Unnecessary Wait Times

I recently went to dinner at an unspecified restaurant. I don’t want to call them out because this was the first time that it’s happened here … and I love the olives from their garden. I wouldn’t want them to think of threatening me with a libel suit for saying their name and something that isn’t flattering. It’s the first time it’s happened at this “unnamed” restaurant … but it’s not the first time it’s happened when we’ve gone out to eat.

We entered the establishment at 9pm on a Sunday. Not really what I would call dinner rush hour. As I’m walking in, I notice maybe 10 people in the waiting area. I look to the left and I see an empty dining area … probably 15 empty tables. I look to the right and I see a half filled dining area. I assume that maybe the crowd in the waiting area is a large party and waiting for the rest of their group. I arrive at the hostess desk and tell them I’d like a table for two.

“Okay … the wait is about 25 minutes.”

I look again at the empty dining area to the left … then to the right at the half filled dining area. As I’m about to say “Are you fucking serious!?” … I take a deep breath and mumble okay.

(I figured I can let it go for once and let my beautiful wife have a nice evening without me making a scene. That’s not to say I didn’t grumble about it when I came back and sat next to her while we waited for 25 minutes … but I’m sure that was more bearable than my normal M.O.)

When the hockey puck finally buzzes, we go to the hostess desk and follow her back to our table towards the back. While we are walking back, I take inventory of the people dining in the restaurant and the large number of empty tables. Why did we have to wait 25 minutes when there are clearly plenty of tables open!? I’ve never worked in the restaurant business so maybe I’m missing something … but it sure seems to me like they could have seated us right away! It didn’t appear they had only one server because there were a few that appeared not to be doing much … which just infuriated me more.

Why do restaurants do this!? They’ll close off one side of a restaurant and only seat one side and make people wait. Why don’t you open both sides of the fucking restaurant and seat everybody! Maybe they have a good reason for doing it … but I can’t figure it out. On it’s face, it looks like they don’t give a shit about their customers. Are they trying to make it appear like they are so busy … by filling up one side? If that’s the case … then make sure I can’t see the other side of the restaurant that’s empty …you dumbshits! You’re not fooling anybody.

“25 minutes!? … Why can’t you seat me at one of those 15 empty tables!?

I watched 2 couples walk in and walk out when they were told that it was a 25 minute wait. I’m no rocket scientist … but it seems to me that you just lost business for a reason that seems completely fixable. I’m not sure what business model they are following but they might want to take another look at it and make some tweaks. I’m just saying …

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