We’re All Out!


Here’s a tip:
When you come out to dinner and are told that we are out of an item, rest assured that we are out of the item. Please don’t send your server in the back to check again for you. We are out of it for everyone, not just you. It’s actually not personal, so don’t take it that way. And don’t take it out on your server. They don’t order the supplies.

Here’s another tip:
Prime rib requires four to six hours to cook. We cook what we think we will sell. We won’t resell it tomorrow. When we run out, we run out. Believe it or not, Sunday is a big prime rib day. Don’t waltz in an hour before we close on a Sunday and expect us to have prime rib. If, by some stroke of luck, we actually do have prime rib at that time, we will probably not have a rare piece. Get here earlier. Or have something else. And stop whining about it. We’ll see if we can’t get you the numbers of the one-hundred guests who had prime rib today. Give one of them a buzz. Yell at them for taking your piece. I’m sure they’ll be delighted to hear from you.

And another one:
Our special menu is very popular. More than likely we will exhaust our supply of at least one part of it by the end of the weekend. Don’t ask what you can substitute. You can’t substitute anything. That’s why it’s a “special” menu. Be happy we run out of things. That means that we rotate our stock frequently. You should regularly eat at establishments that run out of things. That’s actually a good sign. Quit your bellyaching and order already.

What the heck, here’s one more for you:
Stop being so dramatic. Stop using words like crestfallen. This mopey behavior is not going to change anything. Don’t ask what is going to be done for you because you feel inconvenienced. On the inconvenience scale, not getting to eat a slow-cooked slab of fatty meat with a Caesar salad is relatively minor. It probably falls somewhere between a good toe stubbing and taking your neighbor to the airport. The fact that we ran out of prime rib and your salad choices were reduced by one should not ruin your night. Nor should it ruin mine. Get the hangdog look off your face and be grateful that you have ridiculous things like this to be upset about. Not far from here there are, no doubt, children living in cardboard boxes.

Finally:
You were already told that you would not be compensated for your “terrible” experience. Twice. No, you cannot (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) “have” a slice of cake and a cup of coffee. Frankly, you’re already a little worked up. Sugar and caffeine might just exacerbate your mood. Perhaps you should consider a nice, warm glass of milk. But not here. Because we’re all out of milk.

87 thoughts on “We’re All Out!

  1. Hey Java! I kept meaning to ask you what post you got Freshly Pressed on about a month ago when I saw it on your page and then I kept forgetting. Now today I saw that you had the title of the post on top so I came to check it out! This is hilarious! I have no idea how I missed this because I’m sure I was following you then! Anyway, congrats on being Freshly Pressed 4 months later…

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      I will forgive you for reading my FP’d piece four months later, if you forgive me for thanking you three months later. I do not know how I missed your comment, LOL! Missing someone’s post is easy to do… sometimes they get buried, but missing a comment? That’s tougher to do. Again, thanks for reading and commenting!

      Like

      • Oh, you’re welcome! About the time you would have been FP’d I was still very new to blogging and had no idea what I was doing (I still really don’t) so I think I forgot to check my Reader a lot. I remember seeing that emblem on your blog then but had no idea what it meant until obviously much later! It’s such a big deal to be FP’d but I am not surprised at all that you received the honor. I think you are going to go very far with your writing!

        Like

  2. javaj240 says:

    That’s possible.

    I may have used the prime rib admonition more than once. I agree that it bears repeating, LOL!

    Like

  3. peachyteachy says:

    Okay did this post before we discovered each other? Haven’t I read the prime rib admonition before? Of course, you could repeat that one 8,000 times and it would be to no avail.

    Like

  4. javaj240 says:

    No such thing as “too nice”!

    I am enjoying your blog!

    Like

  5. Okay this is just awesome. I think only people who have worked as food servers get it. Most of my friends think I’m too nice and that I over-tip. I won’t be changing any time soon. Thanks for reading my blog. Looking forward to reading yours.

    Like

  6. javaj240 says:

    Thanks. Was it as fun for you as it is for me?

