Rushed meal

illustration by Mark Stivers

A friend who works in the restaurant world called me after a particularly long night filled with tables of people going to a play that was being put on down the street. He was annoyed and needed to vent.

“Write a column about people who want a rush job for their meal,” he said. “If they need to have a rush meal for some reason, it doesn’t help to tell us at the very end while they wait for their check. That doesn’t help at all, and we can’t just suddenly speed things up at the end!”

I inquired as to what he, and therefore all restaurant-service workers, would prefer.

“Tell us as we seat you that you need your meal to be quick. We can pop your order ahead, get the drinks out quicker, and we know to skip the dessert menu (unless you ask for something to take with you in a box). Plus, we’ll be sure to have your check at the ready.”

I told him I would write it up. I’m not sure he heard me though as he dashed off the phone; he was muttering—through a lot of swearing—about the reservations before the second performance coming in.