21 October 2010

The Soccer Team

I had a big table today.  I'm talking twenty-seven top big.  Yup, twenty-seven people, at one time, on a Wednesday afternoon.  I was amazed too.  I was even more amazed by the fact that they had the extreme foresight to call ahead.   You see there is something about Hooters that seems to make people think we're always ready to handle huge groups of people.  There is nothing I love more than thirty people just dropping in and being surprised that we don't just have some huge table in the corn that seats 113.  Unfortunately for you and your very extended family, this is not the case.  Sorry to break it to you.

Back to what I was saying before I interrupted myself, I had a twenty-seven top today and they were nice enough to give me an hour notice.  Now, an hour may not seem like much, but those sixty delicious minutes are plenty of time to move seven or so tables together, put out a whole bunch of silverware, liter the table with wet naps and set out all sorts of water pitchers.  It's amazing how doing those simple things before hand will make your whole life easier.  Of course even an hour notice can't help the fact that you only have two cooks, but more on that later.

So there I was, flying high with my perfectly set up table looking all sorts of good.  Then I saw the bus.  This is generally not a good sign.  As you may recall, the last time I had a big bus pull in it didn't go so well for me.  And by that I actually mean the little high school shits made everything as complicated as effing possible for me.  And then they left me $14 bucks.  I was having flashbacks of this moment as I watched that bus round the corner.  I was very, very afraid.

I only became more afraid as I watched twenty-seven high school boys in matching warm-ups file down the stairs and towards the door.  Dear Lord, it was a freaking soccer team.  I was about ready to nail shit to the floor they looked so hungry.  When was the last time the fed these growing boys with what I can only imagine are monstrous appetites?! 

As they all clamored to get around the table and let me know all but four of them would be having water (bad omen), one of the couches pulled me aside.

Coach:  "So can you do separate tickets?  Each boy has to handle his own funds.  So split tickets?"

Sauce:  Forcing a smile.  "Well, with this many people it's going to take a lot longer for me to do that.  I of course can, I just want to let you know it will make things a little slower.  Is there any chance they would be paying with cash?"

Coach:  "Oh, it's all cash."

He'd spoken the most magical of words.  Cash.  Thank my freaking lucky stars.  I then explained to him that with everyone having cash it might be easier for them to all "throw in" as it was much easier and quicker for me to get change once than it was to get change twenty-seven separate times.  Luckily, he got my logic right away.   Thinks were looking up.  Of course by looking up I mean I still expected $14.  Again.

After completing my first mission of not having to split the ticket a gillion ways, I made it my next mission to steer the table toward wings.  This was not so much because it was easy for me, but because - as I mentioned before - we had two cooks on shift.  I hoped to make their job easier.  I failed most miserably.

I started my way from one end of the table to the other and back again and each and every boy had to order something different.  And modify things.  And then change their minds.  I cringed with every order I wrote down, crossed out and then wrote down again.  The kitchen was going to hate me.

Eventually, I slung the ticket into the food window, all five pages of it.  You see rather than printing one, huge, frightening ticket, I organized everything.  Burgers I sent with burgers.  Wings I sent with wings.  Random shit I sent with random shit.  It was the least I could do for my poor cooks.

Luckily, the cooks appreciated my organizational skills and knocked out that huge ticket like world champs.  Miraculously, all the items came out within five minutes of each other.  I was beyond impressed.  And my table was happy.  The hard part was over.  Now I just had to wait for the part where I would get $14.

Finally, I printed out the ticket and noticed that my manager had been nice enough to add auto gratuity.  Some of you may recall that our owner decided to do away with auto gratuity for pretty much no good reason.  Luckily, my manager understands food service and decided to throw me a bone.  I could be expecting a nearly $40 tip based on the auto gratuity and made sure to point out the tip when I presented the check.

Sauce:  "All right, guys, here's your check.  Now I'm going to give you a chance to use all that math you told your teachers you'd never, ever use.  It'll be easy enough to figure out what you owe, but keep in mind that we add an automatic gratuity for big parties.  It's 18% and if you need help figuring that out on what you owe I'll be happy to lend my fingers for counting purposes!"

I asked who wanted to be in charge, and left the ticket with a boy at the head of the table.  I expected they'd be scrounging for change, in awe of the price at the bottom of the ticket.  After a few minutes they slowly shuffled towards the door and one casually noted that the cash was on the table and that I might find some extra.  Sure thing.  I couldn't wait to find the extra quarter.

I picket up a huge stack of cash.  It was fives.  And lots of ones.  Not a good sign.  I started counting.  I got to the ticket amount, I kept counting.   I realized I had been left a tip of more than $60.  By a team of high school boys.  I was shocked and amazed and awe inspired.  Shame on my for my stupid stereotyping.

So to that lovely Idaho soccer team, Karma is on your side for calling ahead and taking such good care of me.  You'll probably win state because of your kindness.  The world owes it to you now.  Mark my words.

Oh and I tipped my cooks out really well today.  They thank you too.

Don't forget your daily vote for Sauce as Buzz Lightyear in the Hooters Costume Contest!  CLICK HERE TO VOTE FOR ME ON FACEBOOK!


  1. Glad it worked out so well for you! I don'[t work in food service but I do have a job where I have to deal with the general public, so I understand all that. Especially the panic part.

  2. THAT, is an awesome story! :-) I'm still smiling after reading it. Hooray for highschool guys that know how to appreciate good service!!! :-)

  3. I LOL when I saw that video. Hooters is desperately in need of help. I just voted for you again after seeing that video.

    You Rock! ;-)

  4. Hey Sauce, if you happen to remember the name of the soccer team's school, maybe send a quick email to an administrator there telling them how impressed you were with the team's conduct while out in public representing their school.

  5. What a great idea! I'm going to do that for sure!!

  6. That's weird, at my store trainees don't get tipped out at all... sucks, cause 8 an hour is nothing to brag about haha. It made training all the less enjoyable. :(



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