Atlantis Restaurant and Diner
in Brielle, NJ.
Luke is our first waiter interviewed on the site and it is hard to find a waiter that knows the game as well as Luke does. This is the guy that you want serving you at your table but chances are he'll find you first. He does it quick, he does it with energy, and he does it right...with some entertainment on the side.
DAVE: OK, Luke...25 years in this business...you started 4 weeks ago here. Where were you before then?
WAITER: Worked for a caterer. I don't wanna talk about them. They are scumbags.
DAVE: What other diners were you at?
WAITER: I work mostly in restaurants but I worked in Jersey city...VIP Diner?
LARRY and DAVE: Oh! VIP!
WAITER: If you can work restaurants you can work anywhere.
DAVE: Is this a refreshing change from the restaurant business?
WAITER: I got alotta following already. Between us I already got a hundred dollars in my pocket tonight. I make a good living at this. I work six days a week. I'm not a kid I'm a man. OK?
LARRY: What's the biggest tip that you ever got anywhere?
WAITER: 500 dollars.
LARRY and DAVE: WOA!
WAITER: I was a matradee for a party though. The biggest tip I ever got that was just a plain tip? 225. It was a big table. The guys had money and I gave them good service. They came the day after valentines day. Table 6.
DAVE: How about your worst experience?
LARRY:Yeah. What was your worst day?
WAITER: My worst day was yesterday.
LARRY and DAVE: Laughing
WAITER: 3 O'clock in the morning. Table 16. All the people 45 to 50. All drunk and nasty. They gave me their order and said if you give me any home fries or toast with this I'm gonna stick it up your you-know-where so I just ignored them for the rest of the night. They still gave me 10 dollars. I don't get nasty. You guys gotta tone that down a bit. I'm doing very good here. Between you and me I'm making at least a thousand dollars a week. OK? I got a lotta experience. Besides being a server and a waiterer I give people what they want and what the want to hear. I talk to them. I entertain them. They want entertainment. They don't want you just to come and say "Here's your steak" or this or that. Say hello to people. Everybody's stiff and you gotta be loose. I work 12 hours a day. You know what I'm saying guys?
LARRY: Absolutly. Did you ever serve famous people?
WAITER: Yes. All the time. Last famous person I served was that guy from channel 9. What was his name? Ernie Anastus! He was very nice. My girlfriend was there too.
DAVE: What's your favorite meal here?
WAITER: I push the steak. Thursday night I had five guys. They were all cocky when they came in. They wanted steaks so I broought them five porterhouse. They gave me 33 dollars. They came in all snobby and the loved me on the way out. That's my job to make people happy. I know food too. Alot of people don't know food...like they are in a coma. I move fast and know exactly what I'm looking for.
DAVE: You have to know how to work the kitchen.
WAITER: That's right. I know how to work the kitchen. I've been in the business since I was 15. I'm 45 now. I know what goes on in the kitchen...how long this takes and that takes. I know it takes 2 minutes to put together a salad. If someone wants steaks they got a little wait.
DAVE: What's your favorite diner? ...not including this one.
WAITER: Miss America in Jersey City. It's a landmark and good food there. I've been there a million times.
LARRY: What's the best thing that ever happened to you in a diner?
WAITER: I like meeting lotsa different people. I help them relax a little bit. Opening their minds up a letting them see where they are really at. They start out with a four or five dollar tip. By the time they leave they are up to eight or ten dollars.
DAVE: while Larry and Dave are drinking juices These are gonna be expensive juices. What is your advise for any future workers here?
WAITER: Keep your head clear, your mouths shut, and be friendly with the customers.
LARRY: Do you have any regulars here?
WAITER: I got alot of regulars. I'm the best. I got experience. I got self confidence. I'm motivated. I'm all pumped up.
Two older ladies walk in the diner.I bet these two ladies ask for me.
WAITER:I bet these two ladies ask for me.
Luke starts coralling them into a table in his area
WAITER: Over here ladies! Hello! Over here! This way!
LARRY: Not that he led them on or anything.
DAVE: He wrangled them in.