That fact might make me, myself, an asshole. I'm okay with that.
Like most restaurants, we have a problem with self-seaters. A surprising number of people think that just because there are tables next to the bar, they can plop themselves wherever they want, no matter who is ahead of them. A lot of people immediately pick whatever table they want if the host isn't directly in front of them the instant they step in the door. Either way, they're entitled jackasses, so I go out of my way for them.
I approach them with my biggest dumb-blonde smile. "Hi! Good to see you! How ARE you!?" I wait for them to mumble some response, and then instead of answering, I look at their table with a big overdone frown. "Oh my gosh! I don't know WHY the hostess sat you without menus! How are you supposed to know what you want? I am SO SORRY! I'm going to have to go have a SERIOUS talk with her! This is unacceptable, I'm so sorry!"
I love seeing the chagrin on their faces grow as I go through this speech, and when they admit they sat themselves they're usually appropriately chastened. That's when I drop the dumb blonde act and say just say "ohhhhhh, no, this isn't a seat-yourself restaurant. But I'll be right back with your menus." And it's not like they can complain - what are they going to say? "That waitress thought the hostess wasn't doing her job and apologized to us for it?" Or maybe "we sat ourselves and she went to get us menus"?
Seriously, if you work in a restaurant and you have this problem, try it. It's hilarious and satisfying.
I've been doing that for years, but recently I discovered another way to make entitled jerkwads feel like ... well, jerkwads. My restaurant has decided to do one of those stupid fucking promotions where if your server doesn't recommend a specific drink, you get it free. The ad for this takes up an entire side of one of the table toppers, so everybody notices it. I've yet to forget to suggest this damned drink - watch me forget it tomorrow - but I can always tell the ones who think they're going to trick me in to forgetting by cutting me off mid-sentence, or by hiding that table topper. It goes something like this;
"Hi, how are you today? Can I get you a -"
"Okay! We are featuring (drink in question), so let me know if you want to try one later!"
*looking sulkily across the table at each other* "Okay."
But the really fun ones are the people who, after I suggest the drink in question, heave a big sigh. "If you hadn't said that, we would get a free drink!" They say, waving the table topper at me.
"I know, that's why I suggested it!" I say right back with a laugh. "I like my job, I don't want to lose it!"
"What? You could get fired for that?"
"If it happens more than once, yep!" I tell them super-cheerfully. "What would you like to drink?"
The look of shock on their faces is almost universal when they realize that their ploy to save a few bucks could actually cause another human being to be unemployed. And again, how can they complain? What are they going to say? "Our waitress did her job and said she did it because she likes her job?" "Our waitress told us she could lose her job for not doing what she's supposed to, but she did what she was supposed to?"
(And yes, people have actually been fired over forgetting to suggest things during one of these promotions. Not for the first time they forgot, but for multiples.)
I know these are very little things, but I like to think that my underhanded, polite shaming will stick with them. It's my good deed, it's my pay-it-forward ... okay, mostly it's my personal amusement.