When you’re a stranger in a big city, the dining scene there can certainly be a bit intimidating. And when you’re visiting New York for the first time and trying to locate a comfortable place to get a meal, it can be downright daunting. Thankfully, many hotels offer a concierge service, someone who’s knowledgeable about the food and culture in the city and can help you find a place that suits your purposes. While many requests are straightforward, there are some that are bizarre, confusing, and at times insanely hilarious.
Todd Dakotah Briscoe and Anna Drezen work at the concierge counter at a hotel in Midtown New York near Times Square, and together they run How May We Hate You, a hilarious blog made up of entirely true dialogues they’ve had with tourists staying at the hotel. We rounded up 10 of the most bizarre, hilarious, and straight-up bizzarely hilarious restaurant-related exchanges they’ve had with visitors, and Briscoe gave us some advice on the best way to work with a hotel concierge.
“The worst thing you can say to a concierge when they ask you what type of food you're looking for is “good,” Briscoe told us. “Also, when a concierge makes some suggestions, please don't ask, ‘And are these places good?’ Why would we recommend something bad? It sounds dumb, but it happens at least once a shift.”
Another big part of a concierge’s job is calling restaurants to make reservations, even when they know the restaurant is booked solid.
“Some hosts at busy restaurants give us a lot of attitude if we're calling to request reservations that we both know are not going to happen, but what they don't understand is that the guest isn't going to leave until they see me call,” Briscoe added. “One time I called my cell phone and faked a conversation because I didn't want to deal with a rude reservationist again.”
When you work as a concierge for years, there are also certain patterns and ‘tricks of the trade’ that you pick up.
“When someone approaches and says, ‘What Italian restaurants do you recommend? My friend said to go to Carmine's,’ you just go through the motions and let them do what they want,” Briscoe told us. “Nine times out of 10 that person is going to Carmine's regardless of what I say.” While reading How May We Hate You (and our accompanying slideshow) it might be easy to think that they don’t enjoy their jobs, but the exact opposite is true.
“As much as the blog makes it seem like we complain, we just don't post the interactions with the fun and interesting guests,” he said. “The other day I helped a woman from Los Angeles, and she helped give me some tips for my upcoming trip while I helped her with her New York trip.”
Luckily for us, plenty of guests make requests that are hilariously outrageous. Click here to read 10 crazy concierge requests, courtesy of Briscoe and Drezen.