Illustration by Tricia Lim

The 10 types of people you’ll loathe as a restaurant hostess

By Kristy Koehler, April 11 2019 —

As the hostess, you have the hardest job in the entire restaurant. You deserve an Academy Award for being the smiling face at the front door in the face of soul-crushing stupidity. Not throat-punching someone is an exhausting task, especially when faced with these 10 types of customers.

1. The instant-orderers:

Greet and seat. Greet and seat. That’s the job of the hostess. Customers come in. You take them to the table, bring some menus and let them know who their server will be for the evening. These customers cut you off and demand a beer immediately. You have a lineup at the door. Their beer is not your problem. Do they not know how this works?

2. The self-seaters:

The sign at the entrance clearly says “Please wait to be seated.” So, what do they do? Wander right in and seat their party of two at that comfy-looking booth set for six. They’re absolutely irate when you tell them there’s a reservation at the table they just commandeered. Why can’t they have a little more leg room at a bigger table? Because we have a business to run. If there are four chairs, the restaurant needs four asses in seats so everyone can pay their rent. If your purse isn’t ordering dinner, it shouldn’t be taking up a chair.

3. The dirty table-sitters:

Dirty tables are like a homing beacon for clueless restaurant customers. There can be one dirty table in the entire restaurant and these sorry-ass people will find it, fall in love with it and demand to sit at it. There must be something about the alignment of dirty coffee cups perfectly formed into a pentagram that summons dining dipshits.

4. The picky seat-pickers:
These people don’t want to sit next to the kitchen or bathroom or bar or other people. They don’t want to be near an aisle where someone might walk by. They want to sit facing the new moon at exactly 45 degrees so as to charge their chakras. They don’t want to make eye contact with the chef, lest he discern what an absolute douche they are. Wherever you seat them, it won’t be good enough.

Restaurants are finely tuned machines, especially when it’s busy. There are five servers, each with five tables. If everyone wanted to sit in one section at the same time, the server would be overwhelmed and the customer would have an inevitable fit about the wait time. Want a smooth experience? Sit where you’re seated. The tables are perfectly rotated between servers to allow you to have a perfectly Yelp-able restaurant experience — or whatever godawful social media platform you’re using to pretend you’re a restaurant critic.

5. The time-travellers:

These people huff and puff about wait times, seemingly unaware that the hostess can read a clock and has some semblance of the passage of time.

“We’ve been waiting 45 minutes!”

“Well ma’am, that’s impossible since my shift started at 6 pm, you walked in shortly after and it’s just now 6:15.”

But, as a good hostess, you’ll never say that. You’ll simply smile, say “My apologies” and seat them at the table right next to the old man who has been farting all throughout his meal. Bon appétit.

6. The “regulars”:

These people look genuinely shocked when you don’t know where “the usual table” is. They’ll insist that they come all the time and that you “must be new.” Nope. Been here since the day we opened and never seen you before. Oh, you know the owner? Cool, she’s over there. Go say ‘Hi.’ She doesn’t know you either? Shocker. Get the fuck out of here.

7. The walk-in:

How many in your party? Fifteen and a baby? On a Friday night at 7 p.m.? Are you nuts? Get the fuck out of here.

8. The was-15-now-it’s-three table:

These people at least had enough brains to reserve a table for 15 and a baby. One server has been standing around waiting for them all night with all the tables in their section pushed together to accommodate Little Billy’s birthday party. When these people arrive, they’ll tell you their guests had something come up and dinner is now just Little Billy and his parents. Nothing like a phone call in advance, eh? Now, you’ve turned away four tables of other customers and the server is stuck eating instant ramen for the next week because the guests were too ignorant to stop playing Angry Birds and actually dial the restaurant’s phone number.

9. The charades-players:

“Hi! How are you this evening?”

“For two,” they’ll respond, waving two fingers in your face, oblivious to the fact that you completely understood the words coming out of their mouth. If you looked confused it was only because these people were raised by wolves and think the answer to a common pleasantry is the unintelligible grunt of a number. Look forward to the obliviously sensual gesture they’ll make when requesting salt.

10. The “obviously we didn’t need a reservation” people:

The restaurant opens at 5 p.m. They have a reservation for 5 p.m. They watch you open the door. They stroll in, throw their hands up in the air and yell at the top of their lungs “We had a reservation but obviously we didn’t need one.” Their every word seemingly mocks your lack of business. They pat themselves on the back, thrilled that they’re keeping your business alive, willing you to roll out the red carpet and prostrate yourself before them, eternally grateful for the two waters and one $15 appetizer they’re going to order. How would you ever survive without them?

These people have absolutely zero clue that the restaurant is going to fill up in half an hour. Restaurants don’t seat everyone at exactly 5 p.m. It would be mayhem. Hostesses everywhere implore you to use your brains and stop making this asinine comment.

If you’re a diner, be nice to the hostess and you’ll easily get a nice table in a restaurant, away from the farting old man and in an area where you can privately suck face with your Tinder date.



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