In our Break the Bookshelf series, the bookworms of Geek Girl Authority offer their recommendations on the titles, series, and authors that deserve a spot on your reading list.
If you loved Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, then let us seat you with its front-of-house companion, Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip – Confessions of a Cynical Waiter. This side-splitting, all-too-relatable memoir recounts the humorous and horrifying experiences of former waiter Steve Dublanica.
As a waiter at “The Bistro” in New York City, Dublanica has seen it all. From waiters getting revenge on entitled customers to drunken patrons getting a little too handsy with the waitstaff, Dublanica gleefully exposes the rude, reckless, and raunchy acts he’s witnessed diners and restaurant staff commit.
Waiter Rant, prior to its publication, was originally a blog of the same name. Dublanica, writing under the pseudonym ‘The Waiter’, began posting tales about his coworkers and customers in 2004. Waiter Rant was then published in 2008, garnering a spot on the New York Times nonfiction bestsellers list, which forced the waiter-turned-writer to reveal his identity to the public.
Waiter Rant’s success gave Dublanica an opportunity to continue his irreverent ranting in 2010’s Keep the Change: A Clueless Tipper’s Quest to Become the Guru of the Gratuity. This sequel of sorts finds Dublanica traveling the country in hopes to answer the age-old questions plaguing every patron: Should I tip? And how much?
Given the Anthony Bourdain seal of approval, Waiter Rant is an entertaining read for fans of Bourdain’s work and those who intimately know the trials and tribulations of working in the service industry. While Waiter Rant and Keep the Change are written in the same spirit as Bourdain’s tell-all tales, Dublanica’s collection of stories, commentary on the industry, and misadventures are written in a unique voice that instantly separates him from the bad-boy chef.
Waiter Rant is not a substitute or a sequel to Kitchen Confidential, though it undoubtedly deserves a space alongside Bourdain’s work on your bookshelf. An entertaining read that will cause current and former waiters and waitresses to laugh, scoff, and roll their eyes, Waiter Rant and Keep the Change definitely won’t stiff you on a tip.
Have you read Waiter Rant or Keep the Change? Leave us your review in the comments and let us know which hilarious, offbeat memoir we should read next!
This article was originally published 6/26/20
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