Reprinted with permission from Alternet
Former President Donald Trump was very meticulous when it came to the high standards of service he required of his Trump Hotel staff, according to a new report. From recited greetings to memorized, repetitive orders and very specific service requirements, employees' claims suggest Trump wanted nearly the same dining experience each and every time he dined at Table 72 at the center of the Trump Hotel's mezzanine.
Now, many of them are shedding light on the scrupulous staff handbook and some of their bizarre encounters with him and other right-wing elites
A detailed piece published by The Washingtonian offers detailed accounts of hotel employees' interactions with the former president. The employees and former employees, some of whom have opted for anonymity, laid out Trump's mundane meal requests which began with recited instructions similar to a skit in a play.
The publication writes, "As soon as Trump was seated, the server had to 'discreetly present' a mini bottle of Purell hand sanitizer. (This applied long before Covid, mind you.) Next, cue dialogue: "Good (time of day) Mr. President. Would you like your Diet Coke with or without ice?" the server was instructed to recite."
An employee also revealed that there were even instructions for pouring drinks. "Directions for pouring the soda were detailed in a process no fewer than seven steps long—and illustrated with four photo exhibits," the publication wrote. "The beverage had to be opened in front of the germophobe commander in chief, "never beforehand."
It added, "The server was to hold a longneck-bottle opener by the lower third of the handle in one hand and the Diet Coke, also by the lower third, in the other. Once poured, the drink had to be placed at the President's right-hand side. 'Repeat until POTUS departs.'"
As for his meal, Trump reportedly orders the same entrees and dishes each time. However, there is one bizarre request that must be adhered to.
Trump always had the same thing: shrimp cocktail, well-done steak, and fries (plus sometimes apple pie or chocolate cake for dessert). Popovers—make it a double for the President—had to be served within two minutes and the crustaceans "immediately." The manual instructed the server to open mini glass bottles of Heinz ketchup in front of Trump, taking care to ensure he could hear the seal make the "pop" sound.
Former executive chef Bill Williamson shared details about his experience working for the hotel and the former president. He noted that the president always requested a "bone-in rib eye or filet mignon" and very little ever changed about his request. "It was the same steak. Both well done. Maybe it was a half-ounce bigger or something, I don't know."Although Trump's requests were out of the ordinary, one of the hotel employees admitted that the former president's personal attorney Rudy Guiliani was "the biggest pain in my butt." The former general manager of the hotel recounted his experiences with the disgraced attorney."The biggest pain in my butt was Giuliani," the former general manager said. "He was constantly in the restaurant. And I complained about it. The guy would come in, expect a table for ten at a moment's notice at, like, 2 pm, when we're not fully functioning. We don't have the staff. But he's the President's lawyer, and what am I supposed to do?"
However, for some, there were perks. Former bartender Michel Rivera revealed he averaged more than $100,000 annually with tips. "People would literally come up to me and give me $100 bills and be like, 'You must be the best bartender in the world if you work here!' " Rivera said. "A group of three or four guys would come up, have a round of drinks—I could easily sell them over $1,000. You don't see that at too many bars."
Trump may no longer be in the White House but his desire for opulence will likely last forever.