Dining Out

Edzo’s Lays Down The Law of Seating Etiquette

Eddie Lakin, of Edzo's.
Eddie Lakin, of Edzo’s. Photo: Sky Full of Bacon

UPDATE: See Yelp-related sequel at end of post. We witness things that get blogged about all the time, but that’s because we blog them. It’s much rarer to just find ourselves in the middle of a moment about to be blogmortalized, but it happened at Edzo’s Burger Shop on Saturday when we were in line. Owner Eddie Lakin tried to persuade a, shall we say, highly entitled customer that she had no right to go sit down and take a seat before her party had even ordered:

I tried to politely explain to her that these other people were standing with their food in their hands, but nowhere to eat it, and that this is the exact reason why the rule exists; to prevent a situation in which a group of people THAT HAVEN’T EVEN ORDERED YET are occupying a table for 20 minutes while others with food in their hands have nowhere to sit and eat it.

This woman wasn’t hearing any of it.

We were about fourth in line behind this party, and we witnessed all of it to this point and chatted briefly with Eddie about it (while our young bloggers-of-tomorrow made glares of stern disapproval at the partly mortified party). But we didn’t know there would be more. Oh yes, there was more:

Later, after the group was done eating, Rude Woman came up to the register to talk to me. Nevermind that she’d already gotten what she wanted. Nevermind that there was a line out the door and I was already juggling twelve tasks at once. Rude Woman wasn’t entirely pleased with how the situation played out, so she was determined to put the screws to me.

And even after that, even more:

A few minutes later, the phone rings. The caller ID tells me its a cell phone. I answer, and a very familar-sounding woman’s voice asks for a manager.

It’s well worth reading Eddie’s full post, not only for the fun of hearing this woman get smacked down for her (seemingly limitless) presumption, but for Eddie’s rationales as he tries to balance being a cheerful and welcoming host with the need to not let the jerks run roughshod over his business— and his other customers. It’s a tough thing to get exactly right in any kind of restaurant, and you’ll gain some useful insight (and sympathy) into how restaurateurs deal with selfish people for whom the social compact of dining out was made to be broken.

UPDATE: Our friend Michael Morowitz thought to see if the entitled family had thought to take their grievances to Yelp yet. Sure enough, it looks like they’ve made two posts here and here:

Aside from the food being over priced and unbelievably greasy, the “owner” was incredibly RUDE!. Two people from our party grabbed a table while the others ordered, something that everyone in the restaurant was doing. The rather large man behind the counter who claimed to be the owner stopped taking orders, approached the table, pointed to a miniature sign and berated us. When I say berated, i mean he screamed at us like children for everyone in the restaurant to see and explained to us that we were not to sit until we had gotten our food…

As a witness, we feel duty bound to note that whatever the other complaints, we observed no one else doing taking tables and Eddie did nothing that could remotely be described as screaming.

I’m Hot [Chicagomatic]

Edzo’s Lays Down The Law of Seating Etiquette