I really don't have enough "restaurant" money. And you can't go to a restaurant for two more, because the management of these establishments prefers people who are free at any time, and not those who set conditions from the series: “I can't on Thursday and Saturday after 12”.

But most importantly, I hope you understand - my dear, prepare yourself, eat at home, and do not show off in restaurants!

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