Maximum Occupancy

I sat down at the tiny table and began munching on my NEW! Southwest Chicken Caesar salad at Wendy’s this afternoon when I noticed one of those strange maximum occupancy signs near the register. This one said, Maximum Occupancy 103.

I can’t explain why, but when I come across these signs, I immediately drop whatever I’m doing and start counting patrons which is what I did today. I counted 17 people eating unhealthy food in the Wendy’s dining area. I also counted 4 Wendy’s employees that I could see and at least 2 working the drive thru that I could only hear. That gave me a grand total of 23 people in the Wendy’s or 83 away from total disaster.

And call me weird but I’m always concerned that maybe a few people are hanging out in the bathrooms so I add 5 more to cover it. Maybe I’m just being paranoid.

But I’m not sure what good it does to post such a sign with a seemingly random number. Does Wendy’s hire a maximum occupancy enforcer who’s job it is to keep track of how many people are in the restaurant and sound an alarm when they reach, say, 95? What if there were 100 people eating and a group of 8 football players were about to open the door. Would the enforcer jump into action and chain the door shut?

Since we live in the digital age, why not post a big digital sign above the door that everyone can see which keeps track of how many customers are inside? It would give us real time updates and let each patron know when the joint was nearing maximum occupancy giving everyone the choice to weigh the risks.

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