True Story from Restaurant Week three years ago…
10:40 pm; Saturday, restaurant week. Full house, kitchen closing in 10 minutes.
RR: good evening and thank you for calling Anonymous Restaurant, this is RestaurantRefugee, how may I help you?
Caller: we, um, have a 10:15 reservation, and we are, like, lost. Can you, um, give us directions?
RR: it would be my pleasure, where are you right now?
Caller: um, I don’t know?
RR: ok, well what do you see around you?
Caller: um, there are like, um, big buildings on each corner
RR: ok, well do you see any street signs?
Caller: um, oh yeah, um, 32nd street and J street.
RR: great you are just a few blocks from us. Are you on 32nd or are you on J Street?
Caller: um, I think we are like on J
RR: that’s great, go straight and make the next left that you can make. That should be 33rd street. You will pass a Four Season hotel on the left side of the street.
Caller: um, ok, um, like I see 33rd, we make a right?
RR: no, you need to turn left.
Caller: oh, um, like we missed it.
(Repeat the last four minutes – four minutes of my life that I will never get back)
RR: where are you right now?
Caller: um, like, we’re back at 34th and J.
RR: can you safely pull over?
Caller: um, like, yeah.
RR: pull over. What kind of car are you driving?
Caller: a Hyundai Elantra
RR: great, I will be driving a black convertible. I will be there in two minutes to guide you to Anonymous Restaurant.
RR: my pleasure, I will see you shortly.
RR: (to assistant general manager) I will be back in 5 minutes with some lost guests.
AGM: (very puzzled look about her) uh, ok.
Race to lost guest location. Slow down; wave heartily to indicate that their personal Sherpa has arrived. Drive, slowly, back to Anonymous Restaurant, lead lost guests to valet parking. Leave car in driveway to meet lost guests at the door. Meet guests at the door.
RR: good evening. We’re happy that you found us.
Lost guest #1: um, like, yeah, where’s the bar?
RR: just through this door, allow me to show you.
Lost guests #2: tell dude to take it easy on my brakes.
RR: absolutely sir.
Five minutes elapse; guests are seated at the bar. No “thank you” has been offered from either lost guest #1 or lost guest #2.
LG#2: (to our female bartender) dude, can I see the menu?
Bartender: here you are sir.
LG#2: (to lg#1) this isn’t French!
LG#1: no, this, is like, um Spanish.
LG#2: wanna go some place else?
LG#1: like, yeah.
LG#2: (to RestaurantRefugee) can you have that dude bring my car back, we’re gonna go someplace else.
RR: absolutely, sir. Have a good night.
LG#2: thanks, champ.