After The Daily Beast brought up the fact that homeless people line-sit for rich people at Galatoire's (especially during Mardi Gras) last week, Richard Webster now takes a more accurate look on what really goes down in the Friday lunch line outside Bourbon Street's famous grand dame:
There's actually a tight knit community of professional line-sitters, some of whom have other jobs and many of whom are closely tied with the staff of Galatoire's, and they can make upwards of$400 plus tip for holding a table on a busy Friday, staking out a spot as early as 4 a.m. They're also indespinsable to Galatoire's FOH staff because they let them know how many guests to expect for any given lunch, so tables can be rearranged and better service provided. Basically, here's what it boils down to:
Contrary to popular belief, the majority of people who are paid to wait in line at Galatoire's are not homeless. There used to be more homeless people sitting for tables but the recent push to place them in permanent housing has cut down on their numbers
The system is fairly simple: The sitters can only hold a spot for a single party -- a person or a group. They are employed by repeat customers or through a word-of-mouth network that includes other sitters and the Galatoire's staff.Webster does note that the 'sitters' have changed over the years. It basically started with people's family members, paralegals, maids, interns, and such. Waiters too would find people, usually friends, to line-sit, which actually led to the so-called "era of the professional Galatoire's sitter" about 20 years back.