    Thanks for reading and commenting!!

    Like

  7. Hey – I like your style. I worked in the industry myself for a long time as well. Congrats on FP!

    Like

  8. […] I don’t particularly consider myself some sort of “wordsmith” by any means.Β  In fact, I had to Google crestfallen to get some idea what the blogger was talking about.Β  He was referring to a person’s demeanor after being told the restaurant in which he was dining had run out of Prime Rib…“We’re All Out!” […]

    Like

  9. Courtney says:

    Is it wrong that I laughed?

    Like

  10. lexiesnana says:

    Very funny post.I was a server for years and most people were very good if we ran out of something.Now my son is the manager in the food business for a hotel and he tells me things have changed and poeple can drive him nuts.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      What’s changed is that there is more competition for the diner dollar. And customers know it. What has also changed is that we have the internet now. Customers often threaten to “trash” a restaurant if they don’t get what they want (which is almost always something/everything for free). No one wants this, so these people get what they want. I’ll bet that they still go home and trash the restaurant (or any other kind of business) on Yelp, but, whatever. It used to be that people considered the source of the information, you know, if the woman who is never, ever happy about anything complained about the local drycleaner, her neighbors considered that she was the source of the information and paid it no mind. Now? People can get as many “user names” as they want and trash the hell out of a business and no one knows that the poster is the known nut that you wouldn’t believe if she told you that the sky was blue. Technology is a double-edged sword.

      Thanks for reading and for commenting. Tell your son he has my condolences.

      Like

  11. yum – that is all πŸ™‚

    Like

  12. dellasman says:

    Great post! This’ll make me a more understanding restaurant-goer though, since I live in the boondocks, I don’t go that often. Running a restaurant has to be one of the toughest, time-consuming jobs in the world!

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      The boondocks sounds nice. It sounds less annoying, but it probably isn’t. I’m sure I could find lots of things to annoy me. I already hate crickets.

      Thanks for stopping by! And try to get out more, will ya?

      Like

  13. javaj240 says:

    I’m particularly not amused by the cajoling.

    Thanks for reading and commenting. You made me laugh!

    Like

  14. PREACH.

    as a veteran in the serving industry, i can genuinely say that everyone, EVERYONE thinks things will and should be different for them. no substitutions? oh, could you just go ask the chef? out of that item? could you just go check? no drinking without purchase of food (because the last place i worked at didn’t have a full liquor license)? really? are you sure? not even wine? not even a beer?

    Like

  15. This made me chuckle because I man a carving station at a buffet and Friday and Saturdays are prime rib nights. We always make 5 and usually have one or more left over. But last Friday I ran out about a half hour before closing. No one said anything to me but some of the waitresses got an earful and discounts were being given. Before the restaurant I worked in the meat department of a large grocery store and if we were out of something there were people who would just stand there for five minutes as if their whole life was just derailed because the cut of steak or chicken thighs they were planning to get were gone. It gets frustrating because its not my fault that we ran out of something but I got the evil glares. In the end its the customers who come back five times for a slice of prime rib or the ones that buy ten pounds of chicken thighs (which was very common), who are the reason we ran out.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      I could NEVER work a buffet! Bearing witness to that type of gluttony would surely send me over the edge. I have the utmost respect for you and your coworkers!

      Thanks for reading. I’m happy to have made you chuckle.

      Like

  16. Rebekah says:

    Well said, very well said. The worst part about understanding this is knowing that my parents and grandparents don’t. Explaining this concept to them is hopeless and I cringe for the waiter and bury my face every time it happens.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      When my daughter was little we used to “prepare” her for the possibility that where we were going might not have chicken fingers. We did this to avoid a pssible meltdown by her and the ensuing embarassment it would cause to us. We did this in the car on the way to our destination. Perhaps you can use this technique with your parents and grandparents.

      Thanks for reading. Glad you enjoyed!

