Saturday, April 15, 2006

Late night tables

I close a lot in my particular store. I have in every store I've worked in, and in different areas over the years. Whether I cooked, did dishes, or waited I've primarily worked night hours because of my regular life schedule. No, I don't consider the 25-35 hours I spend at work regular life. They just pay for my regular life.

Thursday night was one of those closing nights nobody ever wants. 5 minutes before close I get two new tables. I understand why I got both, if I have to have one, I might as well have both and send the other person home. I get to benefit from this at times as well. The first table is a couple of young women with cell phones stuck to their heads (how about getting that thing implanted?) and mouths filthier than the floor of a 24 hour porn shop. The second was a couple, that on first appearances would be a good table, but eventually became a PITA (pain in the ass).

The girls were high maintenence, rude, offensive, and loud. They had to always have their phone to their ears, though I suspect there was nobody on the other end. Excuse me ladies, but there is nobody else here for you to impress. And this is a restaurant, so please use your inside voice, nobody else cares who you think is a ho.

And the couple, they're early 40's and it's become nearly "R" rated with the amount of tongue and groping going on in that booth. I might have to sanitize the seat if you two don't get a room.

Then both tables sit. And sit. And sit. We closed at 10:00pm, and they both leave at 11:15pm. I didn't get my floors finished and my final inspection done until 11:30pm. It's a 30 minute drive home, the wife was none too pleased.

People have started to ask me how much longer I'll be at the store. It's a good question, I don't have an answer to. More nights like that, and I might move sooner than later. We'll see.

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Anonymous said...

Yes, I *hate* late comers! And people that seem to sit at their table forever!! - If I were one of those people I'd feel *so* bad for holding up the waitstaff, the chef etc...

SHELL said...

At my store no one can leave untill all the work is done. Let me tell you this it really sucks when that happens and we cant do ANY of the work untill everyone has left the store. Plus there is always one lazy person.

Anonymous said...

What is the latest time before closing that is acceptable for a diner to be seated at a restaurant?

Lobster Boy said...

I don't think there is a "latest" time until the doors are locked. But that being said there is a certain amount of courtesy that is involved there. If you are coming in late, understand that fact. The problem is that 75% of our late coming tables are morons with no concept of time, tact, or courtesy, and that might not be the case in all places. But keep in mind that if you are going to force this team of people to say that you should tip appropriately. All too frequently someone will come in late, sit for an hour, and then leave a craptacular tip. Two night ago I had the perfect example. A single man walked in 2 minutes before close. He ordered $50 of food, beverages and apps. He took an hour to eat, in which in that hour he was the only guest in the store for 45 minutes. He got great service, had special requests, and I even engaged with him in a lengthy discussion about the different types of lobsters we have available on our menu. He left me a $3 tip. $3 for that hour is CRAP. $3 for that level of service is WHALE CRAP living on the ocean floor. That should have been a $10 tip, and I personally would have left more were I him. What do you make for an hour of work? Keep that in mind if you keep your server on the clock for an extra hour.

Lobster Boy

Anonymous said...

We don't make that much here in NZ. $9.50 an hour! - Minimum wage for people who are 18 years old and over!

"craptacular" - love that word! Haha! ;-)

Lobster Boy said...

In many states in the USA the minimum wage for wait staff is lower than actual mimum wage. I used to make $1.85 an hour (10 years ago) in another state. There are only a handful (only Minnesota and California that I know for sure) that require service staff to be paid a true minimum wage in the US. So many servers are making $2.50ish per hour on hourly wage.

Lobster Boy