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restaurant rant(25 posts)

restaurant rantDougSloan
Jun 28, 2003 7:35 PM
Walk into a family restaurant (Applebees) and there are at least 10 empty, clean tables. They tell you it will be a 5 minute wait. There is another family waiting ahead of you. You are standing there in the entry holding a baby. You go into the restroom and change the baby. Come back out, still told there will be a wait. Still 10 empty tables. Kindly ask if we can choose a table and sit down. Told "no, there aren't enough waitresses."

I've been at many restaurants with the "no seating at empty tables for no apparent reason" policy. Others, they gladly seat you right away if they can.

Which is the better policy?

I for one, left and won't be returning to Applebees. Whatever happened to customer service instead of standing by some silly policy that works only in the best interests of the business? Yes, I told them their policy was silly and there was no reason we shouldn't be seated. The woman said there was nothing she could do. Huh?

I think it is silly too, but ...Live Steam
Jun 29, 2003 3:39 AM
they have a right to operate as they see fit and you have the right to not patronize them. Sounds like poor business on their part. The management should pitch in when shorthanded. This practice obviously makes them look ill equipped to handle themselves in adverse conditions. Never really liked Applebees myself :O) I prefer the local diner for something quick and tasty over some of these national chains. You usually get better service and food from a place where the owner is present.
I always try to visualize the other side of the issue.Spoke Wrench
Jun 29, 2003 5:08 AM
In this case, it still doesn't make any sense to me. Their objective, after all, is to make a profit by selling you food. In this case that didn't happen so what business interest could they possibly have achieved?
rock or hard place?mohair_chair
Jun 29, 2003 10:29 AM
If they really don't have enough waitresses (no waiters either?), but they seat you anyway, you'll end up getting terrible service. You might walk out, and you probably won't come back. Either way, they lose you as a customer, but at least they don't have to clear your table!
If they had, you would have gotten poor serviceKristin
Jun 29, 2003 5:12 PM
I was a waitress in high school. I sucked, but I did it for a year. As with any job, there is only so much one person can handle at a time. This is why restaraunts devide their seating area into stations. Each station has one waitress in charge of it. Its the hostesses duty to make sure that patrons are divied up fairly between the stations. Each station getst he same number of patrons, and only one large party at a time, etc... If the estab. is short one wait staff, then they are forced to close down a station. Its the best they can do. (Those 10 empty tables were in the same vacinity, correct?) If they had seated you there, you wouldn't have had a waitress at all, or at best, you would have had a frazzeled one. Either way, not good service.

You weren't wrong to leave that night--it wasn't their best night and your service would have suffered--but I wouldn't penalize the estab forever. Its a holiday weekend and probably they couldn't find a replacement for a sick employee. Cut them a little slack. Applebee's has some good grub.
See, the zeitgeist affects even mundane mattersOldEdScott
Jun 30, 2003 5:39 AM
like going to a restaurant with the family.

You ask: 'Whatever happened to customer service instead of standing by some silly policy that works only in the best interests of the business.'

I could ask the same question about American political life: 'Whatever happened to taking care of the needs of the people instead of following silly policies that work only in the best interest of business?'

When ideas are in the air ascendant, they trickle down even to little everyday matters. Applebees Republicaned you!
A simple matter that the left cannot graspLive Steam
Jun 30, 2003 7:33 AM
"Whatever happened to taking care of the needs of the people instead of following silly policies that work only in the best interest of business?"

When business prospers so do the American people. It's called simple economics. If you believe that the answer is to simply redistributing wealth, you are living in the wong country at the wrong time. The Communist Manifesto has been proven to be defunct :O)
and here I thought this would be an apolitical discussion ;-) nmDougSloan
Jun 30, 2003 7:35 AM
You MUST be kidding! nmOldEdScott
Jun 30, 2003 7:38 AM
A simple matter that the right cannot graspOldEdScott
Jun 30, 2003 7:45 AM
It is possible to serve the needs of business AND the needs of the people. Your philosphy is 'business uber alles,' (and by extention, 'The aristocracy uber alles') and if a crumb or two 'trickles down,' great (and if not, tough). You give business/capital the weighted end of the see-saw.

Tell me why sweatshops and child labor are a good idea, Steam. If you don't want to, I bet I could argue your case for you, extrapolated from your other political musings here.
You said I put words in your mouth, but ...Live Steam
Jun 30, 2003 8:48 AM
it appears you like to do just that. Where did I state I support sweat shops and child labor? Where do these exist in the US and we will expose them together. It seems one of your brethren Sen. John Kerry feels as I do - well for him it may depend what state he happens to be in and who the audience is.
I can argue FOR sweat shops and child laborOldEdScott
Jun 30, 2003 9:00 AM
using your own logic and your words, Steam.


Cheap labor and long hours are good for business, they allow entrepreneurs make more profits, and then they can expand and provide even MORE sweatshop jobs, so people have paychecks, the profits trickle down, and you do-good liberals don't care about working people and families, you want to take bread from their mouths by shutting down these businesses or regulating them out of business, where in the Constitution does it say the damn government has a right to regulate working hours and who can freely choose to work for whom? etc etc.

Typical Social Darwinist crap. I thought we progressed beyond this in the 19th Century. Now it's back with a vengeance, in the mouths of feverish conservatives like you.

