Closing Time!

closing clock

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.

19 thoughts on “Closing Time!

  1. haralee says:

    No kidding! Alcohol or Drug enhanced appetite and lack of social responsibilities?


  2. Carol Graham says:

    I am not a waitress, even though I did own a little bistro many moons ago and I am a bit confused. To me, if someone goes into a grocery store or any other retailer and they see the time posted on the door, they know they have to leave by closing. So, why would it be any different in a restaurant? If I get there by 9:45 and they close at 10, I would have to figure out what can be served and eaten in that length of time, It’s a no brainer. On the other side of the spectrum, why doesn’t the restaurant owner or hostess or server tell people that when they come in that late. “We close in 15 minutes so your choices are……….”


  3. Kymberly says:

    Ok, ok, I’ll order the steak medium next time. And I will once again confirm that being a waitress is too hard of a job for me to ever want. Tried it back in my teens at an IHOP and got scared off for life! May your tips be huge and your shift be over on time!


    • javaj240 says:

      LOL! Thanks for the best wishes!

      If you really want to send a waitress and the kitchen staff over the edge — order it well done and THEN return it and say it’s too well done. LOL!


  4. When hub and I owned our own biz, we’d go out to eat late and near closing time and always asked first if they still wanted us there or if they wanted to close, but it’s kind of confusing. If the sign says open til 10pm how is the customer supposed to know that no one wants any customers or to serve food beyond 9pm or whatever? It’s very confusing.


    • javaj240 says:

      If the sign says 10 PM and you come in at 9:45 and eat at a normal pace, that’s fine. (Wait staff usually has at least 30 mins. of cleaning and whatnot to do!) If you come in at 9:55 and take your sweet-ass time and don’t leave before 11:45… you are an asshat. LOL!

      I would imagine that the restaurants you frequented considered you “regulars” — for “regulars”, exceptions are always made 🙂

      I would also imagine that you are nice people who are mindful of the closing time and NOT asshats who think the world, particularly MY world, revolves around them!


    • rossmurray1 says:

      This was my question also: what is the point of no return / we spit on your burger?


  5. Yikes. I lingered way too long at dinner Saturday night catching up with an old friend back home. At least we didn’t come in at the last minute I guess and we had full meals and drinks. And it seemed that they needed the biz. Good reminder.


    • javaj240 says:

      There’s a difference between lingering during business hours and keeping an entire staff long after closing time so that you can indulge in whatever conversation/eating/etc. that you’ve decided you want to engage in. Big difference! LOL!


  6. Cheney says:

    I’m a waitress and I work the evening shift and we close at 8, so I know exactly how this is and it happens probably once a week that we are waiting to leave after cleaning one last table, standing around with all our sidework done, just WAITING on that asshat. I approve of your rant.


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