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Educating our Guests!
When you walk in to a restaurant and the hostess tells you it's going to be a 30 minute wait, one of two things has happened:
1. The restaurant is full. This is the easiest wait to explain because there are simply no available tables in the dining room. This kind of wait usually happens on a weekend night and is generally the easiest for the customer to understand. They look around the dining room, see that it's full, then grudgingly move to the wait area or bar until their name is called. **Please Note** It's still a good idea to check in with the hostess every 5-10 minutes just to "see where you're at."
This lets her know that you're watching her and won't put up with any funny business.
**Please note that sometimes there are open tables even during these busy times. This may be because:
a) We have a reservation coming. You didn't know we took reservations? Now you do! Feel free to make one anytime!
b)We have a party of 5 or more we need to seat and we're waiting for a table around the one you see to open up so we can combine them.
c) The server that has that table just had all her tables leave at the same time which means they are all getting sat at the same time. She needs a minute before she gets sat again. Could I give that table to another server and then give that other servers table to this server when she's ready? Sure...we call that a Cluster-f#ck. I'll explain that at a later date.
2. The second kind of wait is a little more difficult for people to understand because they see open tables in the dining room. They cannot for the life of them fathom why they can
some open tables...practically reach out and touch them...but aren't allowed to sit at them. Do we know they are there? Yes. Are we understaffed tonight? No. Then why can't we just sit down? Because...the restaurant has experienced what we call a "Rush" and at the present time all five of our waitstaff just got sat simultaneously
with three tables each. This is known as being "In the Weeds." They need just a few minutes to get drinks, take orders, etc. to get "caught up." Likewise, the kitchen is about to simultaneously get "hit" with all 15 tickets as well (15 tickets x 4 orders per ticket = 60 orders). They are also "in the weeds" and need a few minutes to begin cooking 60 meals from scratch. If we keep seating all those open tables we will experience a phenomenon known as "Going down" ... And that's not good for anybody. A quick formula will highlight this for you:
Rush>In the Weeds>Wait>Caught up= Good Food/Service
Rush>In the Weeds>No Wait>Going Down= Bad Food/Service
I hope this has been a useful tool to help your understanding of the that crazy "Wait" and why it's used. Because at Parker's, we believe an educated guest is a happy guest. I realize you are "In the Biz" because you used to wait tables at Denny's in college and we appreciate your suggestions during this busy time...but I assure you we have nothing to gain by not seating you as fast as we can! Thanks for your patience!
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