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Restaurant Reviews

Libations at The Lanes

Libations at The Lanes

The Howard is a historic and elegant event space located in the heart of Oshkosh. The building, built in 1927, hosts private and community events. On Thursday and Friday evenings, the basement of the venue opens up to the public for bowling, craft beverages, and...

Stick with Sticky Fingers

Stick with Sticky Fingers

As a baker myself, I make a point to try all the local bakeries. I heard from several people that a new bakery was opening in Kaukauna, and as soon as they posted their menu, I couldn’t wait to try it. Right in the heart of downtown Kaukauna, Sticky Fingers opened in...

Features

Do Not Attempt to Dodge this Caribbean Taste

Do Not Attempt to Dodge this Caribbean Taste

Tuesday. What is there to do on a Tuesday? Hardly anything, ever, really. Tuesday falls too early in the week and yet is so far removed from the weekend. Sometimes it is just another Monday masquerading as a Tuesday. 313 Dodge might just be what you are looking for....

Wisconsin Staples at Gabe’s Wisconsin Kitchen and Tavern

Wisconsin Staples at Gabe’s Wisconsin Kitchen and Tavern

As I’m getting used to living in Wisconsin, I’m discovering some of the Wisconsin staples when it comes to food and spirits. I knew about Spotted Cow and cheese curds before I moved to Wisconsin, but that was about it. Fortunately, Gabe’s Wisconsin Kitchen and Tavern...

Shopping Local

Bushels of Fun at Bauer’s Apple Shed

Bushels of Fun at Bauer’s Apple Shed

As soon as the leaves begin to change, even ever so slightly, so does my weekly menu. When the shades of green turn to red and orange, my refrigerator, once full of peaches, quickly becomes home to all things apple. Taking a trip to a local apple orchard is my...

Faris Popcorn is Poppin’

Faris Popcorn is Poppin’

When I previously lived in Illinois, I became familiar with the popcorn chain “Garrett Popcorn.” One of my favorites mixes was their Garrett Mix, their world famous cheddar and caramel corn mix. When I moved to Wisconsin, I wasn’t sure if I would find a popcorn...

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but Imma share some wisdom with you inspired by one of my dreams last night (a nightmare, really).
I worked in the service industry for 10 years, and I grew up in a restaurant my parents and grandparents owned for 40 years. Even though I haven’t worked in a restaurant for a number of years, I have a recurring nightmare about the service industry: I’m running late, the restaurant is full when I arrive, my section is completely full, and there’s a new menu that I somehow didn’t know about. Talk about a panic -> if you know, you know!
Sooooo here are the top ten things I think everyone needs to know before they go out to eat (in a non-pandemic climate for some of these):
1. Unless the service was awful, tip 18-20% at a minimum. Seriously. A server’s hourly wage is often as low as $2.13/hour because the job position is designed so that WITH TIPS, that server makes at least minimum wage. They aren’t making minimum wage before you grace them with your presence and leave a $.50 tip on a $20 bill, Karen.
2. If you have a coupon, gift card, etc., you should be tipping on the bill amount BEFORE the coupon, gift card, etc. was applied. You don’t need to tip on sales tax.
3. ASK your server if you can push tables together, move things around, etc. There are lots of systems behind the scenes at a restaurant, like servers have certain tables in their section that they take care of, or table are set aside for reservations. Your server can assist you with this.
4. If you’re coming in with a group of 6 or more, it’s common courtesy to notify the restaurant ahead of time and make sure they have room. Many places will take a reservation for a group that size and will hold a table for you.
5. On that note, if you’re coming in to a restaurant with a large group and you DON’T notify the restaurant, don’t be surprised if your service is a bit slower, or they run out of items, etc. CALL AHEAD PEOPLE. At one of my past jobs, there was this large group of adults (I’m talking 30-50 people) that would come in after a function once a year, but we never knew when it was. They’d come in at 8:30/9pm, after we’d let servers leave for the evening because it was slow up to that point, and let’s just say it was a nightmare and there was a lot of cursing under our breath.
6. Be kind. I’m shocked I have to say this one, but if you aren’t looking to be taken care of and have a nice time when you go out to eat, then why are you out? As a server, I believed it was my job to take care of people, greet them with a warm demeanor, give menu suggestions about what the chef had created, etc. The number of times I would walk up to a table and greet them with a sunny smile and a welcome, and then they were just downright rude…sheesh. I’m sorry you’re going through something, but don’t take it out on your server. They’re human, too.
7. That being said, if there’s something truly wrong with your drink/meal/service, don’t be afraid to say something. Often times, a situation can be fixed. If something REALLY sucks, talk to a manager. If it’s an awful, unbelievable experience, leave a review.
8. On that note, leave reviews when you have GREAT experiences too, especially if it’s a place you go all the time! Reviews are crucial for businesses, and people often only leave a review when they have a bad experience.
9. Don’t put your gum under the table, under your chair, on the edge of your glass, etc. Ask for a damn napkin, ya heathens.
10. Times are hard right now–in the first six months of the pandemic, 100,000 restaurants closed in the US. Things like Doordash and Uber Eats are convenient, but they charge restaurants a gross amount of fees. Order takeout directly from a restaurant when you can. Share their posts on social media. Buy gift cards for Christmas gifts or to use at a later date. Write a review for a place you love, even if you haven’t been in in a while. Send them an email letting them know you love their food and miss dining with them.
Whatever it may be, restaurants need us now more than ever.
Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk ?

Thank you to Kate for allowing us to share this post with us. 

If you would like to read more by Kate, please visit her blog Wild Klementine.