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The Hotel: A Week in the Life of the Plaza by Sonny Kleinfield

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5

ROBERT Bachofen, the food and beverage manager, came into Hud Hinton’s office to say he was firing one of the waiters in the Oyster Bar. His offense was simple and unforgivable: stealing. The first whiff of trouble had come a couple of months ago, when it was discovered he had omitted a Perrier from a check. It was a well-known waiter trick. You deliberately neglect to include a dessert or a couple of drinks on a check and then jokingly explain to the customer your oversight. Since it was your mistake, you tell the customer not to worry, you won’t bother to adjust the total. Delighted at saving $5 or $10, the guest will usually toss down an extra few dollars for the waiter. Meanwhile, the hotel has lost some revenue.

After one transgression, ...

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