Bum's RushI had driven for nearly four hours, and it was about 2 a.m. when I arrived, famished, at the Denny's. I can't remember what I ordered, but I had it with hash browns. The waitress had done a nice job so far, but once I finished the meal, other than the hash browns, she seemed to be rushing to get me out of the restaurant.
I had been getting caught up on my email, using my laptop, and thought nothing of being there 40 minutes past the hour. There were two other occupied tables in the whole place, so it wasn't as if they needed the seats. She asked if I was ready for my check, and when I said I was, she whipped it out of her pocket and plopped it down. She asked if she could take my plate, but I told her I was still eating the hash browns. Five minutes later she was back, asking me if I was about done. She took hold of the plate, but I was still not done, thank you. Another five minutes, and she was back, asking if I was ready to pay and go.
At this point, I was worried that I was violating some local ordinance about loitering in dining establishments, and was tired of being nagged, so I grabbed my laptop, coat, and hat, and left.
As soon as I got back to my hotel, I went to the Denny's website and used their feedback form to describe my experience and tell them that if there is a time limit of some sort, they need to make it known. I believe I used the term, "bum's rush".
Two days later I got a phone call from the mortified manager of the Denny's, who said the waitress had been about to go off shift and must have been hoping to get her tip before then. Maybe she needed gas money to get home. In any case, he was profusely apologetic and sent me two magical coupons for free meals at any Denny's.
I have another Denny's service story, but it is about wonderful service, so I'll go find a suitable thread to tell that one.
Oh, and I agree about being ignored. I stopped at a cafe in Beaver, Utah, and sat there for 45 minutes without even being spoken to. I could see servers cleaning tables, chatting with the cooks, etc. A guy came in, sat at the counter, ordered his meal, got it, ate it, and headed out the door while I sat there, waiting. At some point I had decided to stay just out of curiosity to see how long it would take to talk to somebody. I finally got hungry enough to just walk out. I imagine they would have closed up for the night with me sitting there. The place is under new ownership, thank goodness.