      Like

  17. javaj240 says:

    You live in Europe? Do me a favor. Explain 15-20% (both the concept and the math, if it’s not too much trouble) to everyone you know, ask them to do the same. It won’t solve the problem of the bullshit tips European leave, I’m sure (unless you now A LOT) of people), but it’ll be a start.

    Thanks for reading!

    Like

    • Kerry Dwyer says:

      Was this for me? Yes you are right over here the tips are terrible. It might be to do with the normal tips here being traditionally 10% as standard. Servers get paid a lot more in France than in the UK – not sure about the US as I have never worked there. So when people travel maybe they don’t take into account country differences. I will do my best to educate the Europeans in maths and US etiquette. Every little helps. Maybe you could write a post about US etiquette for Europeans.

      Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Yes, ithat reply was for you. Thanks for finding it. I can’t put my hands on my reading glasses (yes. I checked the top of my head), so I’m kind of flying without a net.

      If I had any influence on the rudeness of Americans, I wouldn’t have a blog, I’d have a Nobel Prize. But, I’ll do my best to help you out.

      I do, by the way, understand that tipping in Europe is different. But, here’s what I would do if I was ever going to visit, say, Belgium: A Google search on customary tipping percentages in Belgium.

      And, in my opinion, the ignorance is feigned. I’ll bet if our customary tip percentage were LOWER, they’d be all over that!

      Like

  18. Angela says:

    Congrats on attaining the coveted Freshly Pressed status! πŸ™‚

    If only waitstaff could actually say this (in such a forward manner) to complaining customers! I am embarrassed for people who act like this in restaurants. Either pick something else, or get up and leave if it’s such a big deal. No need to accost the waitstaff, just go. Go quickly. And never come back.

    Like

  19. Kerry Dwyer says:

    Congratulations on being freshly pressed.
    This post made me laugh. I have been in restaurants where people have acted in this way. I wonder why they make such a fuss. The waiter said they were out so why ask? Or worse they want something like Beef Wellington and haven’t ordered in advance. I live in France now and I have to say that the people who are the rudest in restaurants are the Brits and the Americans. I cringe and pretend to be French.

    Like

  20. olivesmeltz says:

    There’s nothing quite like modern entitlement, is there.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      The bullsit really started with the whole “Have a nice day” movement. Where it really went south, though: “the customer is always right”.

      Thanks for reading!

      Like

  21. First off congrats on being freshly pressed. Next, Awesome post!!! I worked as a server/bartender for many years and this hits the nail right on the head. Love the way you presented it. It’s natural that people who haven’t worked in the industry don’t know this, but hopefully your post makes the jobs of the millions of waitstaff around the world just a *little* bit easier. Great job!

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      That’s a lot of pressure… Making the jobs of waitstaff around the world a little bit easier. I was just trying to be entertaining, LOL.

      Seriously, thanks for reading and commenting!

      Like

  22. javaj240 says:

    Thanks! And thanks for visiting! Being “freshly pressed” has given me the opportunity to “meet” lots of new bloggers!

    Like

  23. Roshni says:

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. And thanks for all those tips. Now, I just have to make sure I remember them. πŸ™‚ Great post, totally enjoyed reading it!

    Like

  24. icinthedark says:

    After years in the industry the one think I can not understand is adults throwing temper tantrums because they can not get exactly what they want. I have had guests throw fits not because we had sold out of an item, but simply because they didn’t find what they expected to find on the menu. I worked at an Italian restaurant, and had to gently explain that chicken parm is not actually Italian, but more Italian-American, and that in a dining room filled with 150 people the chef could not simply whip one up on demand. I feel restaurant guests often don’t realize that at your better restaurants you are a guest not a customer and that hospitality works both ways.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      That’s funny. But, don’t try to tell my Italian in-laws that chicken parm ain’t Italian, mister! LOL. Chicken parm is a big favorite in my house! But, I know what you mean.

