After budding Hamptons restaurateur Bruce Buschel dropped his list of 100 things servers should never do, Patrick Maguire, a Boston-based bartender and manager turned writer, fired back with “64 Suggestions for Restaurant Customers.” If he’d only known about GraTRUEities, he probably would’ve added another: “No matter how clever you think they are, don’t leave cards behind with hokey sayings like ‘Your knowledge is a powerful spice’ and ‘We were not amuse bouche.’” Yup, a deck of cards has hit the market, and unlike the unrelated Diner’s Deck, which offers coupons to local restaurants (the 2010 edition is out now and an iPhone app is forthcoming), GraTRUEities offers sayings that you can leave for your server along with the tip. That’s right, instead of the waiter leaving you a fortune cookie, it’s the other way around. Boy, are these precious.
“Today’s special” was you.
Think like a boomerang.
Your service was the tastiest dish in the house.
You’re worth your weight in gold.
The best service I’ve seen since Wimbledon!
Hovering is for aircraft.
Nothing is as charming as a cheerful temperament.
Just being here was half the fun!
Patience is a good thing to exercise but a bad thing to overwork.
A smile is worth a thousand words.
A sense of timing is a mark of genius.
Speak up! We were hanging on your every word!
And of course, some of the cards are blank, but don’t even think of writing something raunchy along with your phone number, because one of the cards in the deck instructs you to “Please use GraTRUEities responsibly, with good humor and always with a monetary gratuity.” Another card tells us the story of GraTRUEities, direct from college friends Julie and Nancy:
GraTRUEities originated ten years ago while dining out in San Francisco. Josh, our server, was well-intentioned but we could neither hear nor understand a word he said. The situation became increasingly humorous. When our check arrived, we felt Josh could benefit from a literal tip—a word of advice—along with a generous gratuity. Now, we bring GraTRUEities to you! Please use our tips and be inspired to write your own. We hope you will embrace this opportunity to Put your mouth where your money is!
Wow. Just, wow. Any servers care to tell us what they’d do if they received one of these little nuggets? Oh, and you can order online here.