Is it Rude to Show Up at a Restaurant Before They Open -- What About Just Before Closing Time?
It depends on how early. If you don't mind waiting for service inside the restaurant, then it's no big deal -- sometimes we're still prepping for service right up until we open.
Showing up when a place is closing is a different story. If the restaurant is busy, an extra table or two at closing won't make much of a difference. But we have to worry about labor, which is a big cost for restaurants. It's weird how guests will show up when you're closing and not think twice about it. A bank wouldn't stay open if there's people in the building at closing time nor would most other businesses. In the end, it boils down to respect -- everyone working in a restaurant has a life or family to attend to after they get off work.
It's not rude to show up early, just a little inconvenient. You're usually not prepared to give them 100 percent of your attention since you're busy setting up. Showing up at closing is no big deal. Best time to show up is before the rush, whatever that means for whatever restaurant you're going to.
I'm an old Oregano's guy, so open is open -- even five minutes after close! It's not rude. Sometimes the customer just doesn't know and there may be extenuating circumstances. When our daughter was born by emergency C-section, there weren't many places to go at 10 p.m. Mi Patio stayed open for us and made us customers for life. I guess you just never know.