Operating hours

Every business has its hours of operation, and they exist for a reason. In the service industry, the hours of operation are not necessarily the “work hours” of employees.

I work occasionally at a bar in downtown Nashville. Sometimes, I am serving food. Other times, I bartend. Occasionally, I bar back. Our hours are generally 8 pm to 2:30 am… ish. However, we arrive by 7:30 pm to set up and leave sometimes as late as 5 am.

It baffles me when I work serving food how often people show up around 7:45 and are shocked to find that there isn’t any food cooked. My frier is cold, water to make hot dogs cold, and chili… you guessed it… cold. My cash drawer is being set up. My sign isn’t even out yet. But they want food right now.

It always takes a lot for me to not snap, “Its not ready because we aren’t open yet! Do you go home, open your refrigerator and miraculously a meal appears on your table fully cooked? If it does, I want your house! But my guess is it doesn’t work that way, nor does it work that way here.”

No, instead I smile and ask that they wait. Occasionally, I’ve opted to ignore them until 8 pm and I’m open. Either way, I bite my tongue and keep my rant in my brain.

Okay, and it might make its way to Twitter.

And this blog.

But I don’t name names.

This time.

Nonetheless, people need to realize that for restaurants, stores, etc. to operate, they have a period of prep time and clean-up. This allows them the best chance to serve you properly. It’s important… respect that.

5 thoughts on “Operating hours”

  1. Oh god, yes. We get this at Dairy Queen *constantly.* Particularly on Sundays (the only day we open at 11 instead of 10), but even on days of usual operation, we end up with people who start knocking at the windows as early as 9:15, waiting expectantly when they see whatever poor soul is opening like they expect to be let in. It’s absolutely ridiculous. For one — do you really need fast food so badly at NINE AM that you can’t wait until operating hours? For another, who has taught these people to ignore all signage in favor of pounding at the glass windows, sometimes for minutes on end? There’s a reason we’re not open yet, and that’s the fact that NOTHING IS READY. The machines aren’t cold enough to freeze the soft serve. The money is on the counter, rather than safely in the register. The grill isn’t anywhere near hot enough to cook food. And yet you’re standing there making rude gestures at me, as though the only reason I’m not serving you is that I don’t want to. Well — that’s true, I don’t want to. But it turns out I don’t *have* to, because up until that clock rolls around to ten, IT ISNT MY DAMN JOB.


    Which is to say — gah, YES. And amen!

  2. Yay, Denise it is great that you have this blog to vent to. And even though it isn’t a restaurant business, someone calling at 6:15 pm on the last day you can file your tax return without a late filing penalty is beyond me. After all it isn’t midnight yet, Right???
    But then I guess we should see all people as innocent. Sometimes that is a bit hard to do. Thanks for giving me a place to rant as well!!

  3. Oh – been there, done that! I even had people ask if they could order something when the bars were still down along the restaurant!

    Anyway – I wanted to stop by and thank you for such a kind comment you made over at my place. It’s been a while and I apologize for my un-promptness – but it meant a lot. Glad my post helped you! :-)

  4. My favorite are the ones that come 5 minutes to close and sit for an hour and a half after they ordered a well done steak!

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