On The Beat: 9/26

How long is too long?

The practice of patience

By Jim Bucher

The Bible talks about the patience of Job.

To have the patience of Job means that you have a LOT of patience, and you are very understanding and giving.

Well, I’m two out of three; guess which one I’m not?

It all goes back to my dad who had zero patience. Whether at a red light or the post office, he couldn’t stand standing in or on line.

And crowds? Forgetaboutit!

I remember well leaving a Cincinnati Reds game where during the 7th inning stretch, dad would say, “Okay, that’s it. Back to Dayton so we beat the traffic.”

And on the car radio we’d listen to the rest of the game heading home.

Which brings me to the subject of this week’s column. Whether you have a reservation or not at your local eatery, how long is too long to wait for a table?

Dad would also say, “No food is that good to wait 30 minutes or more.”

Well, I beg to differ with pops. For instance, my friends, the Thomas family, and their awesome establishment, The Golden Nugget Pancake House, always seem to have a line, but it’s worth the wait and they get people in and out quickly.

Pine Club is another example because you can hang at the bar. Which really isn’t a bad thing.

But what do our wonderful readers say about a wait? I know it’s a pain to wait a whole week on one of my columns here in the paper. Greatness takes time after all.

Michael wrote, “I’ll wait about 45 minutes to an hour IF I know that the wait is worth it due to excellent food, service, and atmosphere. I’d rather pay more and wait awhile versus the loud, cookie-cutter, hustle-bustle of a chain restaurant with bland food. That being said, it drives me nuts when you wait a long time for seating and obviously see uncleared empty tables available. If staff were astute and willing to get it cleared, or empty tables for an extended period of time and while waiting you see staff (or owners) doing little to rectify the problem causing them to not be able to seat people.”

I’ll second that my friend. Gene though is not messing around. “Went to a big chain place for lunch around 1:30 during the week. Was told it would be a half hour to 45 minutes for a table. There was only one other couple in the place. Have never been back.”

Cheryl is pretty practical, “Forty-five minutes to an hour only if there’s a bar to occupy me and the food is what I want. If it’s a new place I would try to make reservations before going. Drive thru, I doubt I would wait longer than 10 minutes without speaking frustration. After 10 minutes, it’s not quick anymore,” she writes.

Don said, “If the hostess/host, name-taker, or whatever they’re called says, ‘It’s a 15-20-minute wait’ on a busy night, we’ll stick it out. More than that and we’re outta there unless we have a large group (like eight or more) because it takes them some time to get that much seating cleared. Kudos to Texas Roadhouse and the others that have ‘call ahead, text ahead’ reservations. It speeds things up a lot,” he says.

Now, one of my pet-peeves is the fast food joints with the double drive-thru, and I’m not alone. Don, please continue.

“They are only a pain because of obviously starving and time constrained people who think it’s a competition to beat out the person in the other lane, regardless of who ordered first. Here’s a suggestion… install red and green “stop” and “go” lights at each lane,” he says.

Not a bad idea unless the city installs red light cameras.

Our man about town Brian Sharp wrote, “In Dayton – 30 min max. – now McDonalds (I haven’t eaten there in years) if I was asked to wait or pull up at a drive thru, I remind them that the purpose of a drive-thru is that food is ready when I get to the window. So I ask them what is prepared and I will take that and I also ask, what will I get for free?”

Finally, Donna writes, “It infuriates me to be on a list and somebody walks in the door 30-40 minutes after you do and be seated right away! This is not a call ahead of reservation type place. I guess if you are a regular you get privileges!”

You mean the old, “Don’t you know who I am’ line doesn’t work? Me either, not that I’ve ever tried of course.

Cheers!

Buch

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Jim Bucher
For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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