Etiquette Tuesday: Closing Time.

[ 1 ] May 10, 2011 |

Image: graur razvan ionut /

Etiquette Tuesday is my time to vent.  Evidently my readers have taken on the same attitude and I am loving the incoming flow of stories over the past couple of weeks.  This week comes a lesson that should not be taken lightly:  service does not end until the last customer leaves.  Now I understand:  you’re tired, it’s one more customer, your feet hurt, you are oh-so-ready to get the h**l out of dodge…but business is still in order and until that last table leaves, you are still on duty.  Restaurant staff this Etiquette Tuesday is for you, listen up:

We like to eat dinner late and the earliest we take a dinner reservation is 9:00 pm.  There are many fine dining restaurants in the area that have their last reservation as late as 10:30.  God bless you for that!  But does that mean that I do not get the same experience as the person that dines between 5 pm and 8 pm??

Now we do not get upset if certain items are not available on the menu by the time we get there; however, we do expect a certain level of service.  This particular night we were dining at a top 20 restaurant and after our entree arrived, we noticed the chef getting in his car.  No big deal…we were the last seated and all we needed was dessert and coffee.  The staff, however, quickly got comfortable as if we were not in the restaurant.  From the time the chef left to the time we finished eating our dessert and walked out the door, the sous chef was in the restaurant foyer on his cell phone.  Another patron and myself were dancing jigs in the bathroom, which by the way has one stall for a 30 table plus 10-seat bar restaurant, while the hostess was changing out of her work clothes.  We sent our dessert back because apparently someone in the kitchen thought it would be cute to pass off raw steel cut oats as granola over our dessert.  No one came out to apologize or indicate any concern over the mistake (*I hope it was a mistake).

If I am paying over $100 per person (not including tip and wine) to eat at your restaurant, I want the same service the person at 8 pm received.  If you cannot handle that then stop seating patrons after 8 pm.  You have been in this game long enough to know that we don’t just come for your food, but the total experience.

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Category: Etiquette Tuesday

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

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  1. mee too says:

    worst article ever!

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