Sci-Fi Waiter impersonating Doctor Who, your thoughts?

Response to waiter acting like Doctor Who?

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Code Monkey
Staff member
Mar 20, 2004
Recently I came across an article on The Consumerist about a waiter at an Olive Garden (Italian restaurant chain in the US) who impersonates Doctor Who in order to get a response from his customers. According to him not only did his customers recognize the quotes but he saw an increase in sales and a possible date out of it.

Now, don't get me wrong as my friends & family know I am a big self-admitted geek who is known to make references to all times various books, movies, & TV but those references are usually in context to what is going on and usually around people who would get the references. Having a waiter acting like the person describes would be, to me at least, more creepy than funny while trying to have dinner.

Reading the waiters description of his "experiment" I can't help but think that he his exaggerating just a bit. Unless the restaurant happened to be near Comic-Con I tend to doubt that not only were that many customers familiar with Doctor Who but familiar with it enough to recognize quotes & allusions to it.

Here's a link to the guys Tumblr account and his original post.
Certain Doctor Who Phrases and how Olive Garden Customers React: An Experiment Done by a Server

As a server, I did an experiment tonight, I was saying basically only Doctor Who quotes to my tables, some understood, others did not. These are a few of the phrases and people’s reactions:

{When greeting tables} "Oh hello! I’m The Doctor! I am here to help! Look, they gave me a badge with my name on it in case I forget who I am! Very thoughtful as that does happen.”

Lots of confused faces. Many people laughed. The few who got the reference clapped, laughed, or smiled all big like. One girl who got the reference gave me the biggest smile I’ve ever seen, later I would receive her number.

{When speaking to a baby playfully aka fishing for tips} "Oh hello! I speak baby, you know." {baby does baby thing} "No, he’s your dad you can’t just call him ‘not mum’"

I’m met with a roar of laughter from the table, and the neighboring table, an extra 10 dollars added to my tip.

{Offering desserts (to the kids)} "You could have a slice of Triple Chocolate Strada for only $6.99 which I personally think is a bit steep. But then again, it’s your parent’s cash and they’ll only waste it on boring stuff like lamps and vegetables. Yawn!”

I actually sold every table the dessert I offered when I offered it this way. Few got the reference, the ones who understood “Hi I’m The Doctor” were completely losing their felgercarb at this point in the meal, as I’d been dropping references all dinner.

{When an elderly woman literally threatened to slap me for being so strange} "900 years of time and space and I’ve never been slapped by someone’s mother."

Her family started cracking up and she just chuckled a little. I narrowly avoided a guest complaint for the sake of Doctor Who. I’m proud of that one.

{Messed up an order} "I’m sorry, I’m so… So sorry."

No reaction from this one, save for the girl who was fangirling over me from the beginning. (Not too surprising though, only table I messed up on, so I only got one chance to use it)

{After Guest hands me their ticket and wishes to pay} "Allons-y"

Two guests understood and stared wide-eyed. One gave me her number (After I had been using Who quotes on her table all night), and requested I pick her up in a TARDIS. Those that didn’t understand stared at me quizzically.

And lastly, that girl who gave me her number FINALLY talked as the family was leaving. Her final words to me were "I don’t want to go."

She then threw her arms out at her sides and I had to explain to my manager what I was doing. He laughed for a solid minute. Then told like half the staff. Needless to say, I am now quite the oddity at the restaurant. BUT I MADE A HELL OF A LOT OF MONEY.
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