Saturday, January 15, 2011
Two Things That Drive Me Crazy
There are two things that really drive me crazy whenever I am working behind the bar:
1. People who try to come in before we're open for business
I spend the hour before we open up for business setting up the bar. I cut fruit. I stock fresh garnishes. I bring out the mixers. I fill my well with ice. I stock up my juices. I make espresso drinks for the kitchen. I make fruit punch drinks for the runners. I count my drawer. I use this hour to not only physically prepare my bar for the evening, but I prepare myself mentally for the night as well.
It irritates me to no end when we get customers who come in before we open and demand a drink. Are you kidding me? If I take the time to serve you before I have a chance to set up my bar, I risk falling behind for the rest of the night. It might not be such a big deal on a slower night. If its a busy night, your stupid drink might set me back so far that I never quite get the chance to get caught up for the rest of the night. No one wants to start off their night already being behind. The bar and restaurant industry appreciates the business it receives from its customers. Please try to patronize the business during its set business hours. There's a reason why we open at 5 and not 4:30.
2. People who try to come in 5-10 minutes before closing
Slow nights suck. Slow nights are painful because the time drags by as you watch the clock and then watch the door, hoping and waiting for customers to come in. Now picture this. You've just spent the last 5-6 hours watching the clock tick by. You had a couple of customers here and there, but no one has come in over the last hour. Since closing time is officially less than 20 minutes away, you start to close down the bar because there's no one there. You've just tossed out the rest of your lemons, limes and fruit garnishes when the door opens and a customer walks in. Are you serious? There's no one in the bar or restaurant and it's now five minutes to closing. That sucks.
It's painful to keep a kitchen open long after closing for the one person who decides to come in right before closing. That means the kitchen staff, server, bartender and manager on duty all have to wait patiently and watch (in vain) as the customer enjoys their meal because none of us can go home until the customer does.
The next time you dine out, please reconsider when you walk into a bar or restaurant before opening or near closing and don't expect to be welcomed with open arms. Chances are if you were in the restaurant/bar staff's shoes, you would be just as annoyed if either one of these scenarios happened to you.
And don't even get me started on the customers who sit and chat at their table well past closing time.
If you ever find yourself in the position where you just can't resist patronizing a business outside of it's designated business hours, make it worth the staff's while by being a generous tipper.