Anonymous asked in Society & CultureEtiquette · 1 decade ago

Is it rude to expect a restaurant that closes at 10:00 PM should serve a customer who comes in at 9:55 PM?

My girlfriend recently told me how rude I was to walk into a Subway last night five minutes before they closed and order a sandwich at the counter. She's worked a number of fast-food jobs in her life (I never have), and said that she hated when that happened. She would have been finishing her shift and begun cleaning up and getting ready to go home, and would now have to put all that on hold and do it over again in order to serve a customer.

To which I replied that if the restaurant didn't want any customers past 9:50, then they should close the doors and turn off the lights at 9:50 and change the posted hours to reflect that. I think it would be rude to keep the place open and refuse to serve a customer during established business hours just because you want to go home early before your shift is over.


No, the girl at the counter didn't seem annoyed. A bit tired, but she hadn't put away any food or ingredients yet..

And at sit down restaurants or cafes, it might be rude to come in that late, but I've frequently seen signs posted which say that the kitchen closes at 9 and remain open to customers until 10. That would have been acceptable.

I've never worked fast food, but I have worked other jobs that dealt with customers who came in at all times during business hours. I understood VERY well that if I wanted to work there, I would serve customers during business hours. If that meant I had to stay late to clean up after the last customer had left, I accepted that and never complained about it. It's called doing the job that you were hired to do, and I apologize if some of you don't realize that.

Update 2:

Yes, it was a take away order. I was not expecting to sit in the restaurant and eat my sandwich, because that would have required me to stay past 10:00 PM, when they close.

Yes, actually at my current job I DO deal with customers and clients (or my supervisor) who call or come by at 4:55 PM and need me to help them out. I do so without complaint, most of the time having to stay later until I'm finished with them. And I don't get overtime pay or extra tips for it either, I just consider it part of my job responsibilities. That's why I don't start getting ready to go home until 5:00 PM, which is the posted closing time on our office doors.

Update 3:

Yea, it sucks if you have to stay an hour late to clean up the restaurant and get it ready for the next day. But it's still part of the job you CHOSE to sign up for, and at some point, you have to be thankful you still have one. If you hate it so much, you are free to quit and go home anytime you want.

37 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I know it's inconvenient, because I've been in that kind of job myself (many times!), but that's just one of the unfortunate things that comes with the territory. No job is perfect, is it? In any kind of customer service job you know closing time isn't the same as quitting time and you shouldn't think of it as such. There's always clean up, and you get paid for that too.

    I wouldn't go to a sit down place and order at that time, but you're going to be out by closing time, so no, it's not inconsiderate. Those are the hours, as irritating as it may be.

    • C5 years agoReport

      You choose the person who agrees with you completely. How predictable.

  • Hannah
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    Well, I work in a restaurant and it's not really a big deal as long as you order to go. We have to keep everything open right up until the official closing time. But ordering and then sitting in the restaurant after we're closed is pretty rude. Closing is a long process and there are things we can't do until there are no customers inside. So a person who does that could be making employees stay as long as an hour more than normal. It sounds like perhaps you don't have children that you need to get home to, and you're not in school with a demanding schedule, which is maybe why you don't mind staying late at your job. But a lot of us have lives outside of work and the job is so that we can support our children/put ourselves through school, or whatever.

  • 1 decade ago

    At a place like Subway, where they just put the sandwhich together in a matter of a couple of minutes, it's not that bad, but I would still try to come in earlier. I don't know if Emily Post would say going into a store or restaurant ten minutes before they close is rude, but as someone who's worked in food service and retail, I know it used to bug me! It was mainly because people come in and then they want to take forever figuring out what they want, and they usually make you have to stay over the closing time and hold up the closing process. I try not to do it to other people now that I'm out of food service and retail.

    And just so you know, people with these jobs don't get to go home right after the store closes; they have to clean up and get the store/restaurant ready for the next day. Sometimes they're there for an hour or two afterwards. So if the store closes at 10, they may not get to leave until midnight, and you coming in at the last minute throws them even later.

  • ed
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You may have a valid argument about the posted hours.

    However, No Restaurant or Bar employees go home at closing.

    It's common to work an hour or longer after closing.

    Bear in mind that they still have to clean up after the last seated customers are still there, then clean.

    Sandwich shops not as complicated.

    It still boils down to the best possible customer service.

    Not always proffered by some employees.

    I remember the old days when barbers closed at 6:00, BUT, any customer who came in by 6:00, was taken care of. I've seen as many as 5-6 people waiting for a haircut, after closing. Their closing hour did not mean they quit work, just that the doors were closed.

    This is true with many restaurants as well.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    all other info aside: as soon as I read the question, I had my answer. I have went to sit-down restaraunts and ,yes, walked through the doors at a few minutes b4 closing, but that was just once, because it was 30 minutes b4 they closed,and it was a late day for all of us. They even let us take home a couple of items. Hell, yes I think it is rude!!!!! these ppl are on their feet for most of the 8 hours and they are tired and wanna go home.I agree with the last part of your statement, but at 9:50,they are getting ready to shut down, putting away foodstuffs, cleaning the grill,stuff like that. When they begin vacuuming, that is a clear sign that they dont want you there. customers should respect that. I dont agree with going home early, but I do agree with beginning the closing down routine...

  • laydlo
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Okay, if someone comes in at 9:55 and is out by 10:00pm or 10:04 no problem. It's people who run into the building after I start locking up that annoy me. It's 10:10 or something and I'm locking up and tell them we're closed and they run to the last open door. Then they get angry when nothing inside is open. I told them we were closed, lights are dimmed and we're mopping up and taking the dirty water out the back. What did they think?

  • 1 decade ago

    Subway? No not rude at all. It takes all of what, 3 minutes, to make a sandwich? They are still open so they still need to serve you.

    I think it's ruder when people go into Target or a Grocery store at 9:58 when the place closes at 10 and expects to be able to do a weeks worth of shopping in one day. I worked at a grocery store where a lady did that one time, and she said she expected to be able to finish her shopping. The store closed at 10, we were there til 11:15 waiting on her.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It isn't rude because you have never worked in the food industry. People who have never worked in food service don't really understand it takes a while to close down a restaurant and a lot of things are involved. You also have to remember those people have lives too and are ready to go home on time the same as you when your about to get off work. Would you like it if your boss comes in the last 5 minutes before your gonna get off and asks you to do something that will make you stay past your scheduled hours. Most of America only thinks

  • 1 decade ago

    I did that once at a Church's Chicken. They were going to close at 11:00 p.m.,and both sides of my family showed up ay my house so I had to feed them. I pull up at 10 :50 and I see the crew cleaning up . They had a few peices on the rack,but I had to order A LOT of chicken ,so they ended up having to pull out the chicken from the cooler and bread some more.

    As I was standing there,OTHER people drove up and made large orders too. But the crew gave ME that "eat sh** and die" look.

    • C5 years agoReport

      Probably because you're the asshole who caused them to stay open and help all those other people.

  • 1 decade ago

    If their stated hours of operation are until 10:00 pm, then that was not an issue. It would not be out of line to tell the customer however that they close at 10:00, so this would have to be a take away order. Your friend has seemingly forgotten where the money comes from to pay the employees. if you guessed were right.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.