late customers

How long after close do you feel is acceptable to wait for a late customer to pick up an order?

any calls after 10:30 we politely let them know that we do close at 11:00, so it’s not that they don’t know we are closed.

We inform the customer of our closing time and make sure they can get here in time. I don’t wait if they don’t get here in time.

We also inform them of our closing time if we are ready to go right at closing i will give them about 10 minutes but most of the time we are still here doing cleanup so if the customer hasnt shown up by the time we are done doing our cleanup then I get to take home a pizza :slight_smile:

I had a customer show up 2 hours after closing to pick up an order once. It was over a $100 order so we were going to wait. A few months ago we had a customer show up 6 hours late for pick up order. Odd people

At 30 minutes to closing we politely inform them when we close and make sure they can get here in time. If they call within 5 minutes or less and want pick up, i make sure they can be here within 15 minutes of closing. If not, we do not take the order.

We handle it on a case by case basis,
Being primarily a BBQ place, I am usually there fairly late after closing to load meat into the smoker for an overnight cook anyways.
Are they regulars who get huge orders? Have all tills and banks been closed for the night already? And most important, is there anything left for them to order?

As said before it is a case by case scenario. But usually we are there well after closing cleaning up and if they still have not shown we just take the lose on product and not on the electric bill.

I try not to be cranky, but sometimes the customers mess with that goal.
I guess I will keep it on a case by case scenario - - but some people I may tell I am walking out the door by 10 after with or without their food :slight_smile: .

We recently had a woman start ordering who likes to order then fall asleep in her tub… The first time she phoned apologizing 15 minutes before closing, I told her that we had to add another delivery charge seeing as our delivery driver had already been there and phoned, banged on the door etc for 10-15 minutes making the next order late.

The next week comes, she orders and has the same exact thing happen, again phones close to closing and pays an extra delivery fee for 2 hour old food.

For pickup orders I have had people come in the next day for forgotten orders late at night. I now just put the orders in the cooler at 10 minutes after close. If it’s still there the next day I let staff dig in.

One guy came in 10 minutes before close, drunk, and bought a pizza. We told him we closed in 10 minutes and his pizza would be done in 5… he said he was going to run to the mart across the street, I encouraged him to just wait for his pizza but off he went, and never came back. I waited about a half an hour and than left. I kept his pizza in the cooler for a day thinking I’d be cute and ask him if he still wanted it if he demanded it but he didn’t show up for a couple of days. He tried but not very hard to get a replacement when he showed up again… I told him having employees sit around on the clock to wait for him to show back up for the pizza did not exactly turn this into a financial windfall for me (even though it was just me that night, still any other night and it would be two employees sitting around on the clock waiting for this guy). Anyway, that was just my one and only story. We are ready to drop money and shut the lights off at exactly closing time so we sort of our ‘open’ that last slow hour to clean up shop… my philoshpy is if people are going to be in the store for whatever reason, we might as well be open. So ordinarily we don’t have any problems with this, last half hour is pretty slow.

We tell customers what time we close when they order within the last half hour before close. We also close our lobby and only use our pickup window after 10PM every night.
It is rare that we are out earlier than 30 minutes after close any night, so waiting around for that last minute pickup is not really a problem for us. Typically it is a delivery customer calling at 5 until close which keeps us there late anyway.

We stop taking orders a half hour before closing. This gives us time to clean up and shut everything down. Also being a carryout, this lets us stay open for those last minute beer runs while cleaning up, while not having to re-dirty the kitchen for orders. This gives people plenty of time to pick up an order. We have taken orders after this time maybe 5 times and I’d say 4 of them ended up being a problem. So I make very few exceptions anymore.