Welcome back to Restaurant Confessionals, where we talk to the unheard voices of the restaurant industry from both the front-of-house (FOH) and back-of-house (BOH) about what really goes on behind the scenes at your favourite establishments. This week, we meet a waitress from a restaurant-stroke-nightclub overlooking Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona, a popular tourist trap filled with bars and restaurants.
I've been working here for almost a year. It's mostly English people who come—it can be families or groups of guys, it depends. We have customers from America and Australia and a lot of French. The French are the most difficult. They're like, You don't speak my language? and are the most demanding. We're having to make them their own menu.
The Russians want everything and they will say anything to get it. They say, "I want the sofa, I want the best service, I want the most beautiful woman next to me." English people are very polite—they drink a lot, but they are polite, it's a different culture.
Spanish people, on the other hand, are very rude. They look down on you for being a waitress. I'm not a waitress—I'm studying but I need to earn money. To Spanish people, if you are a waiter or waitress, you are nothing.
This is a fancy place for tourists with money—they want to have fun and everyone who comes here is on holiday (this place is expensive.) Most are good customers but you remember the bad ones more. At night, I see everything!
An English guy once asked me for a blow job. He was telling me the drinks order for the table. He asked for a mojito, a gin and tonic, and so on. At the end, like he was ordering another drink, he said, "And a blow job."
Another guy asked for vagina-flavoured shisha. He asked me what shisha we had so I told him apple or banana, and he says, "I want vagina flavour." My boss asked him to leave.
Lots of customers eat all their food or drink and then say the food was no good or the cocktail was too strong. It's like, But you finished it! You had it all, why are you only telling me now if there's something wrong with it? Lots of customers leave without paying, too. I have had to pay myself—50 percent of their bill out of my own pocket.
One guy asked me what shisha flavours we had so I told him apple or banana, and he says, "I want vagina flavour." My boss asked him to leave.
At night, we see fighting outside on the beach. It doesn't happen in the restaurant because we don't let someone in if they are wearing a football shirt or if they're already drunk.
The only time we had a fight in here was when a man had bought all the roses from a rose-seller on the street outside. He gave a rose to every woman in the restaurant. It was a nice thing to do but one man got very jealous—he was angry this man gave a rose to his girlfriend.
Men ask me out every night—everybody does! There is no night I don't give out my number—I'm single and you only have one life. I don't say yes to them all, but I like choice. They're interesting people—young, fashionable people with money. They say, "You're so beautiful, stop, sit with me, I buy Champagne!" I'm here to work and have fun and they're on holiday. Men are always like that, I guess.
Women who work here have to look good—no flip flops. We choose our customers—we can make a selection of who to let in. We sit attractive people on the sofas, in view of people walking by. The sofas are for a party of four, but if there are two attractive girls, we let them sit there. Everybody wants the sofas. People get angry when they can't have one. They tell me I'm not nice because I don't find a solution for everyone. We're happy to lose those customers!
Sometimes I let people sit on the sofa until a time when we have a reservation but then they get drunk and they won't move. When I ask them to come to a table, suddenly they want to order food and Champagne. They say anything to stay on the sofa—but they don't tip me.
Tips come to 2,000 euros a week but it's split between all of us in the kitchen and front of house. I think my share is OK, we had a famous singer here once called Juan Magan. I didn't recognise him and I just treated him like any customer. Another waitress said to me, "Give him attention—for tips, for tips!"
In the day time, parents sit in the restaurant and their kids play outside. I like children. I take them to have their photo taken in the DJ booth. In the night time, no children are allowed and then the customers can do anything they want.
As told to Samantha Rea.
This article originally appeared on MUNCHIES in September 2015.