I don’t think your kids are cute.

In fact, I don’t think about them at all. They are not mine.

I do however get upset when they whack me in the nuts while I am trying to take your order.

and they are messy.

Do us both a favor. Leave them at home next time.

S. L. Ehrisman (c) 11/9/10

28 Thoughts on “The Ugly Table (#2)

  1. And as a customer in restaurants I don’t think their kids are cute either when they are screaming and crying or running around the tables.
    I second the motion on the floor, leave your kids home, hire a babysitter.

  2. OMG! There was some kids running around the other night, and I almost toppled one, and during their two-hour stay I only heard their parents say once, “You boys need to sit down.” I probably could have put them in the prime rib oven and served them and the parents would not have noticed.

  3. Dukembe on November 10, 2010 at 4:27 am said:

    I went across town
    to pick up the sitter.

    I pray she will refrain,
    from having boys over,
    and pay some attention
    to my adorable kids.

    Later I’ll pay her
    and take her back home
    after my date
    when I’m tired
    and ready for ‘dessert.’

    I only wish
    that couple next to us
    at the restaurant
    (not ChuckECheez
    or Fryin Pan
    or Perkins
    or Valentinos)
    would have done the same.

  4. When will the parents, start to parent, and teach their kids this little thing called manners?

  5. Daizi46 on November 10, 2010 at 7:15 am said:

    Sorry Lewis….I wish I could have been there to grab that grubby hand and give them my “Mommy is going to kill you when we get home look” and sweetly say to him (while I’m slowly squeezing his hand) “don’t do that”.

  6. Costner on November 10, 2010 at 7:23 am said:

    There is a huge difference between well mannered kids (which equates to real parents) or hellions who run around unsupervised.

    I could agree that children don’t belong in an upper-end joint, but when it comes to Chilis and Applebees it is to be expected. If you want to eat a meal without any kids being in the vicinity or the chance one might cry or yell or make some other verbal announcement you find upsetting, I’d suggest you should go to the one place where you are guaranteed to not be bothered…. your kitchen.

    Other than that if parents actually parent it shouldn’t be an issue. Frankly there are a lot of adults I wish would stay home too, but that is another issue altogether.

  7. It’s not just in restaurants that kids are a pain. I had some work done on my Jeep yesterday, and even with my headphones I had to endure the antics of these two kids while the oblivious trailer trash mom spent the entire time babbling on her cell phone. Once or twice she told the kids to shush, but they’d ignore her as she went right back to chirping on her stupid phone.

  8. Personal responsibility has been waning for decades. This carries over to and includes parenting. If you can’t be responsible for yourself how can you be responsible for children?

  9. Here’s the deal: As parents you get very few nights out anymore. So when you do get out it means that much more. So there’s an opportunity to for a server to make more than the normal 15% (My tips always start at 20% btw..unless you really suck ass)

    If you work in a chain, sorry…kids will be a part of the equation. The Manager should’ve made that clear to you in the interview. Most parents won’t take kids out to Minerva’s, Mama’s Ladas or Tre. A sitter will run the parents $25 to $50, plus a ride home. If they save that money and bring the kids, your ticket will be that much higher.

    Here’s your key to hitting the next level of tips with parents:

    -First, if you them away from people, or at least don’t put them next to couple celebrating their anniversary. Save those out of the way spots close to the bathroom for them. More than likely they will need a trip there anyway. Parents with kids aren’t annoyed by other parents with kids at the next table.

    -Pretend you’re happy to see them and pretend you think their kids are adorable. As parents you like to hear that, even if you know it’s contrived. Ask their names and ages, see if the kids can answer. If they are shy, then you are scary to them, but you also establish that you are there to serve them and try to seat the kids on the interior and have the parents as the buffer between you and them.

    -Get them crayons & paper ASAP, the really smart servers grab these on the way to the table. Pull the silverware (especially if there’s a knife rolled in there) away and hand those to the parent. Move any potential projectiles out of there immediately..the parent will notice and appreciate the gesture.

    -The sooner the kids gets food & drink in their mouth the sooner they will STFU. Many parents know junior will only eat chicken nuggets so they may be ready to order those the minute you seat them. Tell your kitchen to get the kids’ shit out pronto.

    – Ask your manager to buy a bag of Dum Dums and have some in your apron. If a kids losing his shit, discreetly ask the parent if it’s okay to give the kid(s) a sucker. Kids are like google..they know key words so you may have to flash the parent the sucker and ask “Is this okay to give them one of these?” Yes, it’s almost like a drug deal, but again…as soon as the rugrat get’s a sucker they will shift their attention to it.

