There is almost nothing more maddening than you folks who wander into a restaurant five minutes before closing time. Almost nothing.
There is almost no amount of money that you night owls are going to leave me that will make it worth my while to add another hour to my already long enough shift. And, let’s face it, if you are inconsiderate enough to barge through the door and order up a three-course meal at that time, the odds that you will know what a decent tip is AND that you will leave one are slim to none.
Closing time is not a secret. Our hours of operation are printed on the door. And, you are told when you wander in five minutes to the hour that we will be closing in five minutes. It’s our way of saying, “Really? Really, asshat? Are you really going to sit down NOW?” Of course, you decide to sit anyway. You make empty promises about being “quick”, promises that you have NO intention of keeping.
Here’s what ALWAYS happens. Those of you who manage to sneak in five minutes before closing ALWAYS order the largest steak on the menu and request that it be prepared, guess how? “Well-done”! After having consumed this monstrosity, you like to sit a few minutes, you know, to digest and to peruse the dessert menu. A menu that you ALWAYS order from. So much for being “quick”.
After you consume your post-dinner sweet with the languor one normally associates with a lion feasting on a wildebeest, you seem shocked to discover that the staff — a staff that has been held hostage so that you may indulge in what can now be defined as a midnight snack — is watching your every move. They are awaiting the moment when you finally either slip into a glucose-induced coma or put your fork down, whichever comes first, so that the check may be presented. Quite possibly this cast of characters will put you in mind of the band of hyenas who hang around the edges of a jungle kill. They are anxious, like the hyenas, to clean up your mess and get the hell out of Dodge.
Finally, when you take note of the fact that you are the last people in the restaurant and pony up payment, you still enjoy lingering. This forces the hyenas to give you what feels to them like a shove in the right direction — the direction of the exit — but what feels to you like “the bum’s rush”. We must turn off the lights, the music, the televisions — everything short of picking you up by your underarms and sticking a hoof up your ass — to indicate to you that WE ARE CLOSED!
Seriously, I’m begging you. STOP doing this! There are plenty of twenty-four hour eateries here in these United States. Find one.