Can A Restaurant Kick You Out When They Close?


I remember a scenario back in the day when I was about to finish my closing at a restaurant and I asked for the customers to leave. With no complications, all of them left except a party of two. They claimed that they won’t leave and have every right not to because they had ordered meals earlier and they wish to stay a bit longer.

Since then I have given it a thought on how many people are out there that just doesn’t, therefore in this article, I will explain to you can a restaurant kick you out when they close?

Usually, restaurants let the customers sit around 15-30 minutes after closing time, and only then ask them to leave because the restaurant’s closing time is made for the last order. However, if enough time has passed and the customers remain, they will ask them to leave and kick them out if necessary.

It really depends on the restaurant whether they want to serve the customers to the last minute and let them stay for as long as possible, or close as soon as possible with a ”no new orders 15 minutes before closing” policy. You can really see which kind of a restaurant they are by searching for a policy like that because if they’d have a problem with near closing orders, they would announce it in such a manner.

There is also another aspect to look at there and it is the individual workers there. Many restaurant workers may work overtime, have a waiting family at home, or perhaps they are students working part-time and they have stressful exams coming up. Therefore it isn’t rare to see a closing employee in a rush hurrying up the customers and I can’t blame them.

Usually, if the employee is in a rush and there are still customers left in the establishment, they will let the customers sit for as long as possible and start to clean up the kitchen, front of the house, and additional tasks that don’t concern the customers so that they could linger a while longer.

Now, let’s see what is a polite way to ask for the customers to leave the establishment without coming off as mean or inconsiderate.

How do you politely kick someone out of a restaurant

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when kicking the customers out of the restaurant when it’s closing time. First, you want to come off as someone who understands them that they would like to stay but unfortunately, it isn’t just now possible. Second, don’t come off as attacking and hostile when explaining the situation to the customers in order to keep the safety at reasonable levels.

For example, you could say: ”Excuse me but we are now closing, there are places that are still open nearby if you would like to me to point you to the right direction”, or ”Thanks for making business with us today, you’re welcome again when we are open” or something similar along that line. After all, there is no right way to say the words so think about the current situation and you will find the right words. 9 out of 10 times the customers will leave without any problems and treat you right with respect.

Unfortunately, there are cases when the customer just doesn’t leave and starts acting out. There are things that you should know when dealing with a customer that is like this, however, you should always remember to not put yourself in harm’s way because there are customers that can be dangerous. Believe me, I have seen it with my own eyes.

What to do if a customer refuses to leave

There are many things to do when a customer refuses to leave and whatever the situation is, the most important thing to remember is that you need to be safe! I have listed the steps below for what to do if the customer refuses to leave.

  1. Repeat the leaving request to the customer
  2. If they refuse, give a warning discretely
  3. If they still refuse, tell your co-worker to call the security
  4. Remain calm and do not put yourself in harm’s way
  5. Leave the customer to the security or police

Following these steps will result in safe and efficient outcomes and if you are working alone and the customer doesn’t leave, simply go to the back of the house and call the security yourself. Luckily cases like this are extremely rare but they do happen from time to time so it’s important to handle rude customers properly.

Is it rude to go to a restaurant 30 minutes before closing

Depending on which kind of restaurant are 30 minutes may or may not be rude, even if you have every right to go in and be served, let’s take a couple of examples.

First, if the restaurant is a fast-food restaurant like McDonald’s, Subway, or something similar, going in 30 minutes closing isn’t rude for most people. However they are probably taken the first steps towards closing but the meals come quite fast so no, it isn’t rude.

Second, if you are going to a casual restaurant with complicated meals and a service worker to serve you, then going in 30minutes before closing is a little inconsiderate. Keep in mind that the restaurant is still open and if there aren’t any ”no orders 30minutes before closing” policy or something similar, then you can go into the restaurant.

It’s smart to look around the place and see what the atmosphere is in there. If there is only one waiter that has hands full already then I wouldn’t personally go in. However if the place is big and there are lots of employees there and I would go in for a quick bite without feeling extremely bad about myself, as should you if you desire to because the restaurant is a business to serve customers after all.

How long is too long at a restaurant

There is a certain etiquette in restaurants on how long is a reasonable time to spend time in there without ordering anything extra. This varies greatly based on what type of the restaurant is and how the employees actually care about it. You might order a coffee and work or study 6 hours with that same order without anybody to come and say or if the place is small and crowded then 15 minutes after you have eaten might get you angry looks.

In general, most restaurants expect the customer to stay about 1 hour and 45 minutes in the establishment, therefore after 2 hours, your stay might get a little long. Again, this differs greatly and the only way to find out really is to try! And as a customer, you shouldn’t worry yourself too much about this because if you have overstated, you will get noticed with a smile!

Conclusion

In this article, we learned that the restaurant can definitely kick the customer out of the establishment after it is closed, however, usually they will let the customers stay 15-30 after closing because there are so much to do so it really isn’t necessary for the customers to immediately leave. In addition, the restaurant always tries to do everything kindly in order to provide great customer service at all times.

I hope that this article gave you real value and some additional knowledge that you didn’t previously know. You should have an understanding of the subject and what to expect when the closing has begun.

Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS and while I love working in a busy restaurant, I also enjoy more peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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