Is it Rude to Show Up at a Restaurant Before They Open -- What About Just Before Closing Time?
Showing up to a restaurant before they open will most likely land you waiting in the lobby until they do, so you're only hurting yourself there.
Showing up just before a restaurant closes keeps kitchen and bus staff there longer than they'd like to be and likely longer than they were scheduled to stay. What may be less obvious is that these people have a long list of things to take care of before they can close the restaurant. Bus staff have to clean and restock everything all around the restaurant (including your table, which they'll have to wait for you to vacate) and kitchen staff have to scrub down everything they use to cook (including what they use to cook your meal, which are likely things they'd already cleaned for the night.) These people typically work for meager hourly wages, so they're not too enticed by a little more time on their punch card when it makes them miss what might have been the last bus home.
As a chef-owner we never turn down any business. Early and late is a part of what we do. Perhaps it's a little less convenient by not being able to offer the full menu, but these guests made a conscious decision to spend time and money in our establishment. It would not be hospitable to disappoint them. Any time is the right time.
I wouldn't say it's rude, but showing up early is better than showing up at closing time. Of course, in this industry you never want to turn away a customer, so we will always accommodate.
Showing up early is never a problem. Those that camp out for sport need help. Two hours after closing they need to get a room.