That’s… Not How Restaurants Work

, , , , | Right | July 22, 2020

We are a sit-down restaurant and I am the host. A teenage boy, aged seventeen to nineteen, walks in and asks for a table for one. Shortly after sitting down and getting his water, he suddenly gets up and walks out the door without speaking to his server, myself, or anyone else. 

I watch him to see if he is smoking, but instead, he quickly walks down the sidewalk and to the parking lot. He never comes back, so we clean his table, cancel his order, and seat the table with new guests.

Thirty minutes later, the same teenage guest walks quickly into the restaurant and starts to make a beeline for his table when I cut him off.

Me: “Um, sir, you left for a while — about thirty minutes — so we gave your table to other guests.”

He looks at me as if I’m stupid and should have known he was coming back.

Me: “Did you still want to sit down? I can get you a new table, but I apologize; your old table is not available.”

Customer: “Yes.”

I walk him to a new booth.

Me: “Did you want the same food still?”

He is still looking at me like I’m stupid.

Customer: “…Yes.”

Me: “I will let your server know. Again, I apologize. We thought you left since it had been thirty minutes, but by chance, did you let your server know you were leaving?”

Customer: “No, I ordered salmon and it takes twenty to thirty minutes to make!”

He is looking at me now like I’m a complete idiot for not knowing this. I stare at him in disbelief for a good five seconds before stammering out:

Me: “Right. I’ll get your server now.”

Thankfully, it was a slow night and we were able to make his food — a glazed salmon salad — within minutes. The guest later told the server that the food was great.

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