    -Bring extra napkins and an extra small plate, set it in the middle. Kids will want to share food w/mommy or they may need a spot to put gum, crusts, used napkins, etc. Less of these will hit the floor. Make an extra trip by to clear this crap off the table as you go. Also gives you an opportunity to check on the parents. Again, we notice and appreciate it.

    -See if your manager will splurge on a helium tank with balloons. Use it for birthdays of course, but also as another tool: “Hey Jimmy, if you stop sceaming and gouging your sister with your fork, I’ll bring you a balloon?” What’s that cost you? About .50 cents a balloon? Balloons not acceptable?, come up with some other .50 cent crap to barter with.

    Mom and Dad can’t stay for dessert or another round of drinks if they have to pack their kids up and go. Do a few of these things and they will stay longer and spend more. Moreover, parents will come back much more if they feel a place and their staff is kid friendly and they will tell all peer group as well. Conversely, if a place sucks for kids that word will get out too.

    Last item, parents know when their kids are being asses and when they are behaving, if your body language conveys “Fuck bitch, what’s wrong with you?” we pick that up and it only makes it worse. You can diffuse the situation and be the hero, and if you are waiting on me or my wife we throw another $5 or $10 on the tab and we will tell you what great server your are. We also tip on what the total would be, even if there’s a “kids eat free” or a coupon involved.

  10. Angry Guy on November 10, 2010 at 10:06 am said:

    Sy, you are SPOT FUCKIN ON with that one.
    Spot on.

  11. I agree with 99% of what Sy just said with the exception being this sentence: “parents know when their kids are being asses and when they are behaving”.

    I will agree good parents know… but sometimes I wonder if bad parents (aka: trailer trash or baby-mama) have a clue. I’ve seen cases where the kids were basically free to roam as if it was the friggin’ Serengeti and they were off causing trouble far outside of the supposed would-be parent’s earshot.

    Most of the time however – yes parents know. At least the parents that actually care.

  12. Actually Sy, we do all of that stuff. That is probably why at least 33% of our business is families because we do go the extra mile to help parents. My point is about the parents that don’t give a shit. If a kid is smacking me, is it my job to tell them to knock it off? No. As for tipping, I see no difference in percentages when it comes to people with or without kids. You will get an occasional extra buck or two for helping with the kids, but it is rare, very rare. In fact I think people with kids tend to tip less. But they are customers and they do tip which helps to pay my bills. So I put up with it.

  13. Good…the fam and I will have to come by sometime.

    You could also hand the following sign up right at the front door:

    “Unattended or unruly children will be given a free double latte and a puppy”

  14. The puppy is a possibility, but not the Latte. I guess there is a gigantic corporate kerfuffle about whether we should have espresso machines.

  15. Angry Guy on November 10, 2010 at 3:48 pm said:

    Get punched in the nuts?
    Just maybe, you deserved it.
    Give that kid ice cream.

  16. Beer Jew on November 10, 2010 at 4:01 pm said:

    You could try playing the safety card–similar to what the airlines do if someone is intoxicated. “The kids’ running around has us concerned for their safety. We’re afraid hot food or liquid may spill on them. Or the children may fall and injusre themselves or others”.
    My old restaurant manager used to use that type of line all the time. He had the personality and demeanor to not sound like a prick while saying it. Then, if you are lucky, dad will clop ’em upside the head for added entertainment.

  17. I just know one of these days I’m gonna run over a kid.

    Not too long ago and guy ran into me while I was carrying a tray of dirty plates (because he wasn’t paying attention) and as all the plates crashed on the floor he kept walking like nothing happened. South Dakotans are soooooo non-confrontational.

  18. redhatterb on November 10, 2010 at 10:29 pm said:

    I know several young couples that wish there was more variety of restaurants that would deliver meals, because after they work all day they don’t want to leave the kids with a sitter so they can go out. With small kids you never know exactly when some little thing will set them off, any way these young couples don’t want to take their kids out on the off chance that they will start fussing and disturb other diners. One thing I have noticed is that even in grocery stores parents are letting 2-3 year old kids that should be riding in shopping carts walk independently, either lagging way behind the parents or running way ahead. I use those electric carts that the stores have for customers to use while shopping, and there have been times I have almost hit a little kid that should have been riding in the shopping cart. I never go shopping during busy times of the day, I’m always at the store by 8AM. I don’t know what the parents are thinking that just because the kid starts to cry when put in the cart, they don’t insist on the kid being in the cart. It is a lack of parental concern.