The logical consequence of your ideas, the end point of all this economic royalism, is sweatshops and child labor.
There are too many lawyers to .......Live Steam
Jun 30, 2003 9:08 AM
allow abuse of laborers and workers, like we had in the past. Simple straightforward regulations are all that are needed these days. No we don't need the government micromanaging our industry too. They can't even manage their own affairs.
Ummmm .... Where do theOldEdScott
Jun 30, 2003 9:10 AM
simple, straighforward regulations come from? The Chamber of Commerce?
When were the "needs" of the people...94Nole
Jun 30, 2003 8:14 AM
the goal of government. Not until "politician" became a career when the shift to vote buying with social programs became their number one goal.

Taking care of the specific "needs" of people is not and shoudl not be the role of government. Haven't I heard the phrase "promote the general welfare" somewhere? Where does it say specific, individual or need for that matter?

Have I missed something here?
If I understand you correctlyOldEdScott
Jun 30, 2003 8:22 AM
government should only exist to serve the needs of corporations and the rich. This seems to be the general tenor of your arguments here. Is that what it boils down to, or have I myself missed something? Where did you acknowledge the people's need for roads, national defense, corrections facilities, breathable air and drinkable water, national parks, the Centers for Disease Control, pure food and drugs etc?

Oh wait. Those things weren't specified in the Constitution. So they're out. Making sure wealth concentrates exponentially in the hands of a few IS mentioned, I assume. Can you tell me what section that is?
Bring on reparations!! The government owes me!! Ed said so!!!94Nole
Jun 30, 2003 11:11 AM
Ed, your post cites general needs that are the collective needs of the country, not the specific need of a person, and THAT IS the role of government. You will note that I distinquished between specific and individual needs in my post but taking things out of context for argument sake is another liberal tactic.

Although the government has never built a road specifically for me, but I sure need one to complete my favorite cycling loop. Do you have someone I can contact to get the ball rolling on the government building my road? Would you approve of the government building a road just for me if I can prove my need? I mean that is the function of government isn't it?

Heck, what about reparations for all the years my, and likely your, ancestors had to suffer through life fending for themselves without the government being there meeting their every need? I want some cash out of this deal.
Typical reactionary distortion.OldEdScott
Jun 30, 2003 11:28 AM
Did you study grammar in aristocracy-wannabe school? 'The people' in my phrase 'needs of the people' is a plural, a collective noun. It is EXACTLY what you say you agree with: the collective needs of the people of the country. I defy anyone who understands grammar and syntax to read it any other way. Sheesh.

As usual, like your other right wing brethren, you have entirely distorted my post. I never said, anywhere -- and I dare you to find it -- said the government should serve the needs of A PERSON, in the specific, ridiculous manner you cite, i.e. build A ROAD for A PERSON to ride his bike on.

But if a bunch of people wanted bike paths or bike lanes, OF COURSE they should be able to petition the government for that. Maybe not in your hoped-for monarchy, but in democratic America, yes, sure. Of COURSE.
She was right I am sure....rwbadley
Jun 30, 2003 6:52 AM
about there being 'nothing she could do'

I would have walked out, too.

I make it a point to not eat at the chain establishments. I figure they don't need my money, and I would much rather go to the Mom and Pop's.

Declare resolve to give money to the local merchants, if possible.
what I think she should have doneDougSloan
Jun 30, 2003 7:31 AM
I think she should have said, "You are free to be seated, but we are short on help and it may be a while before your server can help you."

I would have appreciated being seated (with baby) and the honesty. Everyone could have been happy. This was 6 o'clock on Saturday evening. You'd think they'd be prepared for a few people then.

We almost never went there before the baby. He limits where we can or want to go, no wanting to inflict his mass destruction upon the restaurants we really like. Ever see a 1 year old eat? ;-)

wait a minutemohair_chair
Jun 30, 2003 7:58 AM
That seems very unfair. You specifically went to this restaurant because your kid might "inflict his mass destruction" on a restaurant you really like (meaning you don't like Applebees to begin with).

Then you get upset because they won't seat you? There's something wrong here that I can't quite quantify, but now I'm thinking that maybe the restaurant didn't seat you because they didn't want to deal with the inevitable mess, not to mention the annoyed customers sitting nearby. Especially if they were shorthanded.

Nothing against you or your kid, but I don't want to sit anywhere near a 1-year old in a restaurant.
full of kidsDougSloan
Jun 30, 2003 8:07 AM
The place is always full of kids, especially in early evening. It bills itself as a "family restaurant." Plus, I always clean up after him as best I can, and tip extra.

I don't think the kid had anything to do with the policy of not seating us. It's happened before at this and other restaurants when we had no kid.

Besides, Luke is a joy to sit near. He's very friendly and entertaining.

"Luke is a joy to sit near. He's very friendly and entertaining"NatC
Jul 3, 2003 5:17 AM
To you, I'm sure. He's your kid. We feel the same way about our 2 y/o. I have to keep reminding myself that not everyone likes kids.

It's funny (and a shame) how having a small child limits one's restaurant choices, isn't it? We have to pass by all these tempting establishments after mentally calculating how much wanton destruction our little girl might do.
Good point, I can see the logic in that! ;-) nmrwbadley
Jun 30, 2003 9:02 AM
What you get for going to Applebee's. Plus it's proof that . . .retro
Jun 30, 2003 10:45 AM
I've had the same experience many times, and I understand your frustration, but there are two factors at work here:
1. Applebee's is awful. I travel the length of California and inland as far as Idaho-Utah-Arizona four or five times a year, and while I try to find new restaurants, I often end up eating in chain places. Without question, Applebee's has more service problems and worse food than any big chain I know of. I'd sooner go to McDonalds--at least it's not irritating.
2. You're officially middle-aged now. Ten years ago you would have shrugged it off.