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KRD's avatar

Has this happend to anyone before?

Asked by KRD (1828points) 1 month ago

My family and I were at our local restaurant and it was just about closing time while we were ordering our food. We were served our dinner they were closing. While we were eating they were cleaning up and putting the chairs on the tables. When we came home they were closed. Has anyone had this happen to them?

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26 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well…no. I avoid going to resturaunts that are on the verge of closing. That’s rude.

Zaku's avatar

Yes. Though whether and how much they mind depends a bit on the place, often the staff is anxious to go home, and it can lead to awkward situations. Some places avoid it by saying the kitchen is closed or they aren’t taking orders at some point, and/or telling people when they will be entirely closed.

Forever_Free's avatar

yes. I was on a long road trip. I was starving and needed food. I was somewhere in Ohio and got off the interstate to refuel my body.
The only thing that was open was a Ponderosa restaurant that was 20 minutes from closing. They took my order, stacked the tables and chairs around me, brought out a terrible meal for my daughter and I. They unlocked the doors to let us out when we finished.
I prefer to have that memory removed from my brain.

KNOWITALL's avatar

If it’s close to closing, I also would go somewhere else. Or take it home to eat depending on how close to closing.

seawulf575's avatar

Yes. Usually the clean-up and stacking of chairs is a not-so subtle way of urging you to hurry up since they want to go home.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Not necessarily @seawulf575. I’ve done resturaunt work. We start clean up at the same time every evening whether customers are there or not.

Brian1946's avatar

This is tangentially why Denny’s has filled so many of the eatery niches near motels.

SergeantQueen's avatar

I have never worked in a restaurant, @Dutchess_III but it was the same at the nursing home I worked at. Not all residents would be done but we still would start clean up. Not because we wanted to rush them, but because we would bus the tables, AND do all the dishes plus cleaning dish room/setting Dining room back up so we had a lot to do, plus we had a certain time we wanted to be out.

So @Dutchess_III I agree on the set time for cleaning.

filmfann's avatar

I have done that on occasion. When that happens, tip double at least.

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LuckyGuy's avatar

I try to never force the staff into that position. They need to get certain things done before closing. They are human and have been working all day. They likely have families and obligations at home or need to get to another job. If you put them in the position I hope you tipped really well.

I cannot imagine a case where I absolutely had to go into a restaurant just before closing. I would either skip the meal, make something at home, or grab a snack from a gas station.
OK, I just thought of one. If I found someone on the street suffering from diabetic coma and I dragged them through the front door – after calling 911.

SnipSnip's avatar

They have attempted to treat us like that but I didn’t allow. I just told them they could not start their clean up in this area until we are gone. They understood both times. They want to go home but really should tell late customers that they will be eating while the place is being closed and cleaned. Nice restaurants wait until all customers are gone.

smudges's avatar

Besides trying to eat while people are cleaning around me, I wouldn’t want to go to a place that was about to close because I wouldn’t be sure of the quality of the food.

Although I understand your points about the workers wanting to go home, being tired, having places to go, etc., if they want to get their work done and get out of there, shouldn’t they just close earlier? To be honest, I believe they’re the ones being rude, not the customer. If their hours say open until 10pm, then they should be ready, able, and willing to serve people until 10pm.

I worked at Pizza Hut years ago and we weren’t allowed to break down the salad bar or vacuum or anything obvious until the customers were gone. There were other jobs we could perform, though, like filling salt, pepper, cheese, and hot pepper shakers and wiping them off, getting the pizza prep area cleaned, getting the containers for the salad bar out of the cooler…plenty can be done before the customers leave without being rude and making them feel like they’re being kicked out.

Huh! Didn’t really know I felt this way until I started writing.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@smudges To me the phrase “Open until 10pm” means you can sit at your table until then. I assume the kitchen closes at 9:30 and you can only get “ready made” food after that.

~ At10pm the ejection seats are armed and the blow-off roof escape hatches are unlocked.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The differing take aways from this are so interesting. Some feel compassion for the wait staff, and some feel entitled.

jca2's avatar

I feel compassion because they are human beings, and also because they have access to my food and if they want to be spiteful, they can really fuck with it in a way that I’ll never know.

From a labor standpoint, they may get a hard time from the boss about wanting things cleaned up by a certain time so he doesn’t have to pay them, and he may blame them if the place is not clean and closed by a certain time. Maybe they have child care issues or other issues at home, who knows. They’re human.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m with you @jca2.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’m with @jca2, too! I recently gave a server a super good tip because he let me be seated 5 minutes before the place opened. I got to the restaurant at 8:55 and pulled on the door handle before I saw the “Open at 9:00” sign.
Rather than have me wait outside in the cold, the server got up and opened the door for me – and even said good morning!

smudges's avatar

I don’t feel entitled at all. I’m just relaying what the restaurant I worked at required. It’s the only one I’ve worked at, so I have nothing else to compare it to.

Having said that, I did a search for, “what time should a restaurant stop serving if they close at 10pm?”

After reading a number of them, I realized that the rule seems to be up to the restaurant itself. Without going into a long drawn-out explanation, some answers vehemently said it’s rude of the customer to show up close to closing time; some vehemently said if they don’t want to serve at 9:54, they should close at 9:53. The rest ran the continuum between those two extremes. Some kitchens stopped serving earlier than closing time, others stayed open until actual closing time.

SergeantQueen's avatar

@SnipSnip If I am working, I am cleaning everything except for the table the people are sitting at. That includes sweeping and mopping. They can tell me not to, but I am still going to. Do not go into a restaurant ordering food right before close and expect a nice accommodation. I am cleaning everything around you, and taking plates I notice are empty and can be taken (And I have permission to take). Sorry!

SnipSnip's avatar

@SergeantQueen I don’t go to restaurants like your employer obviously. The times it’s happened to us we were traveling.

SergeantQueen's avatar

@SnipSnip I no longer work in any type of restaurant, I quit that other job

jca2's avatar

I would think in any restaurant, if the boss tells the employee to clean up at a certain time, the customer can argue about it, but the boss is the boss.

smudges's avatar

And I would think that in any restaurant, since the customer pays the bills, in more ways than one, that the customer is the boss.

jca2's avatar

@smudges: Yeah but if the employee is told by the customer “don’t wash the floor now, we’re eating” and the employee says “I have no choice. My boss wants everything done by closing time at 10” then the employee has to do it or else risk getting fired.

SergeantQueen's avatar

@smudges I mean they can threaten to not come back all they want, the reality is is that the business won’t close based off one asshole who wants to leave. Sure, if it’s a small business. But either way, who cares? I’m sure the majority of people aren’t assholes coming in at closing.

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