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home : columns : dave fjeld
November 25, 2020


10/7/2020 10:20:00 AM
Restaurant things to think about
From time to time my wife will tell me I'm weird. I can't argue with her. She's right - again!
I don't get too shook up about that, though. I'm pretty sure there isn't a husband, past or present, who hasn't been told by his lovely bride, at some time or another, that he's weird, odd or at the very least gotten that "what-in-the-world-are-you-talking-about" look on her face.
Just such a moment came up this weekend when I began making observations. (I know, always a mistake.)
Donna and I don't get away much these days. We've been to Sioux Falls maybe once since COVID-19 arrived in the Midwest in March and Saturday we traveled to Mankato, which, for me, was only the second time in the past seven months.
We also took the opportunity to eat at a restaurant we don't frequent in Windom or surrounding locales.
When we walked in, there was just one man waiting. The hostess asked, "How many?" and I said, "Two."
"There will be about a 10 to 15 minute wait," she replied.
We could easily handle that since we weren't on a schedule.
No sooner did we tell her that would be fine, than another host came from the back and showed the man and his wife, who was in the restroom, to their table.
I thought, "Hmmm, 10 to 15 minutes, really?"
Not even five minutes passed and a host said, "Dave?" We popped up and were shown to our table.
Now, how many times have you gone into a restaurant and been told it will be a "30 to 40 minute wait" and you're seated within 20?
Granted there are occasions when the line is so long that a 45-to-50-minute wait really takes that long, or longer. But I'll bet 8 times out of 10, you're seated well before the anticipated wait time.
And, let me be clear, I'm not complaining. It's wonderful.
But I often wonder, is there a hard and fast rule in restaurant school that you always over estimate the wait-time for people entering the restaurant?
I firmly believe, restaurant folks always go at least 10 to 15 minutes over the actual wait time to ensure that the customer is already feeling upbeat and pleased when they're seated for their meal "earlier than expected."
In fact, how many times have you thought, when you're name is called, "Wow, that was quick!" At this point, the meal could be less than adequate, but you've already got a positive attitude because you were seated sooner than planned.
You've got to hand it to those restaurant people, they know how to treat a customer.
Getting all the meat
At this same restaurant, I ordered a meal of shrimp served three different ways.
The meal was delicious and very filling.
Now, unless you enjoy eating shrimp tails, you usually eat the shrimp down to the scaly tail. However, you know there's a little more meat in that half-inch scaly portion just above the tail.
You could take a fork and dig it out, but, if you're like me, it's simply not worth the hassle.
However, aren't you just a little bit thrilled when you're able to actually pull the meat, with your teeth, from the scaly tail. It's like getting bonus shrimp meat. Out of the dozen shrimp I ate, I only pulled the meat from one tail. But it was more than I might have gotten otherwise. It may have been less than a small bite of meat - but it was bonus meat!
OK, OK, I know what you're all thinking - my wife is right again. I'm weird.
Be that as it may, I at least came away from this restaurant feeling like I was a special guest of the establishment.
In the world of COVID-19, it's the little things I think about and appreciate.







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