If you have ever been behind the scenes in a restaurant, you have experienced the team huddle, a.k.a. pre-meal. For those of you with “real jobs”, this is the equivalent of being in a locker room pregame. The coach laying out what is expected of the team on the field. Not only by management and the owners, but by the fans that have come and paid to see them play.
On Friday and Saturday nights, pre-meals are more intense. Suddenly, I am transported – it is Precinct 7 roll call and Sargent Esterhaus is briefing us (Hill Street Blues theme playing in my head the entire time). How I wish just once our manager would end with “let’s be careful out there.” Instead, we close with a contest. One that usually involves an obscure Bingo board loaded with the most off the wall menu items, specials, high-end wines by the bottle, event tickets and the ever dreaded dessert (center square, mind you).
These contests turn even the quietest server into a Roman Gladiator. Personally, I shudder at these competitions. In fact, any type of competitive activity (especially one that is timed) can cause me anxiety. The mere mention of Musical Chairs still makes me break out in hives.
At this point, you must be wondering what prize could drive people into such a frenzy. Money? A paid day off? A mirror ball trophy? (Oh, wait, that’s just for celebrity dance offs.) Sadly, a free t-shirt marked with a liquor logo as obscure as the bingo board itself will do this to us. If a bottle of booze is the coveted reward of the night – look the hell out! Even if it’s a dusty bottle of peppermint schnapps, you better get ready for some of the best sales pitches of your life!
Now, if you are sitting in my section, you are probably safe from this warfare. I suddenly turn into the Little Match Girl trying to peddle her wares just to get back to my warm bed at the end of the night. BUT, if you have dared to sit in the shark infested sections around me, be ready!
You may have just been craving a glass of house red wine, a cup of soup and a gluten-free salad, but what you actually will be having:
$60 bottle of Charles Krug Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon,
House made Crab Cakes,
Braised Short Ribs with garlic smashed potatoes,
Decadent chocolate lava cake,
Washed down with a glass of 20-year-old tawny port
All while you wait for your $80 ticket to our next Cigar Night Event.
Xoxo and let’s be careful out there,