  19. OH boy, don’t start me on supermarket morons.

  20. Angry Guy on November 11, 2010 at 10:28 am said:

    You know what? If you don’t like listening to my kid kick and scream like a fucking terrorist, don’t go to HyVee when they are typically awake. You’d be safe going after 8PM any given night. On that note, I am perfectly aware every time my precious little angel is acting like the fucking antichrist.. but once it starts I’m not going to abandon ship just because some of you childless fucktards don’t approve. You can’t negotiate with terrorists or they learn they can do that every time and get their way. They are kids. It’s what they do. I guaratee you were just as annoying as everyone else’s kid when you were 3. Get over it. Better yet, say something to me about it next time it’s happening and see how awesome of a reaction you’ll get. I dare you.
    And if my kid is acting like that in a restaurant and I’m disrupting other people’s meals, I’d say it’s your stupid hostess’ fault for seating us withing screaming distance of your ‘normal’ clients. All restaurants should have a plastic coated soundproof room where they seat all of the families. I wouldn’t be offended, but you might not get as good of a tip if you aren’t cleaning up our mess afterwards. I’m just saying.

  21. It’s not just kids who annoy me at the supermarket. In fact, since I can’t handle the experience without my iTouch I don’t really hear them. It’s the free sample whores, the aisle blockers, the neighborhood conversationalists, and the “I don’t care that you’ve been waiting for 3 minutes to get by I have to compare soup prices” old bitties that make me want to scream obscenities.

  22. “I’m not going to abandon ship just because some of you childless fucktards don’t approve”

    Did someone put a gun to your head and make you reproduce? Three times? Nope. That gives me the right to bitch about your ‘angel’.

  23. Angry Guy on November 12, 2010 at 7:57 am said:

    Just the fact that I have kids gives you the right to bitch about them? I don’t fucking think so..

    My kid being a screaming fucking terrorist in public? For sure…

    My kid punches you in the nuts while you wait on us? I’ll scold her and make her cry like a bitch for doing it, and that might bring you a smidge of satisfaction…

    But if anyone ever questions my parenting skills over something as trivial as my child disrupting your shopping experience or how her shitfit somehow affected the quality of your meal, I guarantee we’re going to have words over it…

  24. Oh, AG, I love to rile you up.

  25. Angry Guy on November 12, 2010 at 8:41 am said:

    I know, I’m awesome.

  26. Randall on November 12, 2010 at 4:11 pm said:

    Sounds like AG is exactly the kind of parent you’re talking about: “you say anything about MY little darling and I’ll kick your ass!”

    Gee, an attitude like THAT doesn’t show up in the kids now, does it?

    Hey, AG – if your kid is disruptive in the store and/or throws “shitfits” in restaurants, your parenting skills ARE questionable.

  27. Angry Guy on November 12, 2010 at 7:13 pm said:

    Boy, you sure got me on that one Randy. It’s ass hats like you that are outside of the situation and always think..”gee.. if that was MY kid it wouldn’t be like that…” and to be honest, I was of that school before I had kids. Now I know better. I assume you aren’t so stupid as to think that we don’t know that somewhere in our time in public we are going to offend someone with toddler behavior. It happens.. they’re fucking TODDLERS. When she’s 10 and acting like that you can QUESTION my parenting skills… but until then you can kindly GFY.

  28. I love the parents that use eating out as a life lesson for their kids and thank me profuesly for playing along. Like I’m the fucking family psychologist. Like the other day, when this mother had all of the kids order, which is fine, then it gets to the last one who is obviously shy (about 7 year old girl -and probably scared to death of weird Toad waiter.) She orders and then I ask her what she wants for the side, and I say, ‘French Fries?’ and she says nothing, and her mom tells her father, she has to order this herself and make the decision on her own. So as I’m standing there and the little girl just stares into space, and her dad finally says, “Do you want the fries?” and the little girl says “yes.” and then her mom says, “Wouldn’t you rather have vegetables?” I swear to God I had so many things going thru my head. No wonder the girl is shy, you question her decision when she speaks up.

    Parents suck. I sometimes wish they would just drop them off at the door with their CC, it would be a lot easier.

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