Saturday night, I was just utterly thrilled to see I had a three table section. Yeah, fuck you, managers. Actually, I shouldn't say that--it may have been a vote of confidence. It's always hard to say if that section is a big middle finger because of it being three tables, or if it's because I can handle three six-seater booths if they get jammed to maximum capacity (can fit nine people, if there's a chair on the end and a few kids). It's one of those sections that can really, really pay off--or really, really not.
I thought I was headed for the second option when a man and his very young daughter sat down to wait for three other people. They ordered drinks, and then they waited. And waited. And waited. During the absolute peak dinner rush, they waited for half an hour for the rest of their party. Finally they arrived, and to my horror it was two adults and four more children. So I had three adults and five children under the age of ten crammed in to this booth. Never a good sign.
An even worse sign? The ordered two appetizers, one kid's meal, and one steak. That's it. That's all. And then after they ate, they stayed. And stayed. I ran a detail report when they were walking out the door; from the time they ordered food to the time they left was exactly 100 minutes. Two hours and fifteen minutes they monopolized my table. Now, they did tip me 30% on their pitifully small bill--but $9 for two hours plus? If they would've arrived at once and left at once, I could've run at least one more table through there in that time, like another one of the six tops waiting up front, and at least doubled my money.
It also raised my hackles that the kids got bored and made a carpet of crap underneath the table--chips, chunks of chicken fingers, ripped up napkins, sugar packets, etc. If you can't keep an eye on all your rugrats when you go out to dinner, maybe you should stay home, huh?