January 27, 2014 |

Um … hello … customers here!

By Jeremy White

Motorino dinnerware

Perhaps the ideal time to clean under a table is in between seatings?

Yesterday I was having lunch in a popular fast casual restaurant. Part of a thriving national chain, this particular brand is known for breads, sandwiches, salads, pastries and coffees. It’s a favorite weekend pit stop for my family, and the service is always super friendly if not expedient.

Still, I couldn’t help but get a little frustrated yesterday. We had finished our lunch and my two boys were sharing an oversized chocolate chip cookie (I may have helped myself to a bite … maybe). As we sat there and enjoyed the lazy afternoon family time, I felt something bump the leg of my chair. I paid it no mind. But then there was another bump. Then another.

Soon I heard the familiar “whishing” sound of a powerless vacuum and I was moving and lifting my feet so the restaurant employee could sweep up the crumbs beneath our table.

I gave the kid a quick glance. He was probably about 16. He didn’t know better. He was told to clean the floor and he acquiesced.

He was gone after 15-20 seconds. His little intrusion did my family no harm. But it was unnecessary and irritating. Just a few brief moments later we left to pick up dog food and head off to my oldest son’s indoor batting practice. I’m pretty sure THAT would have been the ideal time to sweep under our table …

A minor issue? Of course. But a senseless one. Train your staff when to clean and when not to clean. Your customers are there to enjoy themselves. You want them to come back. You need them to come back. Don’t give them such a trivial excuse not to.