      There is a very popular appetizer, available almost everywhere, except where I work. People constantly ask me if I can make it for them. I tell them that if they bring the ingredients to my house I will be happy to make it for them, but I cannot have our cooks make it for them today (or any other day, for that matter). Primarily, this is because we don’t have the ingredients. Secondarily, it is because we don’t make stuff that’s not on the menu. Go to a diner. Diners have everything, including chicken parm. I wouldn’t recommend ordering chicken parm at a diner, but it’s available.

      Thanks for sharing your story with me. Thanks for reading my blog!

      Like

  25. NS says:

    This is so funny! Thanks for telling that by being denied a dish because the ingredients are out of stock, they have nothing personal against us. Because that is exactly how I take it ! I will take this in a new perspective now.

    Like

  26. javaj240 says:

    I hate to tell you this, but you are the very person for whom this list was compiled.

    My suggestion: Find another KFC!

    Thanks for stopping by! Bon Appetit!

    Like

  27. This reminds me of my KFC experience today…lol I got a problem with KFC chicken and I need an answer, why the hell they always out of chicken? Maybe this just happens to me, but every time I go to KFC they are out of something. I ask for a 3 piece with a breast and a thigh…and they are out of breasts. How the hell is that possible? Then they attempt to swap a breast for a leg or a thigh. In what universe does a breast equal a thigh? I always happen to get there during the “chicken shift change” apparently. I ask for Cripsy all they have is Original recipe or vice versa. The sides are never even warm and usually taste like some week old damn baked beans. KFC thinks their chicken is like the damn Cadillac of chicken places apparently, it’s like 20 bucks for 12 pieces. The employees are usually pissed you are even buying the chicken. Like all the KFC chicken is theirs and you are running in on their woman or something. ..just gimme the damn bird lady.

    Like

  28. amused the heck out of me……and I was only a little thrown by the Rousseau ; )

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Glad you were amused.

      Come back tomorrow, perhaps you’ll be thrown by Lautrec. He was smaller than Rousseau and, famously, lame. I would imagiine that there would be less chance of injury being thrown by Lautrec. Of course, he could probably just haul off and whack you with his crutch. You never know.

      And you never know what you might stumble upon here. Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again!

      Like

  29. Mei says:

    I worked at a restaurant for over 5 years…I feel your pain.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Thanks for reading! Thanks for feeling my pain. It’s always reassuring to meet an escapee from the restaurant business.

      Like

  30. Halo Halo Designs says:

    Dammit, get me that list of phone numbers! I need to make sure these “guests” know how wrong they were to stuff their faces with the limited supply of prime rib. Selfish pigs. This is an outrage!

    Like

  31. look at you, all freshly pressed!!! *smooch*
    forgive me, I just saw it, I always stay logged onto wordpress on my ipad and only see freshly pressed on my laptop!

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Thanks! I didn’t know myself until someone congratulated me on “making it to FP”. After I figured out what “FP”meant—clearly this was not a regular reader (you guys would have known NOT to assume I would understand an abbreviation!)—I was pretty flattered. Tomorrow my stats will return to normal and it’ll probably be just the usual, familiar folks, which will be absolutely fine with me.

      I am still having trouble with WP (check me out—abbreviating away) on my iPad. The app will do some things, Safari lets me do others. I am constantly flipping back and forth. Flipping annoying. I almost never use the computer in the living room anymore. I tend to stumble across my family when I venture out there, LOL.

      Like

  32. Thanks for the laugh!

    Like

  33. Molly says:

    HAHA I would seriously die laughing if someone was ever that dramatic at dinner. And the Oscar goes to……….
    Thanks for the post & congrats on FP! πŸ™‚

    Like

  34. Impybat says:

    I used to waitress at a diner, so I feel your pain. We would occasionally run out of breakfast special stuff (like a certain type of cheese or veggie for the omelets that we wouldn’t have every day) and sometimes, people would just let out this huge sigh, like their whole day was ruined. Get over it!

    Like

  35. susannairn says:

    That was impressive. I work in the hospitality industry and can completely relate to all of it. We affectionately refer to it as the hostility industry by mid-August. Too bad what is obvious common sense to us is lost on many others!

