Monday, May 24, 2010

Breaking News: Foot Brace Great for Restaurants

Miracle of miracles! For the first time in my life, I show up at New York restaurants and they let me take a table even when THE WHOLE PARTY isn't there yet.
This policy of NY restaurants is one of the things that drives me insane about this city.
- We are going to be six for brunch.  (Plenty of available tables)
- I have a table for you right now. Follow me.
- Great! (We feign coolness and utter ignorance of the cardinal rule)
- Wait. Is everybody here?
- No. Right now there's only the two of us but they are about to arrive. Any. Minute. Now.
- I can't seat you.
I lost it.
- Frankly, I don't understand this policy. We are going to sit down and order food and drinks while we wait. Why is this a problem? 
- Listen, I don't get it either - said the hostess - I'm from Portugal*. I don't understand this stupid NY custom. But I need to ask the manager.
The manager probably looked at the brace (or at my murderous mien) and let us sit down. Still, they made me guarantee the other 4 were going to show up. Not very hospitable but that's what we have to deal with in this town.
For their troubles I ordered not one, but two Bloody Marys.  It pays to be nice to the customers.

*For you people not familiar with the hospitality business in the rest of the civilized world, you arrive at a restaurant, they don't expect all of you to arrive at the exact same time because they understand human nature so they trust that your party will eventually show up and meanwhile they will make some nice money off you while you wait in comfort at your table. But this is too much to ask here. Unless you have a foot brace.


  1. It happened to me last week at Taralucci e Vino on E. 18th Street! I was having a business lunch with one other person who was running late. Plenty of seating available and they could of easily of sat me at a table for two, instead I had to stand outside and watch as others ate and drank. When the person I was having lunch with finally arrived we were seated at a table that I could of easily had been seating at all along while having a drink!!!!

    I don't understand this logic.

  2. I believe the logic has to do more with annoying customers (there are plenty of those in NYC) than with restaurant managers. If one person sits at a table of 6 and just waits for 20 minutes, 5 people could arrive a minute later and start complaining about the fact that there's a table of 6 with only one person and they are standing there and they will complain and complain and complain and complain and complain until the waiter's testicles are completely pulverized. Thus, to avoid NYC customers destroying the personnel's morale, managers adopt stupid policies.
    By the way, go to eat to Queens (or any outer borough with latino restaurants) and those policies don't apply.