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Food for thought: Waiters in new restaurant are working hard to sabotage their own future

Peter Kimani
 Leftover food on the table. [iStockphoto]

There is a new eatery near my place of work, next to the big hospital in Parklands, and it’s refreshing to eat osuga and managu and athola and obambla. Did I mention brown ugali? Yes, and those folks know how to turn and twist the gruel into a fine paste.

I have been there three times in the last week, which says a lot about my growing affection for the place, but our blossoming relationship might soon come a cropper, for something that has got nothing to do with the food, but everything to do with the staffing attitudes.

No, don’t get me wrong; the waiters are efficient and courteous. The problem is that they have itchy fingers. Again, I don’t want to accuse anyone of theft; it could have been typographical errors on the bill, but which I caught repeatedly. On day one, it was an extra beer added to the tab, which I was casually informed by a waiter whose contrition wasn’t persuasive, that it was a mistake. On the second visit, I asked for an extra bowl of traditional vegetables. The bowl was not delivered, but the bill was.

“Oooh, the folks in the kitchen billed it because they assumed I had served it,” said the waiter, when I protested over the extra cost.

On the third occasion, no extra food or drink was smuggled into my tab, but the waiter was still determined to steal, this time, from the employer. I was asked to send the cash to a private phone number, instead of the entity’s official Till Number. Mark you, I have dealt with different waiters on three different occasions.

Yet again, I restrained myself from branding anyone a thief, but politely declined the entreaty to participate in the charade. I said I could only pay using the M-Pesa Till number to secure a reimbursement from work. My interest is simple: I might not know the business owner, but I want him to succeed and continue to provide us with good food.

As for the workers who want to undermine the business before it takes root, they should know their compulsive greed will soon push them out of work, and their side hustle of stealing will become their main gig. Bure kabisa!

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