In a town called Independence, Missouri, a man named Micheal suddenly had a hankering for Wisconsin Cheese Bites, Key West Chicken and Shrimp and something called Gigi’s Baked Spasagna so he hopped in his pick-up truck and headed on over to Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. On the way, he picked up a few friends, a couple of half-siblings, a hitchhiker, his Momma and a goat, making for a grand total of a party of 9. He showed up to Cheddar’s at 8:15 and was shocked and dismayed to learn that they could not seat him right away. No, it wasn’t because he had a goat in his party, for that is quite the norm at Cheddar’s. After all, I’m pretty sure their motto is “When you’re here, you’re family, even if your cousin is a goat!” Michael had to wait 30 minutes, even though there were two empty booths! You see though, there was no server for that section, so the restaurant chose to not seat them there. Michael, upset and confused, did what everyone who has a goat for a cousin does and went to Facebook to complain. “What happened to accommodating your customers?” he wanted to know!
Cheddar’s did respond to him and explained that they try to seat everyone in a timely manner while providing the best dining experience possible. That’s the key right there: best experience possible. Had they seated Michael and the goat in those booths with no server, it means that another server, who already had a full section, would have to “pick up” that table. If the server already has a full section, adding nine more people at two different tables might not allow the server to give the level of service that is expected at a Cheddar’s. Or worse, they could have seated Michael & Friends but a server would not have time to attend to them for 15 minutes or so and then Michael would complain that no one came to his table for 30 minutes! Besides, if you show up to a restaurant as a party of 9, why would you not expect to wait a bit? Sure, you may be hungry, but reach into your fanny pack and have yourself some granola, Michael. Give your goat/cousin a tin can snack and just sit there and wait like a reasonable adult.
Non-restaurant people don’t get it, do they? Just because there are empty tables does not mean you are going to be seated right away. Imagine, if you will, you go into the bank and see eight teller windows but there are only five tellers. Do you demand that one of those employees suddenly starts manning two windows? No, you get in line and wait until the staff can help you. What if you go to Piggly Wiggly and see ten check out lines but only six of them are staffed? What do you do? You go to one of the lines that has a checker at it, that’s what you do. You don’t go stand in the line that isn’t lit up and just expect that someone is going to rush right over and and start bagging your pork rinds, Cheetos and Diet Shasta. Restaurant: same thing. We are going to serve you based on the staff at hand. Deal with it.
Here at The Bitchy Waiter, I feel it is my job to educate the restaurant consumer. They know not what they are talking about and I am here to help them. I’m a giver, really. You’re welcome.