When you approach the podium and say, “I am meeting other people who have a reservation,” please know the name of the people you are meeting. Come on, Restaurant Gal, you say. How could someone not know the name of people they are meeting? Trust me, it happens every day. “I don’t know who they put it under. What names do you have at noon for four people?” Too many. Just tell me a couple of names for God’s sake!
When you approach the podium with a cell phone to your ear, kindly ask the person on the line to hold a moment while you check in with me. Standing at the podium and continuing the cell conversation as you thrust an index finger in my face to keep me from speaking to you is, at the least, annoying to those waiting behind you. At most, this gesture shows an absolute lack of manners.
When you ask to look at a menu in order to decide whether or not you want to dine with us, please read in silence. There is no need to comment out loud about the lack of vegan entrees, the high calorie content you are sure lurks in every entree, or the fact that we have omitted a certain dish you have eaten at another of our group’s locations. We are not a vegetarian eatery, we do not specialize in spa cuisine, and we are not a chain. Live a little, eat outside the menu of your mind.
When you approach the podium, smile, and say, “Party of 20. Got room?” And then laugh and say, “Only, kidding. I’ve just always wanted to say that,” please think twice. I am a literalist about walk-ins announcing a group of 20. Walk-in groups of 20 don’t make me laugh. Okay?
When you see a line of people at my podium waiting to eat lunch TODAY, please do not assume this is a perfect time to make a reservation for two weeks from tomorrow. You have a cell phone; we have a land line number. Connect the dots.
When you approach the podium at 1:30 p.m., and wonder if the maitre’d needs a roll of Sweet Tarts because she is exhausted and hungry and won’t take a break for hours yet, assume she accepts gifts and bestow a roll upon her. You will always have a place in her heart–and a spot at the top of the wait list.