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Final Orders, And That’s Final!

, , , , | Right | February 24, 2021

Due to living in a border town when the Manitoba lockdown begins, we become the only sit-down restaurant in the area. We close every day for two hours in the afternoon and accept tables and orders accordingly so that no one feels rushed once it’s near closing time. Starting an hour prior, I remind every new table that we will be closing for our break.

Today is one of the busiest in a long time. I have to start turning away people half an hour early because I know that when the last order is ready there will only be fifteen minutes left. Seeing as it’s two ladies sharing an order of fries while they have a coffee date, I know it won’t be an issue.

As I make my way to the door to turn off the sign, I meet a man who is waiting for a table.

Me: “I’m sorry, but we’re full. We close in half an hour and aren’t able to take any more tables.”

Customer: “But you have one right there.”

He points to the only empty and dirty table.

Customer: “I have three people.”

Me: “Yes, but I’m sorry we can’t take any more tables. We close in half an hour, and due to the number of orders currently waiting in the kitchen, you won’t get your food in time. We close in half an hour and everyone will need to leave.”

Normally, I offer to let people order takeout instead, but I know that my boss will be cutting off new orders any minute, and if I squeeze a new one in, she won’t be happy.

Customer: “But I have three people and you have a table right there.”

Me: “Yes, I understand. But we close in half an hour; once we close everyone has to leave. The last table that ordered will only get their food with enough time to finish eating before we close.”

Customer: “But it’s only 1:30.”

I’ve finally had enough and decide to be blunt.

Me: “We close at two; no one is allowed to stay. Your food won’t be ready until two o’clock and you won’t be allowed to stay and eat it. Everyone has to leave.”

He finally left but he didn’t look like he believed me. True to my predictions, the boss said, “No more orders,” right after the man left and the last order was ready with fifteen minutes to go.

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