STOP! Don’t move that Table!

Leave the restaurant table floor plan alone.

There are so many places that we visit in our adult life. Retail shops, doctors’ offices, your attorney (hopefully not a criminal one.) The dry cleaner, restaurants, bars, hospitals, department stores, supermarkets, sporting arenas, financial advisors, I could go on and on. Thousands of professions, thousands of different venues where we conduct business.

The question I am about to pose is one I have been thinking about for the last 20 years and I still do not have a logical reason for it. This is probably one of the main reasons that has prompted me to write this publication. Why do customers feel they have full permission to move around furniture in a restaurant floor plan for their own convenience?

One way. That is a term we used back in Philadelphia. Well actually it was “one way mother fuckers.” Best definition of one way mother fucker: “A person who does not give a fuck about anyone but themselves or will contact you if they need something, but if you need something from them, just so happens they are never available.” These people are in Every Town, USA and seems like they all let the “one way” within their souls get the best of them in a hospitality setting.

Let’s do better everyone. Do not move furniture or anything else for that matter in a restaurant setting without the permission of someone that works there.

When you do this, you might as well just spit in the owner’s face and all those that are employed there. The layout, the design is that way for a reason. Why does the general public feel like they can just move items around as if they were their own? Does a monetary transaction dictate the ability for a customer to do whatever they want in this setting? I am still not sure. It has just been my crazy observation in life that for whatever reason in a hospitality setting i.e., bar, restaurant, hotel, wine tasting etc. people feel like they can move around anything they like in order to convenience them and their group. Meanwhile simultaneously tossing up the metaphorical middle finger to everyone working at this establishment.

Is the hospitality world the outlet for folks that hate their life, hate their job, hate their significant other? The outlet from being on the hamster wheel 12 hours a day to pay for their miserable lifestyle that in the end, does not really mean all that much trying to impress friends and family that they are in a better position in society than that server or bartender? I do not know, the question still escapes me.

This scenario happens daily in the restaurant world. It has happened to me countless times. You have your dining room set up for the evening then a group has someone join them and just grabs a chair from another table. Sounds harmless right? But it’s not. There is a plan in place. That chair is for someone else arriving in 10 minutes. But of course, does that person give a shit about that? There are groups that will just grab tables and put them together. Maybe that is not how that establishment operates? If you own a business, you probably operate it in a certain way, and don’t allow your customers to dictate how you run your business.

People do not think about this, they are only worried about their convenience. Just simply ask someone working at the restaurant if they can grab a chair for you. Just have some basic manners and respect for the layout of the space and the people that are working there providing you an essential service. I think we learned, no matter what politicians say, the bar and restaurant is essential to our society. Hence the droves of weasel politicians that broke their own rules by dining out. I’ll leave that alone, this could be another rant.

Is this just a straight up lack of patience? The world on so many levels getting faster and faster at every turn. I’m surprised people do not complain about medical procedures. “Hey Doc this heart surgery is really messing up my day, can we speed it up a little, I must get home to binge watch some How I met Your Mother.” Though, I actually found that show funny.

Speaking of doctors. General public, next time you decide to move some sort of furniture or grab something in a hospitality setting without the permission of someone that works there consider these questions:

When you walk into your doctor’s office, do you move the chairs in the waiting room? I have never seen it, if you are a person that does this, there may be no hope for you.

When you sit down in an attorney’s office, do you rearrange their desk because it just doesn’t work for you? My guess is this has never happened.

When you go food shopping, do you rearrange the items on the shelves? Doubtful.

Do me a favor. Go have a consultation with an interior designer and rearrange their entire showroom. That could be problematic.

Do me another favor. Next time you go to someone’s house friend, family, acquaintance, boss, it really doesn’t matter. Start rearranging their furniture because it does not suit your liking, let’s see what happens. They probably won’t have a smile on their face and say that’s ok like your server, host, or bartender would do. Well frankly if it were me, I’d throw you the hell out of my house and ask you never to return.

In a restaurant we will tell you to have a nice evening and please come back again! I implore you think about that.

People next time you get the urge to turn on the portable heater yourself…Don’t. Find or ask an employee to do it for you.

Next time you have the urge to put multiple tables together…Don’t.

If you feel the need to grab silverware off another table…Don’t.

If you feel the need to grab your server’s ass…Don’t.

There is no other business in the world that allows people to rearrange the set-up of their space. Yet in the hospitality world, people feel like they can do just about anything they want. It just does not make any sense.

There is an overall quiet disrespect of folks that work in the hospitality industry. This is the crux of the problem. If you already have the preconceived notion that you are better than the people that are serving you, then I assume that leads to the attitude that you can do whatever you want in that space.

Let’s just try to be better and think about how this action not only affects the employees of the establishment, but other patrons that are trying to enjoy their hospitality experience. This really is not a hard thing to do. If you need an extra chair, just ask. If you need to put tables together just ask. If you need an extra lemon wedge, don’t grab it out of the fruit tray! — That is one of my favorites.

I know it’s a crazy fast paced world we live, but next time instead of going with the instinct of moving something wherever you want, take a moment, and ask someone who works there that is trying to give you the best experience possible.




Life Lessons from the Prospective of Working in Hospitality for what seems like Forever.

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Jim Maglio

Jim Maglio

20 years in Hospitlity Rants•Life Lessons

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