The Worst Restaurant in the World (part 1)

Posted: March 22, 2011 in comedy
Tags: , , , , , ,


I used to be a waiter at what I thought was the worst restaurant in the world: Spur. For those of you who have never been it’s a proudly South African chain of “steak houses” that is themed on Native Americans (don’t worry it didn’t make sense to me either).

Anyway I worked there during one of my summer holidays when I was in high school and it really opened my eyes to the fact that slave labour is still very much alive and well. Even as a 16 year old, before I had finished studying Labour Law and Equitable Employment Acts I knew that there was something seriously dodgy about this place and I’m not even referring to “salad valley”.

I don’t know why I decided to work there. Maybe it was the childhood memories I had of playing in the ball pit and getting my free Chico the Clown ice cream for my birthday; maybe it was the fact that they had removed compulsory military service and I required a painful passage from adolescence into adulthood. Regardless, I decided that I was a “person with a taste for life” (their jingle – terribly catchy; although the same can be said of the Ebola Virus) and decided to work there.

Working at Spur was certainly an immersive experience. I worked alongside some other bright-eyed scholars and students, who worked as temps, as well as some permanent staff or “lifers”. The motivators for each group were quite different too. While the scholars were looking for money to be able to take girls out on dates, the students were looking for beer money and the “lifers” needed the cash for maintenance or to pay for rehab. It really was a “dream factory”.

Although as memorable as every shift was at Spur, one particular shift will live on in infamy. It was Christmas Eve and instead of getting ready for Jesus’ birthday with my family; I was working at Spur serving the kind of people who are out at steak houses on Christmas Eve (real “go getters” and great tippers I must add). So anyway one particular table’s bill comes to R799.95, so I’m thinking here should be a decent tip).

In the bill folder however came R800…total (which is a shiny 5 cent piece for me). Now, to be fair, this was in the year 1999 so 5c back then is probably worth now… about 5 F***ing cents! Anyway, I went back to the table that gave me this bountiful fortune and was surprised to see that my generous benefactor was still sitting in the booth. So, being the “custodian of customer service” that I am (according to the orientation video we were shown) I asked her what seemed to be the matter; to which she replied “Oh nothing’s the matter, I’m just waiting for my change.” I did my best to not spontaneously combust from pure rage for just long enough to give her the 5 cent piece.

That shift, which turned out to be my last, wasn’t exactly the most lucrative shift, earning me a whopping R16. Well it would’ve been R16 if it weren’t for the fact that parking in the mall for the 12 hour shift cost R24.
And yet, with all these terrible experiences, Spur is still not the worst restaurant in the world… The worst is still to come (next post).

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