Hang up.

Okay, so we’ve all seen those signs at fast food joints and coffee shops telling us to hang up before ordering?

If not:

There. Now you have.

It’s a pain in the ass to take someone’s order when their attention is divided between you and maintaining a conversation with the person at the other end of the line.

And this advice is not limited to fast food restaurants. It’s evidently become so much a trend that articles and blog posts are surfacing which urge customers to be considerate for once in their lives and HANG UP.

Nor is the advice limited to servers.

Hosts think it’s rude and annoying, too.

The other week, I had a girl come in on her phone, position herself next to my host stand, and….just. keep. talking.

Legit. She just had herself a nice little convo right there in front of me.

While other people were waiting to see me and a line was rapidly forming.

This is what’s going to happen when you do this to a host: We are going to walk around you, and then likely put you at the bottom of any list that emerges— You were rude to us, and no one ever trained us on how to take the high road. So have fun finding someone in your Contacts list who’s willing to keep you busy during your 53-minute wait.

Also, this isn’t limited to phone conversations.

Last week, a group of three people came in, PRESUMABLY to eat. I never found this out. They stood at the entrance to my stand for about 5 minutes just chatting away. The whole time, I just thought to myself, “Wonder if these people want to find out that the wait is 45 minutes.” When they FINALLY ceased talking, they looked at me quizzically & perturbed, as if *I* was the rude one for not INTERRUPTING them to find out if they wanted a seat. I was so annoyed that I just monotonously recited the wait time– and they huffed and puffed as they walked out the door.

Good riddance.


It’s not my job to force myself into your conversation to find out what you want. USE YOUR BIG-PEOPLE WORDS. Come to ME. Tell ME what you want. I do enough as it is. I don’t need a task that by default makes me rude.

So, moral of the story: Finish ALL conversations before you get to the host stand (or your table, if your server comes over to check on you). It’s rude and disrespectful to us; and if you’ll recall– we ARE human, after all.


9 thoughts on “Hang up.

  1. I am definitely at fault for ordering fast food and talking on the phone. I think it’s hard at fast food places because service should be quick and it’s a good bet that I’ll still be talking to the person by the time my order appears (or at least it should because it is fast food). Restaurants are a different story because it is more formal. Just my two cents 🙂

    • Very true. I don’t eat fast food enough to know, but I can’t actually imagine it’s that frustrating for them. It’s not like they’re trying to have any kind of rapport with their clientele. I’m sure they want you out of there as much as you do 😉 So I agree 🙂

  2. GUILTY. I was so obnoxious at Chipotle the other day. I felt really bad. I definitely overestimated my ability to multitask…and failed. Through this comment, I apologize to the chipotle workers I frustrated. I am sorry. I will try my best to not talk on the phone while ordering…but I can’t make any promises.

  3. I’ve been in line at fast food restaurants (or even the Whole Foods on campus) behind people talking on their phone. Frequently, we’re far enough back from the cashier or server that it’s not exactly the situation you describe in this post. However, people forget where they are and that their conversations in this very public space are available for everyone to hear. I’ve heard some CRAZY lines, probably completely out of context, but crazy nonetheless.

    I also have a restaurant conversation etiquette question for you. I usually like to catch up with friends over dinner, so we’re having a wonderful discussion and conversation at the table. Occasionally, we’ll be in the middle of a hilarious story or a very serious story when the server appears and kind of hovers near the table. If that’s the case, should we pause or should we finish the story and hope the server gets the hint? More often than not, I’ve had excellent servers that recognize we’re engaged in a conversation and won’t interrupt. I’ve also had servers who stand their awkwardly until we acknowledge their presence. What is appropriate in the latter situation?

    • Haha that server needs some etiquette classes of his own. I agree– part of being a good server is being perceptive and almost intuitive about the needs of customers. If your server really is that inane, I would probably just pause my conversation– only just because the effect of the humour or seriousness is probably gonna be overshadowed by the sheer awkwardness of the situation if he keeps hovering haha

  4. I totally agree. It’s so rude when people do this. Also, I’ve been the person on the other line on the phone a bunch of times and the person tells you, hold on, I just have to check out at the store. So annoying, all around!

  5. I always put my phone off or down when I am ordering food or talking to someone. I’ll tell my friend on the phone to wait. However, what I AM guilty of is wearing iPod headphones while I am ordering. I obviously always (well, 99% of the time lol) turn off my iPod when ordering fast food, but I still keep my earbuds in. I can still hear the person, but of course they have no idea – for all they know I could be blasting music and just reciting lines memorized in my head whilst I order.

    Now I try to take one ear bud out, so they know they have a direct contact to my ear.

  6. Very rude, but I do it all the time, especially at the grocery store. Despite feeling guilty every time I do it, I can’t stop. I also find it annoying when people have loud cell phone conversations in places that are supposed to be quiet. I’m sorry, I don’t want to know your business…

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