You may have read my response to customer suggestions about what they think should happen in restaurants to make their dining experience more pleasurable. Most of the suggestions were idiotic and proof positive that the customer is most certainly not always right. One of the ideas has really stuck in my craw and I need to discuss it further because quite frankly my craw is tired of having things stuck in it. The suggestion comes from Ellen who farted out this thought when she was sticking a Q-Tip too far into her ear canal:
Why is it that a pepper mill must be brought and administered? For a few hundred bucks, why can a restaurant not just set one out at each table?
Does she think that pepper mills grow on trees? Does she have any idea how expensive that would be? She honestly thinks that a few hundred bucks will cover the cost of supplying every table with its own private pepper mill? At the end of the day, half of those bitches would be gone because customers have notoriously sticky fingers and I'm not just talking about what they got on their hands from the sugar caddy that I never wiped clean from Sunday brunch when that baby covered it in syrup and played with it. Women like Ellen would be stuffing those pepper mills into their purses, bags and any other orifice just so they could get home and have a fancy new pepper mill that was complimentary. I can see it now. Every morning when it is time to reset the tables, half of the pepper mills would be missing. It's hard enough to maintain creamers in a restaurant without them disappearing so I can only imagine what pepper mills would be like. They would fly outta that place like hotcakes.
At my restaurant, we have four pepper mills. I never suggest freshly ground pepper because quite frankly I feel that the way the food comes from the kitchen is the way the chef intended it to be and it does not need any additional seasoning. No not really, I'm just too lazy to go get the pepper mill and walk all the way back to the table. If a customer wants fresh pepper, they will have to specifically ask me for it. One of our pepper mills is about two feet high. I assume it's that big so that women like Ellen can't discreetly drop it into her shopping bag and go home with it. It's gigantic. Last week as I was administering pepper onto a plate of tilapia to an annoying customer, I let my mind wander and I imagined clubbing him over the head with it. It's seriously big enough to do some damage over a skull. All of a sudden I was playing my own game of Clue, but instead of Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick, it was The Bitchy Waiter at table 7 with a the pepper mill.
So, no, Ellen. Restaurants are not going to start giving every table their own personal pepper mill just because you thought it was a good idea. Thanks for your suggestion, though. If you see Ellen anywhere, make sure you tell her that her idea was stupid. How will you know it's Ellen? You can't miss her. She'll be the one who asks for extra bread only to put it into the Ziplock baggie in her purse. She will be the one who never leaves a sugar caddy without pilfering every Sweet and Low and Splenda first. She's the one who eats three fourths of her burger and then tells you it was over cooked and she wants it off her bill. She's the one who asks for the early Bird Special even though you don't have an early Bird Special at your restaurant. She's the one who asks for a new bottle of ketchup that hasn't been opened. She's the one who asks for an extra miniature bottle of maple syrup even though she hasn't finished her first one. She's the one who will try to stuff a pepper mill up her pie hole if it means that she can sneak it out of the restaurant without having to pay for it. You know the type? That's our Ellen. If you see her, club her over the head with a pepper grinder.
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