New York waiter lifts the lid on VIPs, tip systems and how some diners vomit up $500 meals

New York waiter lifts the lid on VIPs, tip systems and how some diners are prepared to vomit up their $500 dinners

As much as diners may live in fear of a disgruntled chef spitting in their food, good patrons of New York needn't worry.

According to a waiter who works at exclusive restaurant, the city's chefs simply work too hard and care about their creations too much to let that happen.

But when it comes to blacklisting bad clients or fighting over tips, it's no holds barred.

Waiting around: New York magazine's interviews expose some of the more bizarre sides of client-server relationships

Waiting around: New York magazine's interviews expose some of the more bizarre sides of client-server relationships

A series of New York magazine interviews gives a 'tell all' look at 21 of the city's most typical jobs from a hairdresser to a Hollywood agent – and the results are eyebrow-raising to say the least.

'Spitting in food doesn't happen in New York restaurants. Honestly, people wouldn't do that to the food,' says the waiter-informant.

He or she describes working life at top dining establishment, Per Se, where head waiters are occasionally on the receiving end of fantastic tips after service charges are divided between all staff.

'The wait staff fight over the VIPs because of the way the system works' the source goes on. 'The more senior captains [who keep half of the tip] can make anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000 a night.

'If you're going to be a cosmetic surgeon you have to be able to turn off the “You don't need that!” in your brain.'
'Rhinoplasty is one procedure that if
people were to see it, they would not have it done. The whole skeleton
of the nose has to be manipulated.'
'Botox takes minutes. That's why
people love doing it… You can make as much money Botoxing someone's
face in ten minutes as you can do in a two- or three-hour operation.'


'That’s very rare, like once every two
years. But there was a private party where these people left like $8,000
as a tip, so the captain walked with $4,000.'

With such good pay at stake, it may be understandable that spitting in food is an urban myth.

'To do that something, to spit in
prep work that someone has spent eight hours of work on – blood, sweat,
tears and all – it's just not done.'

Far from the diners worrying about a bad-tempered cook, it sounds like it may be the staff who need to steel themselves for the bizarre behaviour of clientele, rather than vice versa.

'There was one woman,' the anonymous source goes on. 'It was a VIP tasting menu, I remember this: She just threw up on the table, in the middle of of an extended tasting menu. They cleaned it up, and she “boot-and-rallied.” She finished the meal.'

Given that tasting menus at the Thomas Keller eatery run at around $295 per head for a non-VIP version, the magazine estimates the hapless woman to have wasted $500 on her meal.

'Everyone thinks they're the hairiest person in the world. Nine times out of ten, they're not. I mean some people,yes, have thick and coarse hair. I've seen women's bikini lines grow out into their thighs.''I've had clients tell me horror stories about other waxers ripping their labia, because the inner part is so delicate and if you're not careful, you can split it.''I personally have not seen an STD flare-up, but one of my co-workers has seen people with bad herpes. And, legally, we're not allowed to deal with that.'


It is not simply fine dining
establishments that have their lids lifted.

A doorman admits to watching
amorous residents getting heated in the laundry room and a transsexual
spills the beans on the 'straight' married men she services.

A Wall Street Banker is flummoxed as to why people judge him or her poorly while a hairstylist has seen a client break into hives upon seeing their reflection.

In what reads like a TV script, a now-sober alcoholic NYPD officer recalls being pulled over seven times while drunk and walking free because of his cop badge.

As far as New York may have come from the days of nosy staff working in well-heeled homes, the upstairs-downstairs relationships in the city that never sleeps seem to be as enduring as ever.