I decided it was time to do another blog inspired by my time in the restaurant industry. If you have ever worked in a restaurant you know that there are plenty of potential people to write about. Today I have chosen one of my least favorite groups of people that dine out. They are the people who go into a restaurant right before it closes and sit forever. There is no worse way to end your night than with a bunch of these douche bags.
I do realize that there are certain events that let out late forcing people to have to be part of the late night crowd. But there is a huge difference between going out to grab a quick late bite to eat, and coming in 2 minutes until a place closes and setting up a tent. If you are not aware, people who sit forever in a restaurant are called campers, hence the tent reference and about a million more that I have coined over the years.
Restaurants do not like campers during the middle of the day because it slows down our table turns thus causing us to make less money. So if we dislike the people who do it during the day you can only imagine how much we despise those who come at the end of the night. This is one of the things you just cant avoid while working in a corporate restaurant, if it says open til 1 am on the door, then you can guarantee they are letting people come in up until 1:01... No joke, I have had people walk in literally as the clock hit 1 and sit in my section until 3 in the morning. The worst part about it is, the clientele that come in this late in the night are also not the most gracious tippers, they are usually quite the opposite. They will come in, sit for 2 hrs, make me sit around earning my $3.63 per hour, they spend $80 making my tip-out portion about $4 and then leave me $2... So if I would have dodged these late night eaters, I could have left at 1 with $200 in tips but instead im leaving at 3:30 am with $198... You cant make stuff like this up, this happened to me and my other server friends ALL the time, but I guess thats what happens when you work in Times Square.
This is why servers will pay or convince the hosts not to seat them at the end of the night in most places, if we thought we were gonna make money by taking the table im sure more of us would be willing. Unfortunately its easily 8 out of 10 times you make nothing extra, and 5 out of ten you actually will lose money by taking one of these late tables.
Here are a list of ways to tell if your server is trying to get you to leave:
1. They are cleaning every table around you and being as loud and as noticeable as they can.
2. They come and sweep near you or even possibly under your table. (we hate sweeping, its just to annoy you)
3. We keep coming to ask if you need anything else. (We dont want you to order anything else we want you to leave.)
4. We send other servers to check on you.
5. We drop the check off and say "take your time". (Take your time is code for--> get out.)
6. We have the managers turn the music off. (When this happens you know you've overstayed your welcome, even to the managers)
7. We turn up or down the lights. (Whatever is opposite to when you came in.)
8. We stare at you from a distance, and look at our watches once we catch your attention.
9. If it starts to smell bad, it means we are crop dusting you. (Farting while walking by)
10. If we ever at any point try and down sell you rather than up sell, or talk you out of something that takes long to cook even if it is more expensive. (Means order something fried and get out.)
So the moral of the story is that if you are forced to dine late at night, make sure to do it in a bit of a hurry, and always leave a good tip. Unless the waiter is crappy, then tip at your discretion. If you can't adhere to those 2 rules then I am sure there is a 24 hr McDonalds somewhere that will cater to your type.