    Like

  36. mrcrish_cjr says:

    Haha, I used to manage a steakhouse in LA – I can relate to this all too well. Great post:)

    Like

  37. javaj240 says:

    Fortunately I work in an environment that provides me with a great deal of material!

    Being “Freshly Pressed” was a pleasant surprise, but the best part of it is the number of folks who have checked out my blog and some who have commented, like yourself.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Like

  38. Very funny story. Everyone should read this post. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

    Like

  39. Can we send back well done prime rib if it is before 7pm and we are very polite?

    Like

  40. Jade Blue says:

    I would love to hand a copy of this to my customers!

    Like

  41. MJ Conner says:

    If I go to a restaurant and something I want from the menu is sold out of, I pick something else on the menu. I say that not to brag about my ability to make off-the-cuff culinary decisions, but because I don’t think people realize that’s a possibility. Having a back up option in mind is smart. I’m smart, so I always have a back up option in mind. Also, if something I want is sold out, it just lets me know that I must have really good “taste” in food and that I should either call ahead next time or just come earlier.

    The only whine at a dining table should be wine in a glass.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      LOL. You sound like a person with excellent organizational skills; this should serve you well in life, not just when you dine out!

      Thank you for reading my blog!

      Like

  42. This post made my day! I am a very easy going diner, but I have more than a few friends & family members who get “crestfallen” way too frequently. I’ll pass it on.

    Like

  43. ASUS TF700 says:

    that’s hysterical, thanks for sharing
    re/ the prime rib, i’m not much of a cook, buy up to 6 hours to cook wow, sounds like a long time, but the hell do I know πŸ™‚
    Congrats on the FP!

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Yeah… it takes a long time. I guess that’s why they call the process “slow-cooking”, LOL.

      Thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed!

      Like

  44. After working as the server I have to say that the crestfallen usually compose themselves pretty well, though they may take some time to work out their second choice. I’ve only once seen an adult tantrum. On the flipside, when I order, it’s usually a case of wanting several items which makes it hard to choose. I’m one of those people that get major food envy so not being to get what I crave can be a pain but you’d never know about it.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      When I dine with others I prefer them to order what I order or be willing to share. I only think it’s fair. LOL.

      Like

      • I usually share with those I dine with too. Even if we’re not eating ‘family style’, it’s unlikely that you’ll eat a whole plate of food without at least being curious or bored at some stage. My parents are Cantonese so I grew up eating family style as the norm. My dad usually ordered when we went out. With consideration to what we wanted of course. When dining family style, I prefer 1 person doing the ordering. Just so you don’t get 2 of the same things and a good variety of dishes. If dining with friends in this style a group “brainstorm” session before ordering is good. Just to put out there what you want to eat and share as a group, then you can fill in the blanks like vegetables and sides.

        Like

  45. I am crestfallen that I never thought to use the word “crestfallen” when dealing with such a dining disaster. πŸ˜‰

    This is actually hysterical. I wish more diners would read it…

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Thanks! And thanks for stopping by!

      Maybe we can make it required reading for those Life 101 classes that every high school/college should add to their curriculum.

      Like

  46. I have often thought, customers should have a licence.. to shop or dine out.. that can be revoked at any time. πŸ™‚

    Like

  47. pryan51 says:

    You know that people don’t hear you if you don’t give them the answer they want.

    Like

  48. javaj240 says:

    Okay. May I suggest Lamination? Au jus gets messy.

    Like

    • Lamination? As in, “The Lamination of the customer!”? Nope, dang it. That’s ‘lamentation’. I get them confused.

      Working with food as a private chef/culinary mercenary, I totally get your point. The worst part is when people take it personally. Yeesh. “Yes, sir, we knew you were coming in tonight, and I hate you severely, so I had my staff all poop on the totality of my prime rib that was freshly cooked, just to be able to have the pleasure of telling you, YES YOU, that I have run out. Of course.

      Cheers!

      Like

  49. That’s a lot for me to take in. I’m just going to print it out and carry it with me.

    Like

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