A restaurant exists to serve food

This week's post on restaurant etiquette and expecting to be served near closing time touched a nerve and continues to incite comment.

A commenter yesterday said "if you just busted your ass running around a hot bar or restaurant all night you would be pretty anxious to get home too."

But reader Hunter L has a counter-argument: 

"A restaurant exists to serve food.

The owner of a restaurant decides on business hours and the menus used during those hours accordingly, given markets and the available work force etc. If the restaurant is open, then that means you can order food. If the restaurant is closed that means you can’t order food.

Customers are at zero fault in ordering food between the posted hours. Their 'job' is to show up when said business is open and engage the business accordingly. The ideal time for customers to show up isn’t in some unwritten code, it’s during the hours of business! They’re the reason the business exists even if the service they receive is at a loss of profit to the owner.

Profit and revenue are not the same thing. The cost of getting customers to even show up outweighs any negative impact they may have, but the revenue they did provide paid for some of the wages and operating costs.

If there’s a significant loss due to late night or any scheduled operation, then that’s something the owner should consider. If some people “in the industry” are of the mind that everything gets turned off immediately when the hours on the sign say so, then they need to understand the purpose of their position – to cook/serve food in a restaurant that is open during the posted times.

If the duties of their position and the hours they’re expected to work elude them then they should find another position or line of work that aligns with their desire to leave work immediately when the business is closed.

It’s completely okay near closing for the business to indicate that they’re closing and subsequent rounds of food/drinks will be unavailable after said closing time. If you have a restaurant, you take any and all orders up until you’re closed. You wouldn't open and then wait 20 minutes to take orders because your workforce decides to show up late.

Some people need to take some responsibility for their situation if it isn’t what they want or approach the owner so they can explicitly enforce these “rules.”

I know these emails are prob super lame but i fucking hate comment sections. I've attached some sweet ass pictures for your trouble! Enjoy!"

The sweet ass pictures included a baby duckling in a teacup, Kermit the Frog riding a scooter, cats with telephones, Bill Murray doing what Bill Murray does, and a guy declaring that "Shrimp are Bugs."

They were indeed sweet ass.