Lookin' Good at 58

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What Do You Think I Did , Honestly?

One restaurant I used to work at it was just the chef and I on Wednesday , Thursday and Friday lunch and dinner. It was so dead. You know the kind when you are the waiter , bartender , host , busser , answer the phone and make sure there is enough toilet paper available in the men's and ladie's washroom.

Some nights we would get a couple of tables in early then around 7:30 the chef and I would sit in the dining room and look out the window and watch the cars and people go by. Talk about everything under the sun. We were open till 9PM. About 8:45 the owner used to call up and ask how many we had and I would blurt out the number 4 or maybe 2 or maybe we were really busy and we had a dozen then he would just say something like oh well better luck tomorrow. You see it was a bit of a hobby for him. No stress here as he was loaded and the mortage was paid and he ran another company and was making scads of money from that one.

Anyway what I wanted to say is about 8:30 the chef would get up and say I am going to close down the kitchen and be back in a few minutes. Then he would come back and I would have done during this time my closing duties and we would sit there praying no one was going to come in now before we close.

Sometimes though someone would come between 8:45 and closing and want to eat.

Now I am going to ask you this one question. For those of you who read this blog on a regular basis and know me somewhat here is the question.

Did I nudge the door open just a bit before they entered to tell them we are just closing up now or did I welcome them with open arms showing them the best table in the house? Then tell me what you would have done and be totally honest. Don't give me any of the bullshit oh yeah but I would have let them in stuff.

Remember the chef and I lock everything up and set the alarm too. Now what do you think I did?

16 comments:

SkippyMom said...

I want to say moneywise you would've let them in, but it seems you are leaning towards the "sorry we are closed". So, I don't know for you.

Me? I would've let them in. Closing is 9 pm. Is it a long day? Heck ya' - but effort and clean up can be mitigated a bit if you are careful serving them [especially for the chef]. You never know what that last tip is going to be.

I know it annoys a multitude of servers out there when people show up that close to closing, but it never did me. Sure, I'd grown and think about my cold shift drink and closing my bank to count my tips [like Christmas everynight! :)] but a closing time IS a closing time and I think they should be served.

If you wanted to leave at 8:45 you should lock the doors then and change the signage, right?

PS I am NOT someone that does this. If there isn't at least an hour left until closing we won't bother to go into eat. I still have my empathy ;)

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

SkippyMom...okay that is one for stay open. Good for you!

bulletholes said...

Close at 9:00.
Not 8:45.
Maybe 8:59, but not 8:58.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Bulletholes...another for closing at closing time. Good again on you!

K.H. said...

I would let them in, though I might pointedly let them know that our closing time is in fifteen minutes and that the kitchen will be shutting down at that point. If it were more like 8:55ish...I think I might tell them we are in the middle of closing up.

I think you would let them in.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

K.H..a very good answer.I will post what happened tonight.

SkippyMom said...

oh and that is "groan" not "grown"...LOL...shouldn't comment so early in the morning. ;)

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

SkippyMom...you know I didn't even notice the misspelling. I knew what you meant. The outcome I will post later on.

¸.•*´)ღ¸.•*´Chris said...

Yikes, this is a tough one. From a business standpoint, I would say it is nonproductive to serve dinner at the 11th hour, thus having to pay to keep the help over plus the lights on, on top of making up for the lack of business prior to their arrival. That table's total meal bill isn't going to pay for all those expenses and if I know your business savvy like I think I do, I am tempted to say you would tell them you are closing for the evening. I know I would.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Chris...maybe that is even what the owner would have said at the time. We are now one for closing. I will post what happened tonight around 9.

G.H. said...

So, I agree with the others. Your really can't turn them away unless the door is locked, and the open sign and all other light are turned off.
In which case I would explain that we closed early due to how slow it was. But in your situation where it seems you still appeared open, I would let them stay (House rules, but would let them know if there was anything they couldn't order due to kitchen closure.

Dietrich said...

Personally, I would have told them to leave. I can't STAND people who come in 5 minutes before close expecting service to be top notch. READ THE FRIGGIN HOURS people. If some place closes at 9, and you come in at 8:50, do you honestly think someone won't mess with your order? Better yet, what if someone came in to your place of work at closing time and wanted to drag you through an extra hour of work because they couldn't be bothered to show up earlier.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

G.H. great stuff. Pretty unanimous amongst all almost. I will say what happened later on the subject. After my little one's soccer game.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Dietrich...a complete opposite reaction to the rest and a totally understandable comment. Haven't seen you for a while.Thank you for your input.

Sous Gal said...

Realizing I'm late to the game (You've posted the outcome...) but as a Chef and having dealt with this situation often, more so now than before in point of fact....

Our last seating is at 8:45. Once those last entrees are out I shut down the hot line. When people have come in at 9 and been insistent to be served, I've advised staff to offer a salad and sandwich, explaining that the hot kitchen has been closed.

I wouldn't turn everything back on, wait for it to hit temp, then cook. That's crazy.

So my input is the Chef was wrong to shut down the kitchen early.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

SousGal...that is the best answer that I have seen from the kitchen point of view so far. Hey how are things going out west? I hope everything is going real good for you.