I worked in restaurants for many years, and I have always been sensitive to the fact that at the end of any given night, the employees want to be done (yes, I know that food is done, people are finished). They want to go home. Or they want to go somewhere else–anywhere–they just want to have some say on when that happens.
The sign on the door says you are open until 10:00
I know of a place in my neighborhood that closes at 9:00. That is fine, but they refuse to seat anyone after 8:30. Hmm. Ok. But getting the rush job because I sat down at 8:25?! It is rather bizarre.
This one is the owner’s fault. This particular owner realizes that he has made all of the money he is going to make earlier, and anyone who comes in after that is just costing him money. Keeping his hourly employees on the clock longer than he wants to pay. He refuses to realize that this is part of doing business, and these customers coming in toward the end of the evening can be potential lifelong customers if he does it right.
It is your place and you get to do whatever the hell you want. I understand that you are not here to provide a service. Your bottom line is all that matters. I get it.
You have now given your servers permission to treat customers the same way. And that can backfire on you. Remember, people vote with their feet. With their pocketbooks. If this behavior continues, you will not stay open for long for much longer. Suddenly, when you are not around, they are treating customers that way when the customers dare to come in at 8:00. At 7:30.
The vacuum cleaner
Hurry up and order. Hurry up and eat. Here’s your check. Oh, you wanted dessert? But that only costs $7 and it is going to cost me $17 to keep my server and cook here that extra 20 minutes! Time to start vacuuming. So annoying. And lame.
What is wrong with this picture?
The problem with this approach is that restaurant owners (and therefore, servers) expect to operate at maximum capacity every second they are open. That is NEVER going to play out that way. So they sit there with that expectation and end up offending customers in the meantime.
I guess the $100 I just spent for the 42 minutes I was here just wasn’t enough. How dare I. I guess you should turn the music off. Or up. Maybe it would be a good idea to start stacking the chairs right next to me–making as much noise as possible–so I get the hint, pay my money and get the hell out of there.
I just love walking in to a place and feeling completely unwelcome.
Let me add…
Like I said at the beginning of this post, I am very sensitive about going in to a place just before closing. If it is close or if there is any doubt at all, I always ask if they are still open, or if the kitchen is still open, and if not, I will happily comeback. But, if you say yes you are open, and I see plenty of other customers in the joint, and you are going to take my money, then I deserve the same hospitality as those who came in at 6:00, or 7:00. Think about it.