Much like a trendy night club in A Night at the Roxbury, getting into a popular breakfast joint often requires waiting on a huge line, having your name on “the list” and staying calm enough to not get your butt thrown out before you even get in. It can be daunting, and attempting anything daunting before noon is very dangerous.

A few tips will make sure you don't end up like these guys for breakfast

Rule 1: No Butabi Techniques for Foodies

But relax there Butabi brothers, our foodies have your morning munchies covered. If the food is worthy, we will go through sleet, rain, snow, hippies and long lines to get to it. We have devised some techniques to help you the next time you are facing a breakfast mob and have listed them below.

Strategy 1 – Be Good to The Gatekeeper

The first person you usually encounter at any busy breakfast location is someone who will take your name, party number etc etc. We call this The Gatekeeper. Now many people believe the gatekeeper has say in who is seated and how fast they are seated. This causes a lot of interesting actions by patrons, none of which we approve. So to start, we have listed our 3 WORST PRACTICES when dealing with a host/hostess. If you have any of the items below in your bag of tricks…promptly remove them and throw them in the trash.

  • The Orbit – After giving their name, a member of a party will remain at arm’s length from the host/hostess checking in every 5 minutes to see if they moved up “the list.” This sometimes extends to the person sneaking behind the host to try and peak the list, hence “orbiting” the host. Verdict – Annoying for the Host, Embarassing for the Orbiter’s Kids
  • The Muscle – Treating the host/hostess like they are 2 weeks late on a payment to the mob, I have seen many people get “tough.” These acts include; raising their voice, asking for the manager, demanding to be seated because they are “a long time customer” yada yada yada. Verdict – We actually applaud when these people leave/get thrown out
  • The Academy Award – After waiting for a short period of time, a party member will approach the host and begin a long sob story about some reason why he/she needs to be seated next. These stories can range from “we came from so far just to try your breakfast” to “we have a tight schedule of activities today,” Everyone in the vicinity hears the whole story, and immediately gives the “are you kidding me!?” stare at the person. Verdict – Worse Acting than Twilight characters…which is actually a HUGE feat.

All these things won’t get you seated any faster. In fact, from some that I have spoken to, it will get you seated slower. So our advice when it comes to the Gatekeeper/Host…BE NICE!

Big Groups = Longer Waits

Strategy 2 – Size Matters
Get your head out of the gutter. It is common for busy restaurants to have crowded dining rooms…ya know, because they are good! Showing up with a table for 9 and expecting to sit quickly? A logistical nightmare. Two or three tables next to each other need to clear out to make that happen in most restaurants. Going to eat with a smaller group will likely get you seated quicker. The best sizes for parties? 2-4. Which is a perfect lead into…

Strategy 3 – Be Willing to Break Up
Look I know you REALLY like your friends, but a foodie will sacrifice sitting with their whole party of 12 to get seated faster. Restaurants are like a game of Tetris, to get all the tables filled, you need to conform to what is available. If you are willing to break up your entourage into 2 or 3 smaller groups to make life easier on the restaurant, you could find yourself eating earlier. Another benefit of this? No need to divide a bill by 14 and perform a full audit just to get the tip right.

Les Stroud would Be the ultimate breakfast scout

Les Stroud would be the ultimate breakfast scout

Strategy 4 – Send a Scout
The riskiest of all our strategies but also potentially the most rewarding. Everyone has a friend who has the sleeping ability of a farmer…up at 7am whether they go to bed at 9pm or 4am. A foodie can use this to their advantage. Send this person ahead to the restaurant. The rest of your hungry crew can catch a few more Zzzzzs while your scout gets the 411 on the restaurant situation. (Editor’s Note: To all the people under 25 reading this, 411 is a service people used to call, before the internet, to get information about places).  The scout can then call back to homebase and give the average wait time to the group, determining how much sleep time they have left and making only one person truly have to wait. A word of warning: most restaurants do not allow your party to be seated unless they are all present. Wait too long to join your scout and he/she will be stranded to explain why he asked for a table for 7 and is sitting alone. Also, if you do use this technique, it is good form to pay for the scout’s meal.

So there you have it. With these basic do’s and dont’s, we hope you next breakfast experience at a packed restaurant can be more enjoyable!

Eat Happy!

-LBI Foodies

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One Response to “How to Defeat a Breakfast Mob”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Daniel Jago, LBI Foodies. LBI Foodies said: How to Defeat a Breakfast Mob at a busy restaurant: http://lbifoodies.com/archives/1252 [...]

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