So you want to go out to eat on Mother's Day, huh? In that case, there are a few things we should probably discuss.
Mother's Day is, obviously, not the worst day of the year by its own merits. Mothers are great, and they deserve a day during which to be celebrated. It IS, however, the worst day of the year to be in a restaurant, for both restaurant workers and customers — it's worse than Valentine's Day, worse than Christmas, worse than New Year's Eve, worse than St. Patrick's Day. There's just no comparison; absolutely nothing even comes close to the awfulness of Mother's Day.*
Because of that, we at Kitchenette thought we'd write a handy guide for making your Mother's Day restaurant experience a less awful one for all parties concerned. Here, thus, is how to survive this nightmarish day.
Mother's Day Rules for Customers
- You might have a short wait when you get to the restaurant. Yes, even if you made reservations (and if you didn't make reservations, pardon me while I laugh at you until THE END OF TIME). Why? Because restaurants can't control how long customers feel like lingering, and today, they ALL feel like lingering. Blame the other customers, don't blame the host.
- Don't arrive piecemeal, or at least don't go in and demand to be sat if you know you're arriving piecemeal. One person being 5-10 minutes late is fine; a table of 9 arriving in groups of 3, 2, and 4 and demanding to be sat before the second group has arrived can fuck right off. This is annoying enough on a regular day, but on Mother's Day, you might as well just say "hi, I'd like to make my server's life a living hell, because I do not understand basic empathy."
- No, you don't have a right to get angry when you find out the restaurant has run out of that thing you want, especially if you don't get there until 8 PM. It's going to happen. Restaurants can't predict how much of any one item will sell on a super busy day, and they can't order ludicrous amounts of everything on the menu — that's flushing massive amounts of money down the drain since, as a customer, you know damn well you're going to just wind up ordering something else anyway. If your special evening was ruined because the restaurant ran out one a popular item on the single busiest day of the year and you're too goddamn picky to want anything else on the menu, maybe don't show up on the single busiest day of the year.
- There is a special place in hell for people who mistreat their servers on Mother's Day. As a Mom, it's your special day, and you deserve to be pampered. So do the other 2-4 Moms in your server's section, so don't try to monopolize the server's attention. Also, if you're just generally nice to your server, I promise they'll be nice back (and be WAY more willing to bend over backwards for you). At a certain point as a server on Mother's Day, you're so desperate for people to just stop acting like spoiled, overgrown children that the first customer who smiles at you and treats you like a human being makes you want to scream "TAKE ME WITH YOU" when they walk out the door.
- There's an even more special place in hell for anyone who puts in special orders on Mother's Day. To clarify: "no peppers" is fine. "No peppers, no tomatoes, extra cheese, could I substitute the fish for the chicken, could you substitute corn for avocados, make sure they cook it extra well done, and make sure it has just the right amount of sesame seeds" means literally every person in this restaurant hates you right now. And God help you if you invent a menu item wholesale today, because at that point, the line cooks are well within their rights to chuck a pair of tongs at your head. Side note: NEVER FUCKING INVENT A MENU ITEM EVER, even if it's not Mother's Day. Order off the fucking menu. You are the worst.
- When you're done, leave in a timely manner. Stop camping out in a server's section unless you're willing to pay rent on that prime location booth in the best section in the house. "But that's how they do it in Europe" is not a viable excuse unless you are actually in Europe. If you're hanging out for an hour after you've finished eating on this day of days, you are an asshole.
- You know what? Just go out to eat on Tuesday instead. Problem solved.
Mother's Day Rules for Restaurant Employees
- Invest heavily in painkillers strong enough to incapacitate a muskox.
*Only possible exception to this: if your restaurant does something like my old one used to where any veteran got a free entree on Veteran's Day and the vast majority of them either tipped on the reduced price or just didn't tip. If that's the case, have fun working eight hours on an insanely busy day and walking away with $22, servers!
Image via Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.