“Oh come on, Leo,” Jack said. “I’ve been patronizing this place for years and now you’re telling me you won’t seat me because I’m jacketless? What the hell, Leo? Are you trying to class this place up? I see your white linen tablecloths, the cheesy wall art you probably picked up at a flea market, and the faux marble columns you’ve added, but this having to wear a sport coat thing is a bridge too far, dammit.”
“Jack,” Leo said, trying to be as congenial as he could, “I know you’ve been a good customer, and I don’t mean to alarm you, but I need to do something to win the race against going bankrupt. And, unfortunately, Jack, that means I have to raise prices and I need to appeal to a new breed of customers who are willing to pay more to eat at a classier restaurant. And that means jackets are required. It’s just business, Jack, and it’s survival.”
“So you’re not going to seat me?” Jack asked.
“Okay, Jack,” Leo said, “I have a spare jacket in the back. I’ll let you borrow it tonight and I’ll set you up at a table in the rear by the kitchen. But next time, remember, no jacket, no service.”
Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One Word Challenge (patronize), E.M.’s Random Word Prompt (jacketless), Ragtag Daily Prompt (art), My Vivid Blog (marble), Your Daily Word Prompt (congenial), Word of the Day Challenge (alarm), and The Daily Spur (race). Photo credit: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times.