Servers can only call each other names or log in on their co-workers' screens and split their checks twenty times for so long. Some days they have to create new ways to fuck with each other. That day is today.
If there is a co-worker you've been wanting to embarrass for some time or a newbie who's a little too cocky, April Fools Day is the time to unleash some unnecessary cruelty. What else are you going to do, attend to your guests' needs?
If your co-workers have any self-awareness, they will be on the lookout for pranks -- so expert execution is key. Most pranks work best when the restaurant is kind of busy and employees have less time to think about how ridiculous the situation might be. Here are five of my favorites:
5. Hot sauce injection: When you wake up from last night's heroin bender, pick your syringe off the bathroom floor and give it a rinse. Now fill it with the most potent hot sauce you can find. Take that bad boy in for your shift and unleash it on the employee least tolerant of spicy food.
This works best with snacks that people have brought in. Muffins, cakes, cookies, apples, oranges or anything else that will hold the sauce and is a terrible combination with spice will create horrific and entertaining results.
4. Disgusting specials: The key is getting the manager or the chef in on this prank. Pick a couple of servers and don't let them in on the secret. Gather the staff around and have the chef describe the grilled pig bladder, braised flamingo breast or sauteed snake bits.
If anybody thinks it sounds too repulsive, tell them it's a delicacy in some far-off country. And really, we've been sucking down cow balls in this state for decades, so we should be able to sell just about anything.
3. Steam and other ridiculous requests: Ideally, you can make these demands of a cocky newcomer on a busy night, but any gullible moron will do. Ask them for a bucket or hotel pan of steam. Say it with confidence and if they ask why, just say, "cleaning." If they ask where to get just say, "In the back." Everything is in the back.
You can also ask them to get another box of glasses out of the basement, so long as the restaurant doesn't actually have a basement. If they ask where the stairs are, you guessed it, they're in the back.
Tell a co-worker that table 21 needs a glass of lemons, a plate of salt, crust from two and a half pieces of bread or any other item only a complete mouth-breather would want. It works out better if 21 is not your table.
2. Ask your friends to come in and be asshole diners: Verse them in the ways of irritating servers. Your friends should arrive while talking on their cell phones and when the server asks how they are doing, respond with, "Gin and tonic, light on the ice, buddy."
Snapping fingers, a lot of food modifications, asking for basket after basket of free bread, and ordering hot tea are all great ways for your friends to piss off your co-workers. Actually, just read all the past In the Weeds posts and do everything I've railed against. But unless you actually detest the person serving your friends, let her or him in on the secret at the end and help leave a fat tip. 1. Fake customer stuck in the bathroom: Sneak into the bathroom and call the hostess. Tell her you're dining at the restaurant with friends, but you're in the bathroom and you've just made a horrible mess and you need her help. Describe the smell and what kind of fluids are on the floor.
Tell all your co-workers what you are doing so that they can tell the hostess they are too busy to help. Beg and plead with the hostess for help and tell her how embarrassed you are and how it will ruin your life if your friends find the mess you've made in the bathroom. Better yet, tell her you're dining with business associates and your job could be on the line. Once you convince her to enter the bathroom wait for her to open the stall -- only to find you relaxing with a shit-eating grin on your face.
Prepare to get punched in the throat.
Happy April 1...