Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Long Wait



Last Tuesday was Cinco de Mayo. Which is not something I normally pay attention to. But Luisa pointed it out, and she wanted Mexican food that day. 

(This next bit would completely shock my family if they ever read my blog, because I am not a fan of Mexican food. I never have been.) The roommates and I have a regular Mexican restaurant. It's very popular in the area. Most evenings, it's a good half hour to 45 minute wait to dine in. 

But, of course, these are not normal times. The restaurant is take-out only at the moment. 

The last time we had a hankering, the prior week on Tuesday, we phoned in an order and were able to pick up our food easily. We didn't drive down there until the food was ready, and while there was a place set up to wait in line, there was no line when we got there. (A couple people arrived after us, so there was a line of three when we left.) 

So, on the 5th, we went to call in an order... 

Really, that should have been our first clue. 

The line was busy. As the restaurant is usually a sit-down establishment, they don't have a dedicated order line. And the line continued to be busy for a good half hour. But finally, we got through and put in our order. 

The lady on the phone said that it would take 50-60 minutes for our food to be cooked. But that the line would take 20 minutes. 

When we got there, well, the line was way longer than 20 minutes. It was around the corner and all the way past five other businesses in the strip mall. Now, of course, that line had everyone giving each other 6 feet of space, but it was still a long line. 

In fact, we were giving everyone more space, as the line was in full sun on an 80+ degree day, so many of us hid behind the shadow of the columns holding up the overhang, and those were more than 6 feet apart. 

But the line wasn't moving. 

By the time we got our food, we had been waiting for at least an hour, although likely more. (I didn't bring my phone, so I wasn't watching the time.) 

How long were we waiting? A demonstration: 

Next door to the restaurant is a Baskin-Robbins. Many people went in, got their ice cream, and left while we watched. 

After a half hour or more, we turned the corner, so we could actually see the front door of the restaurant. 

The guy two ahead of me in line looked to the woman behind him, and asked if she minded if he stepped out of line for a bit. He went into the Baskin-Robbins. He bought a cone with two scoops. He finished his cone with lots of time to spare by the time it was his turn to pick up his food. 

Note to self: do not order Mexican food on Cinco de Mayo. That was truly a stupid move.

16 comments:

  1. Bet you won't do that again anytime soon. Frustrating!

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    1. Not next year, anyway. We went back to the ice cream store over the weekend. The restaurant's line had one person in it. So, normal wait resumed.

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  2. We decided to have tacos on the 5th, so I braved the grocery store to scavenge for ingredients. There was not much to choose from, but I found what we needed. Fortunately, no one wants the gluten-free soft taco shells...

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  3. Lol. We tried to do the same thing. Two restaurants were constantly a busy signal when we called. Finally went to a drive through filberto like one and they were out of taco shells. I heard Red lobster had disaster on Mother's Day with so many orders they couldn't keep up with it all.

    Betty

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  4. Yeah, that was really bad timing. At being told of the wait on the phone, I would've said no thanks.

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  5. We ordered from a local Mexican place on Cinco de Mayo. we placed the order on line. when I got to the restaurant at the appointed time I found out I'd have to wait another 90 minutes. the young man who brought my order told me that the restaurant called their on line provider to ask them to stop taking orders, but couldn't reach the provider, and were trying to handle more orders than they could comfortably deal with.

    Even worse, we ordered from Red Lobster for Mother's Day.We placed on Saturday for Sunday delivery. They took so many orders that it was literally impossible to fill them all. We never got our food. we are lucky, though, because we already got our refund...others are still waiting.

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    1. Yikes. Note to self: do not order on holidays. It won't work.

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  6. Whew, that's bad. When I went for pizza, there was only one other person in there (besides staff). I haven't tried any of the other local restaurants though. Now I'm kind of afraid to.

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  7. From the language and the fact you had trouble with Mexican on the day, I'm pretty sure Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican celebration?

    The biggest Mexican chain in Oz is called Zambrero which has about 150 sites around the country. Taco Bell are trying the Aussie market, but they aren't very widespread.

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  8. Wow. Has to provide excellent food!

    Getting a pizza was cheap in February. Domino's had a deal $10 for a large 3 topping. Now it is about $20. We bought frozen DiGiorno for $8. Not gourmet or excellent!

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    1. That sucks. I guess they realized that there's now a demand.

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  9. Our eating dinning areas haven't open yet. They can start opening this Friday if there set up for social distance. I am betting they will be packed on first day

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  10. I hope the food was worth the wait. It seems like some restaurants are just struggling more than others to make the whole takeout only thing work. There's a diner here that we love. Before COVID, we'd go (probably more often than we should have) for breakfast, and it was always awesome. Excellent service, great food, always exactly what you asked for as far as leaving stuff off or adding something. We've gotten takeout twice, and both times there were issues. The first time they left off a side, which we decided to just live without rather than driving back across town. The second time they gave me a completely different omelet, full of things I don't eat, so we had to go back to exchange it. I guess it's just a different way of operating that's harder for some places to adapt to.

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    1. It's a different skill set for sure. But those restaurants that can stay open with take out have a better chance at surviving to open when this is all finally over.

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  11. You would have lost your appetite by the time you reached the food! Quite frustrating, I am sure.

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