Probably the worst policy (ok, maybe that’s a stretch) that I have seen at a restaurant I believe I have mentioned in passing before.
We stay open fifteen minutes after the posted closing time.
I don’t mean we keep the kitchen open for diners that arrived close to the closing time, I mean we keep seating.
Even if there had been no new tables for hours and the restaurant is empty.
Anyone who has seen the movie “Waiting” would recognize the scene when the entire kitchen is counting down the seconds until close and that one last table arrives fucking everything up.
Its pretty much that, except the second we close the clock gets moved back another fifteen minutes.
Now there have been managers who don’t roll with this rule, and frankly neither do I.
It is one of the many contradictions that this business in general adheres to.
Well, a couple weeks ago it had just turned ten o’clock and I was up at the host station when I saw a table come hustling in.
“We’re not seating this table, I’ve been doing nothing for the last hour and I’m not going to hang out for another hour for this.” I said to the hostess.
“Ok, but you handle them.” She replied.
“Hi, two for the patio.” Our new guest proclaimed.
Coincidentally the patio was the only place we did business that night, at it was still full of campers sipping on mojitos or whatever fad drink is in this year.
“I’m sorry, the patio is full and by the time you get out there we won’t be serving. Maybe you can get a pizza or something in the bar, usually they stay open later.” I replied.
“Well we knew we were running late, we’ll catch you next time.” He said.
For now, a few minutes past close the hostess was waving me down.
I arrived at the station just in time to see a clearly well-to-do couple enter the door. They were making a big show of looking at their watch.
“We just made it!” The lady exclaimed.
Ummm, no you didn’t.
“I’m sorry, but we close at ten.” I said.
Not used to being told no she began to argue that her clock said, “it is only five till.”
“I’m sorry, but I have five after and we are closing down for the night.” I replied.
“So you’re not going to serve us?” Her husband exclaimed.
This was quite different from the group that had come in right after close.
I pulled the asshole card.
“I’m sorry, but we have people that need to get home to their families, that’s why we have posted hours.”
“But its only five after.” He said.
“Yes, but how long were you planning to stay? I’m sorry, but we’re done for the night.
With that I received a dirty look and out the door they were.
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