Time To Go Home

My tables would not leave a few nights ago. One of my favorite managers of all time, Sherill, used to say “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.” So for those customers who don’t get it, here are a few signs that it might be time to pack your ass up and get the hell out of the restaurant:

  • you are the last customer in the restaurant
  • the waiters are blowing out the candles
  • every table except yours has been cleared of everything
  • chairs are being put on top of tables so the floor can be mopped
  • the floor is being mopped
  • the ambient music has either been turned off completely or switched to heavy metal, country western or musical theater and turned up really really loud
  • the kitchen crew is eating their dinner at a table next to you
  • your waiter is sitting at the bar having a cocktail (this does not necessarily apply if your waiter is The Bitchy Waiter, for that could happen at any time of day)
  • your server is standing next to your table with his arms crossed and he is tapping his foot
  • there is a sign on the door that says “we are closed and the only reason we are still here is because the dick at table 33 won’t leave”
  • you see the morning crew arrive and start to make coffee and put jelly caddies on the table
  • last call was more than two hours ago
  • Sherrill walks around the restaurant and says “you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.”

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21 thoughts on “Time To Go Home

  1. Just Plain Tired

    That type of crap drives me nuts. We have people wander into our store one minute before closing all the time. I always ask what they're here to buy. The "oh, we're just looking" crowd gets told to leave right up front and told to come back tomorrow.

  2. Bob

    I used to love it when the music goes off and the lights go up, and everyone leaves except the server and the manager, and the people at the table finally realize what's happening and say, "Oh! Are we the last ones?"

  3. Mama Sky

    In the stores that had cameras we had to put up with the damn last minute customers and act happy about it. In the stores that I managed without cameras we would tell them to get out and come back when we reopened. I resorted to telling them our computer systems shut down exactly one minute after closing time and we would be unable to ring them out, of course luck would have it that one night that did happen and I ended up stuck there for another 4 hours with tech support trying to fix the system.

  4. Danger Boy

    I've not done that in a long time, but the last time I did, I made sure to let the waiter know to boot me out when all their closing was done. Also, I cleaned and bussed my own table. At least if I'm gonna be rude, I'm polite about it.

  5. matt

    The Lost Abby is a bar / brewery in Encinitas. When we were there, the place was packed and rowdy. At closing time, the female bartender stood on the bar and screamed out "Okay assholes – get the fuck out!"The crowd groaned, paid up and left. I thought it was hilarious.

  6. gutiarsblog.com

    just found you and love you instantly. I need a place to vent all the friggen good and bad shit that happens on my shift…its nice to find another who understands……………what is it with people who do not know what they fucken want to eat? You ask, are you ready and while the rest of the patrons are waiting!!! they, hum and haw and contemplate the meaning of life, not to mention the god damn substitutions, do they not know that we only get 18 characters to explain? and fuck, what happened to cooking your own FOOD!…thanks for being here…another bitchywaiter

  7. The Ranter's Box

    Matt's solution of standing on the bar and yelling get the eff out is direct and brillant. But if you want to use a guilt inducing approach you could always tell those stragglers that the place is closed and you have five minutes before you miss the last bus home on your two hour commute. Hopefully that would shake them back into reality and garner you a larger tip. http://rantersbox.blogspot.com

  8. mellie

    I once sat a couple in one of my 6 top booths on a Sunday morning. I already knew where my station would be, and it was two 6 top booths and two 4 top tables that nobody wanted to sit at. But it was 6 in the morning and I figured they'd be out before it got busy. Those assholes sat there through the whole damned shift!!!!, effectively knocking me down to one booth. At I-Hop, we're not allowed to ask them to leave. But I did all I could. They never ordered food, just drank gallons of coffee. Then the fuckers stiffed me!!! But she broke the cardinal rule of being an asshat customer. She left her glasses on the table. She hollered and cried about how she couldn't drive without them and how was she going to get home and they cost her $300. I just sat there and smiled while I rolled my silverware. For $300, they sure broke easy!! :-))))

  9. LawLucy

    Oh Mellie!! I love that! That my friends is sweet Karma!I waited on an 8-top of rich baby boomers all going to the Opera. One of the wives went out of her way to make me miserable, be rude and never acknowledge me after attending to her every whim. When she demanded I box up her remaining fish and goodies on her plate "pronto", I adhered our lovely sticker to the little box but before putting it in its signature bag, I shook that bitch like a bartender out to win the cocktail Olympics. I sure hope she enjoyed her kitty food.

  10. Kate

    Great post. I try to be considerate about closing time – and about not lingering at a table when we've finished eating and there are people waiting.I linked this over at Kate's Library as part of my Friday Five.Have a great weekend!

  11. A Bitch Called Mom

    Martin Lawrence had a slightly bitchier version of Sherill's quote. It goes, "you ain't gotta go home, but you got to get the hell outta here." Try that one next time. OR, and this is just my personal opinion, stand on top of the table next to them and scream, "GET THE FUCK OUT!" That's what I'd do. But then I don't depend on assholes for tips, so…

  12. sarah

    I work in a family owned seafood buffet, higher end ($30 a person) and we do not have a set closing time. It depends on business. I absolutely hate it when the managers let a table in a minute before we close and then they rush them by asking if they are finished with salad bar, or if we can start taking the buffet down. I do not like people who come in before closing and stay forever, but at my restaurant they do not know it is just before closing when they come in and they are paying $30 for all you can eat, they should not be rushed. That is my opinion. Now when they are the last ones and have been for 20 minutes and are just sitting there talking, that is a different story.

  13. invisible23

    This one bartender I work with will blast bluegrass music to chase people out. It works almost every time.


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