If ever I don’t have something to write about, all I need to do is look at the Facebook page of a chain restaurant and something there will ignite my flame of bitchiness. In today’s case, we have a woman named Mardi complaining to Applebee’s about how they were told they would have to wait up to thirty minutes before being given a table even though she counted at least four or five tables that were empty. The kitchen was behind so the restaurant was doing the responsible thing by slowing down the seating.
“Stupidest reason to loose customers!!! WE HAD TO SUFFER BY STANDING until they caught up?!?!!”
Mardi simply could not understand such reasoning, so she left Applebee’s and went to O’Charley’s instead where she was happy, well fed and satiated in much the same way a baby calf feels as it rests in a cage being force fed milk and fat not knowing it will soon be covered in parmigiana and hanging out next to a side of spaghetti. The experience also confirmed for Mardi that she will never enter another Applebee’s for as long as she lives. (#applebeessucks #boycottApplebees). That sound you just heard was every server at Applebee’s collectively breathing out a sigh of relief and that smell that just hit your olfactory senses was the result of every server at O’ Charley’s regurgitating last night’s shift meal at the thought of having to serve her again.
Clearly, Mardi has never worked in a restaurant and I would like to educate her. (I have decided to leave Mardi’s name visible since she posted her comment to a public page.) Mardi, here is the deal:
Just because you see an empty table at a restaurant, that does not necessarily mean that it is available for seating. There is, in fact, a method to the madness. A restaurant may have 60 tables in total and on Friday and Saturday, all 60 of them may be used at one time. This would mean that there could be as many as twelve servers, each one responsible for five tables. But what happens on Tuesday night when it’s not as busy? There will still be 60 tables, but the restaurant may only have six servers that night, each one now responsible for ten tables with the understanding that it is highly unlikely that all 60 tables will be seated at the same time seeing it’s a Tuesday. But what if, for some reason, a Tuesday ends up being like a Friday or Saturday? Well, the six servers are trying to take care of the same amount of customers that normally twelve servers do and it can get a little bit crazy. And when that happens, the kitchen gets behind and the manager has to slow down the seating rotation in order to get things back under control.
This is where you come in, Mardi. When the hostess told you it may be thirty minutes for a table to be ready and you had to suffer the intolerable event of standing for a whole half hour, it would have been worse for you if they seated you and then you waited at the table for thirty minutes before a server was ready to help you. You’d be all, “I can’t believe I have been sitting here for thirty minutes and no one has taken my order yet! This is horrible! My ass is falling asleep! I can’t wait to Yelp about this!”
When they told you it would be half an hour for a table, what they were doing was giving you a realistic expectation. Seating you immediately would give you the impression that you were going to be served soon and you would have been disappointed when it didn’t happen. Basically, they were doing you a favor by having you wait so that when they did seat you, they would be ready to give you the service you expected.
In other words, chill the fuck out. Sometimes restaurants are busy. Sometimes you have to wait for a table. Sometimes you have to stand while you wait and sometimes that makes your cankles get bigger. If you like O’Charley’s so much better, keep on going there. Applebee’s might not want to “loose” customers, but if the customer is a pain in the ass, they might be willing to let her go.
And now you know.
If you like this bitchy blog, you will love my book coming out in April.