Are you Open??

Before you enter any restaurant, it never hurts to take a quick look at their hours of operation which should be posted outside. In liu of these posted hours there may simply be a sign that says open or closed. Either way if there is a sign that says the place is open or closed on that given day, and at that given time, then the place is open or closed.

This seems simple enough but any server can attest to how it seems to go directly over the head of many customers. Over the years I’ve had people walk into a fully lit and set up restaurant, with music playing, specials on the wall, and me walking around with my freshly pressed uniform and little apron.

Upon greeting them at the door with a “Hey guys how ya doin” accompanied by a dorky smile, they respond with “Are you open?.”

Once upon a time on a cold, winter day in Halifax, a genteleman peaked his head through the front door at about 2:30 in the afternoon and asked this idiotic little query.

I blankly said, “No, I’m sorry were closed.” He stared at me for about 2-3 seconds, not sure if I was serious or not, and slipped on back down the stairs.

Now that’s the kind of thing that gets a guy fired in the restaurant business. Fortunately, owners and managers aren’t usually around at that time of the day.

Other times I’ve made the standard sarcastic comments such as;

“No, I’m just hanging around, nothing better to do.”

“No, ignore everything you see around you, we are closed”

“We are closed, but come on in and have a seat, and I’ll think about lettting you stay”.

Each comment is quickly followed with the standard fake laugh to ensure the customer that I’m just teasing (I’ll even say “I’m just teasing!”).

I’ve never said what I really wanted to say, and pray that I never do. For it would certainly bring an end to my dream job as a 36 year old waiter. I’ve always just wanted to say the following;

“ What the fuck do you think? Give me one rational reason why we would be closed right now. And if you say “because no one is here” I will punch you in the face. I’m here, and I’m someone! Look at me, I’ve got this pathetic uniform on with my faggity apron. I’m freshly shaved and my pants are pressed. I’m carrying a god damn tray of drinks for christ’s sake. What the hell is going through your head! The lights are on. Appropriate restaurant theme music is playing. There is a sign downstairs that literally says ‘come on up, we’re open’! Why on god’s green earth would you think we are closed”

Then as they stare at me with their collectice mouths agape, I would yell, “Just get the hell out of here. Don’t come back until you have enough common sense that you can recognize when a place is open…jack ass!”

Of course that is the kind of rant that can only be said in your mind. Overtly, you smile and say “Yes we are, c’mon in!”

Ironically, the early birds never ask if you are open. You’ll be counting your beer or getting your tables set, you’ll hear a rustling sound, look over and there are people standing at the host stand waiting to be sat.

You’re not open for 45 minutes!

You walk over, their staring at you, and they never, ever, say “Are you open.”

Then when you tell them you’re not open for nearly an hour, they look around at the unlit, unset restaurant with the cleaner mopping the floors and the delivery guys pushing their dollies, and they are shocked.

“What? Not open? Alright, I guess we’ll have to go somewhere else to spend our money.”

You do that.

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