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The worst thing about taking time off is the revenge schedule you get when you go back to work. I was off work for five days and for that I was stiffed with seven in a row including more splits than a ballet class and more doubles than United. So there was no question about [...]

Things that make me go ‘heh’…

You know that moment when you're sitting in a restaurant and you are starving, like eat a lamb-of-god hungry, and all you can think about is the delicious 16oz steak with triple cooked fries and assorted sundries and what have you that you think you ordered an hour ago but was only actually like 10 [...]

The Curmudgeonly-Straightbacks, People from New Jersey & Revenge…

I'm still not ready to talk about it...the weekend, that weekend. Like I said in dispatches on Saturday, before I slumped on my bed in a heap and cried myself to sleep (again), it will take a psychiatrist with a doll and a soothing voice to get over it, the humping that I got. Of course [...]

Manuel V The Children…

You know what is surprisingly easy? I mean like super easy. Making wee girls cry. I mean it's an embarrassingly easy. Getting candy off them is as tricky as a physics exam in the dark with no knowledge of the subject. But making them cry? That's a cinch! Don't get me wrong I really didn't [...]

Oh My! points at beverage and laughs

Three men arrived in the restaurant one evening last week. They were unremarkable men - average height, average build, average clothes, averages faces, average manners, ghastly shoes (grown men in suits shouldn't be wearing Kickers). You get the point though, they were just, you know, men. They were chit-chatting as I lead them to their [...]

A Little Part of You Dies

(Another Byrne story I wrote for fun. Comments and free editorial suggestions welcome.) Hoboken used to be a tough town filled with stevedores and working stiffs until a wave of New York real estate fetishists crossed the Hudson back in the 90’s and turned it into an oblast of Manhattan. As I walked down Washington [...]

Ah the Spirit of Easter…

The phone was ringing... I answered it, such is the convention. I'd rather have thrown my shoes at it but, you know, work and all that. "Awrigh...Youseuns open on Sunday like?" "Ah yes sir we are indeed" "Easter Sunday like?" "Yes...yes sir we are open this Sunday, Easter Sunday" "What ya doin?" I was so [...]

2012 or 1950 – Take your pick but you can’t have both

Opening hours for licensed premises in Northern Ireland for the Easter period - Thursday the 5th of April to Sunday the 8th of April 2012. On Thursday, April 5th, the hours are 11.30am – 11pm, with half-an-hour drinking up time. Only premises with an Article 44, ‘late licence’, may remain open to serve alcohol until 12am [...]

Oh what will become of our children?

I believe that children are the future. I also believe the future is so utterly borked we may as well do as the lemmings did and throw ourselves off the nearest cliff. Tonight I watched a young chap, no more than ten or something, use a knife and fork to eat a burger. Knife and [...]

Karma, for waiters…

Waiter Karma - as regular karma but usually ends with a waiter laughing up his sleeve as a pompous ass gets what they deserve - ie dispense bad shit to a waiter and you can expect to get it back tenfold. Saturday night and all was well, actually all was very well. My chums and [...]

Jay Rayner Alert Klaxon

Jay Rayner - he's here for the food but will leave with your soul. Big scary tree sized bastard Jay Rayner is in town today! If you're not sure why you should be concerned about this let me remind you what he said the last time he visited Belfast... "Until, that is, they bring the [...]

Panic tipping…

The waiters are maybe, sometime in the future, I dunno, going on strike or something. Please panic tip your waiter this weekend. Heh. Ha, you crazy English people with your crazy government advice and love of queuing. This must be all your dreams come true. But seriously, panic tip your waiter this weekend. You never [...]

“The restaurant employees were locked up in their quarters…to prevent them from rushing the lifeboats”

As we all know by now Saturday sees the opening of the Titanic visitors centre in Belfast. It's been a long time coming. All the talk has been on what a marvellous job the men of Harland & Wolff did in designing and making such a wonderful vessel and I suppose that's fair enough. My [...]

Your happiness, it irritates some folks.

Is there anything more wonderful than having your friends and family gathered round you singing in unison as a jolly waiter plonks a shop bought cake under your chin? Actually there are probably many things better than having your friends and family gathered round you singing in unison as a jolly waiter plonks a shop bought [...]

The shocking and in no way made up facts about Barbecuing…

It's warm out there eh what. I, myself, am just back from a leisurely stroll on the beach with my one and only true love - a bag of food (pork pie, Scotch egg, three meat sandwich, lashings of ginger ale). Little Miss Manuel came too. Heh Now I know a lot of you are [...]

Ah Lads come one…

I spent a lot of time on Saturday night pondering. I pondered this. I pondered that. I pondered most of the night to be fair. Be under no illusion I was still fully focused on my waiterly duties. Food, wine and appropriate witticisms were delivered on cue. Punters ate not just from their plates but [...]


Hot sausage rolls to be taxed? [faints] I hate the Tories even more now and to be fair I didn't think that was possible. Yis can tax the grannies and rip off the students. Steal kiddy benefit from the middle classes. Stick another fiver on a packet of cigarettes for all I care. But when [...]


Students eh. Could like them if you breastfed 'em and paid their rent and put all your hopes and dreams into them. We had some students in. They were of the know-it-all nerdy bookish types. Not the sort that will ever make money in a real job but will instead spend their lives reading books [...]

The Fifth Duke of Arseholeishire…

"Waiter, oh waiter..." This guy was bugging me. He was getting on like he was the Fifth Duke of Arseholeishire and I was his man-servant, Botherington. Now don't get me wrong I am there to attend to the guests wants and a point obviously. But I am not there to be woo-hoo'd and summonsed [...]

Well Duh!

she got all the trimmings too... Ah Mother's Day. To be fair it was relatively pain-free. The punters, for most part, were really quite lovely. All the children were of the grown up variety, seriously only one actual kid all afternoon. Wonderful stuff. That's not to say that we didn't have people getting on like [...]

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