Of Body Bags and Breakfast
A guest died in our restaurant.
The manager on duty, one of my trainees, was called to the table because a guest was choking. He performed Heimlich procedures, and the guest expelled a chunk of food. Then, the guest collapsed into dead weight. The young manager held him as long as he could, and performed CPR lifesaving techniques. Our security was slow to respond, however, the paramedics soon arrived to take over.
The restaurant had to close for about an hour. The shift log reported that they were able to reopen after the body bag was removed, and a biohazard cleanup of the area had been performed.
Needless to say, the staff was shaken up a bit; some more than others. And they responded with their predictable restaurant sarcasm and humor. “Nice going Gloria. Guest takes one look at you, and drops dead”. “Did you hear? The cooks killed a guest.” “Oh great. Now we have a ghost.”
I guess we all lose someone someday. A regular guest stops showing up, and then we hear that they have passed. However, it is quite another thing when a guest dies in the dining room, let alone in one’s arms.
I’ve worked in many places where guests have died, and it’s something I’ll never get used to. For me, table #27 will never be the same.