So I'm bartending one day and this guy calls and wants to order lunch for himself and his daughter. I'm thinking he wants his chow to go but nuh-unh; he wants me to ring up his dine-in order immediately so that it's ready when they arrive. I'd never heard of any shit like that before and I didn't like the sound of it. Lots of scenarios went through my mind, none of them good. The only one I could think of that might not blow worse than the Chicago Cubs was to say we'd accommodate them if they'd eat at my bar. He reluctantly agreed. Everything went OK. I got so I'd discretely offer this service to a few of my regulars if they were cool people.
Then I changed jobs. I bartend occasionally at my current gig but not too often 'cause the bar there sucks and I hate it. For years, our day bartender was usually Alicia P. Whenever someone wanted to order ahead, it was cool with her. If I remember correctly, I talked her through the procedure the first time she dealt with it. Then Alicia moved back to Tennessee. Now we kind of shuffle the bar schedule a lot. If someone wants to order ahead (I've never seen this issue surface at dinner, just lunch), it's OK; the bartender, sometimes me, handles it.
Then today the bartender was the lovely Veranda B. I answered the phone call of some annoying, fucktarded client named Stacy who wanted to have some grub for herself and a dining companion cooking while they headed our way. Stacy'd ordered ahead before and knew the drill. I put her on hold and told Veranda she had a phone call and its nature. Veranda wouldn't take the fucking call!
If I'm bartending and someone wants to order ahead lunch, I'll take care of them but not if I'm waiting tables; I see the potential for too much confusion and bullshit. Plus I was already cut and nearly done. I found Quinzell, a lunch closer, and told him about the dilemma. He's a greedy bastard and agreed to take care of Stacy. I told Beth, our very competent hosting professional, that 'Zell would have a call deuce roll in shortly. Then I headed home. I guess everything went OK.
Now, if the sign outside said Joe's Rib Crib™, we'd probably let people order ahead for lunch, maybe even dinner. Who knows? It might be a somewhat signifigant revenue genarator in a competitive racket. We'd have a policy and guidelines on how to deal. If a client didn't want to do things my way they could try their luck elsewhere.