By 10:45, they looked to be finished eating except the two women kept picking at the entree plates barely nibbling on anything and the dessert sat untouched in the middle of the table. By 11:00, they were just chatting & laughing; dessert still untouched. At this point, we're done with everything in the back. They were all paid up and I had the deposit done and everything closed out. The employee closing the front went and asked if they needed a to-go container for their dessert they still hadn't touched. They said no and began picking away at it as they kept talking. I turned off the music, the tv playing sports highlights, the dining room ceiling fans and most of the back of house lights. I can't tell them to leave while they're still eating so, we wait. By 11:20 they were done with their dessert and were just sitting there talking. So, I let the closer go start putting chairs up. He had all the chairs up except for theirs and they continued to keep sitting there chatting and laughing. I told him to go nicely clear their table so we could finish the dishes and get those put away. I went and told them they would have to move the party outside and they laughed making jokes about getting kicked out. Yeah, hahaha, clever clever, now scoot.
I get so pissed off after that. They asked when they came in what time we closed. I told them 10 and they grinned and said they wouldn't be long. Liars. They didn't spend much, they made a big mess, they were rude and they didn't tip.
I admit, I hate when people walk in 5 minutes to close. I don't mind when they eat and then leave. The two other tables we had came in at 9:30 and 9:40 but they were both done and gone by 10:20. That, I didn't mind. They didn't leave huge messes and they weren't demanding and rude. They just came in, ate their food and then left. I don't mind so much when it happens that way. When they sit there camping at the table for almost two hours? That pisses me off. It's rude and incredibly inconsiderate. I can't ask them to leave while they're still eating or appear to still be eating. Even if I suspect they're just nibbling on things to make it look like they're still eating, you have to wait until they're done.
I personally won't go into a restaurant that close to closing time. I know how it sets you back and it sucks. I'd hate to be the person sitting there holding them up and keeping them there even longer. And if I did hypothetically do that, I'd eat and get out as quickly as I could and leave a nice tip to help compensate for the fact that I'm delaying them from getting their tasks done so they can close up and go home.
Thankfully, people like the ones from last night don't happen every night or even on a weekly basis. The barely making it in time thing does happen weekly but rarely are they as bad as the group from last night.
Anyway, time to get busy at work. I'm typing this out on my Blackberry while sitting in the office at work, lol. Time to head downstairs and do some work. ;)
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