That last one is a bitch! Because closing time has always been a sensitive subject for people who work in the service industry. Why? Because we want to go f@*king home! I'm all for you having a good time and enjoying your dining experience, but when it's time to close, GTFO!
It's been an on-going problem throughout the past decade. This was my post from 2012.
Eat, drink, and be merry. But when the kitchen is closed, it's frigging closed! And stop with these questions:
"Is the kitchen really closed? Or can they still make a pizza?" One customer continued to ask.
"Let me go check." I say, but don't move an inch. "I'm sorry, but the kitchen is still closed."
And the people that seem to have the biggest problem with this are the people who are over an hour late for their reservation, don't call, and still expect to be treated like the customers who had actually showed up on-time.
"Can you just give us five more minutes? We're still expecting six more people." A hairy guy when an accent asked.
"Unfortunately the kitchen closes in ten minutes, so I really need to get your order in now."
"But we had a reservation for dinner."
"Yes. But your reservation was for 8:30. It's now 10:50. We'll be setting up for breakfast soon."
It's not real-estate. You don't get to hold the table and kitchen like a rental property. When the sign says, "CLOSED," trust them that it is, and go home, and next time, show up on-time... please.
Since when did saying "we are closed" mean that it takes people an hour and a half to leave?!? It takes my wife and me with our toddler less time to leave a family party than it does for customers to leave a closed restaurant. Just say "goodbye" and walk out the door!
This past Christmas Eve we had some of our "regulars" make a late reservation. My manager decided to look out for the staff and call them to say that we will be closing early, since it's Christmas Eve, and to see if they would mind coming in earlier so the staff could make it home at a decent hour to spend time with their families, friends, or drug habits. The regulars said, "okay, we won't stay long."
I was the closing server, and they stayed long! And they complained about everything. Because yes, they're regulars, but they're complaining regulars, so that makes me regularly hate them. (One of them ordered a Turkey Burger, well done, but it wasn't done "well" enough.) But because they were regulars, and even though they were told that we were going to close early, they had decided that they would stay past closing time. Even though I had given them last call for food and alcohol an hour and a half prior to them finally getting their entitled asses out of the seats and out the door.
"Merry Christmas," I say as they leave.
"We don't celebrate Christmas," one of them said as she downed her last few sips of her Aperol Spritz.
"Well, Santa won't come to your house unless you get home to bed."
"Wait, are we the last ones here?" They ask.
"No. The cleaning crew showed up 30 minutes after we closed. They've been waiting to start cleaning for an hour!"
Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.
"Bitter. Party of 1? Your table is ready."
The Bitter Bistro
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