Late Nite Dining
Well hello friends!
Most often when you walk into a restaurant you are greeted with eager and smiling faces. Maybe a pretty hostess or a server jockeying for a table.
However there are a few of you that expect that same reaction while walking in right before the door is closed and locked.
True, you may be hungry, tired, or most likely stoned or drunk...
But then again so are we by that hour.
This happens on a weekly basis to me and always when I'm the "closer" or "head server," in other words the last one out of the building.
Someone always wants that last minute bite, and I'm always working with the manager that will let them. Some managers are great ie: "Tell them that the grill is off!" But most are willing to accommodate, after all business, no matter how minute is business.
This happened to me tonight.
Its Tuesday so not very busy, I look at the clock, two minutes to go, then I see them.
Teenagers, six of them.
I know they're gonna be mine. I'm like a great white shark that can smell a drop of blood ten
Shit, I didn't sign on for this, I could be done in ten minutes and up at the bar for a Scotch and Water.
Isn't this what IHOP is for I think as I warily approach them.
"Hi folks would you like anything to drink to start off with?"
I want them to order a beer so I can shoot them down.
Six kids, six waters...
At least the girls aren't ordering Shirley Temples with an extra bowl of cherries.
As I bring out a pitcher of water I notice a visibly stoned young buck emptying the bread basket as another joiner hits the table with a handful of the essentials.
No not vicadines...
Those are my essential after tonight...
But dinner mints...
"Would you like any appetizer to start off with?"
"Ya I already have some," cocky Boy #1 says as he gestures to the empty bread basket,"and keep it coming."
So no apps, no drinks, no salads.
Once again split plates on a couple pastas, the cheapest thing on the menu...
cocky Boy #2 shakes his glass at me, "more water."
cocky boy#1 "more bread."
Three bread baskets later their pizza is out, I don't even bother to serve it up. Just drop and run.
Now I'm behind on my sidework (Yes, our job entails more than just dropping off food)
I'm just back from taking the garbage out when Jenny, the other closer, grabs me.
"You table is looking for you."
Of course, I come out and the Cocky twins want more bread.
And as I look over Cocky Boy #2 drains his 2/3 full glass, "more water."
Hmmm, are we seeing a pattern here.
There bill is sitting at a whopping $32 for the six of them, and they're running me like they have $300 tab and a bottle of Grange Shiraz on the table.
All for free food and water.
It's getting close to eleven.
They want the dessert tray.
All the cooks are gone.
The dessert station is looks like Afghanistan, bombed out and desolate...
I figure I can make maybe three items out of eight.
I go explain that its late and we can only make Tiramisu, Cannolis and...
"Ya, I don't know what those are!" Grips Cocky Boy #1, "why don't you bring them out!"
Because we don't have them Douchebag!
What comes out of my mouth however is "of course sir!"
I do so and explain again what we can't make...
"I want the cheesecake!"
"Sorry we're out.." Hell, I just told him.
"Because we don't have any."
Then they name drop one of the owners. Great, their daddy probably plays golf with him.
"Isn't he a manager here?"
"No, he's not an on site owner," I retort.
I bet they thought that he personally would bake them a cheesecake at eleven fifteen in the p.m.
"We'll just take the check then, and boxes for our food." G
Great, its Cocky Boy #2 paying.
I drop their boxes and check.
As I walk around the corner minutes later I see a wad of singles on my check tray, surrounded by a pile of literally over a hundred mint wrappers.
Guess they got their dessert after all, for free of course.
Bill and tip...$35 left of a $32 bill.
They kept me, a busser, a dishwasher, and three cooks on another hour to fulfill their munchies.
And in the deal they got off on less than seven bucks a head for three baskets of free bread, pizza, enough mints to start a candy shop and a rude attitude.
In the deal we just lose time.
Some of us have families, a day job, or maybe just another double shift in the morning.
If you want late night munchies go somewhere that thrives off such business.
The staff at establishments with posted hours want nothing to do with it.
We close at the time posted.
So if you go out and hit the door at five after.
The answer is no.
The question is "are you still open??"