Is it Rude to Order Food Right Before Closing?

If you live in a western country with a fast-food culture, it wouldn’t be surprising if you’ve pulled up to the drive-through, or dialed a restaurant’s phone number, to put in a food order at the very last minute before closing.

But, is it rude to order food right before closing? Or, is it perfectly A-OK? Read on below and discover the truth of the matter!

Is it Rude to Order Food Right Before Closing?

Despite what the employees or restaurant manager tell you, most food workers do indeed consider it rude to order food right before closing. 

If you have never worked at a restaurant, bar, or other places of business that serves food, this fact may be alarming to you.

The bottom line is, if you order food with less than 10 or 15 minutes left before closing time, your order is likely to be considered rude. 

Even more, ordering food at the last minute before closing more often than not results in a longer than usual wait as well.

How Rude Is it?


On a scale of 1 to 10, ordering food right before closing rates 8 on the rude meter

The main reason this seemingly little thing is so rude is that the employees are more than likely already cleaning up the restaurant and kitchen equipment.

The staff is also tired and ready to go home, at the end of the night. Receiving last-minute orders is sure to get everyone fired up.

Why is it Rude?

When you order food right before closing time, you are forcing the restaurant staff to further dirty their equipment and drag back out whatever foodstuff and supplies they have already cleaned up and put away for the night.

Further, preparing food takes several minutes, at the very least. At the end of the night, preparing your order takes even longer because the staff is already cleaning up and shutting down. 

Other Options to Do Instead

If you aren’t going to make it to the restaurant until right before closing, the best course of action is to phone ahead, or text someone that works there (if you know any of the people who work there). 

Put your order in at least 15 to 20 minutes before the scheduled closing time. That way, the staff can go ahead with your order as well as shut down the place like usual.

Common Questions

Is ordering food one hour before closing rude?

Ordering food one hour before close isn’t rude, it is expected, and why the restaurant is open in the first place. 

It doesn’t become rude until you wait until the very last few minutes of the place’s working hours to order food. So long as there are at least 20 minutes of working time left you should be fine to order.

How late is too late to order food?

If there are only 5 or 10 minutes left before a place is scheduled to close, you should think twice before putting in an order. 

Chances are that the staff is going to see your order as rude. Further, it will take longer to prepare your order, and you might get some not-so-nice surprises (or cold food).

Is it rude to go into a restaurant and sit down 15 minutes before closing?

Most food workers are bound to find it rude when people come in and sit down to order and eat food when there are 15 minutes or less before closing time. 

Proper etiquette for dining in (late) dictates that a restaurant should be open for at least 25 minutes longer.