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Feb 3, 2014 06:00 AM

For workers in hospo, what you wish customers knew?

"They made us wait, but there were empty tables!"
Yes, because those tables were booked by people who bothered to make reservations.

"I saw other people get their food before us, when they had come in after us!"
The law of physics says that some items take less time to cook than others. If you are looking at your watch while waiting for food, or indeed watching how other people get served, you are not here to enjoy your meal.

"The waitress was surly!"
Yup, good complaint. No reason for that.
Except that hospo workers are people too. Maybe sometimes you forget that.

Any comments?

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  1. Every FOH employee I know wishes that customers knew that we remember big tippers. And crappy tippers, too.

      1. Regarding your last item... yes they are people, but in most professions, "having a bad day" is not an excuse to be rude to customers. I don't work in hospitality but I work in a very customer service oriented industry, and I know I would be reprimanded if my boss heard me being rude to a client for no reason. So, the excuse that "they are people too" doesn't really fly with me, especially since I am always nice to anybody I'm in contact with when I'm out to dinner, out shopping etc., and still get rudeness back to me sometimes. Keep your personal problems to yourself, and fake being pleasant until your shift is over.

        8 Replies
        1. re: juliejulez

          Agreed. When I managed people I regularly used the 2 highly cliched rules of customer service. 1) The customer is always right. 2) If the customer is wrong, see rule #1. I would add, especially if the customer is wrong, see rule #1.

          If you knew me, you'd realize how very unlike me that attitude is in "private" life. I have absolutely zero tolerance for idiots but if I'm helping a customer over a counter or over the phone, the only acceptable attitude is "How quickly can I do what you want, no matter how absurd the request." The customer doesn't give a hang that may kid's school just called or my bills are late or my life sucks. That's my problem, not theirs. And who's to say their day isn't going much worse than mine? We all have our problems, plain and simple.

          1. re: rockycat


            On the other side of the coin, have you ever encountered a customer that brightened your day?

            1. re: sandylc

              Absolutely! Some are an absolute pleasure to be around and to work with. Any time I can leave a transaction with a big smile on my face, it's a day to remember. I wish there were more like that.

            2. re: rockycat

              A man I used to work for had one rule about customer relations: The customer may not always be right, but he is always the customer.

              Being pleasant for the customer to be around improves everyone's experience, and often allows you to steer him away from whatever mistake he's making without being seen as an adversary. Of course, you aren't his buddy, either, and while I don't mind a little over-familiarity from diner-counter waitresses I'm so glad we're over wait staff either squatting next to you or even pulling up a chair. I was over it from the get-go.

            3. re: juliejulez

              I agree. As an R.N. who just sort of retired we were taught from day one to park our ego...our personal lives and baggage outside away from our work environment. We signed agreements to provide service excellence to individuals who believe it or not can be violent......cranky....terrified....histrionic...oppositional to treatment all at once because they are ill. If an individual is incapable of doing their job in a competent user friendly positive manner and actually believes that their *customer* base is there to appease...enrich...validate them in any way then maybe some reality orientation is needed. Get over yourselves. Your profession is your money source. Be an adult and a professional at work. How difficult is that? People will take note of the good attitude and positive work ethic.

              1. re: MamasCooking

                I was just thinking of the health care field. I am seeing a sh!t load of doctors/specialists lately and am thankful they check their baggage at the door so they can be there 100% for me and the rest of their patients. Many of us have waited months sometimes to get an appointment. It's selfish to say, but it's not fair for them to have a bad day when I'm in their office ;)

                1. re: MamasCooking

                  Oh yes. I believe that there is a synergy here. I have always said that I could never be a nurse, it takes a special kind of person to do that job.
                  Interestingly, however, a nursing friend of mine said the same about waiters.
                  My post is probably just a little rant, but thanks for the interesting replies!

                2. re: juliejulez

                  I don't work in hospitality but I work in a very customer service oriented industry, and I know I would be reprimanded if my boss heard me being rude to a client for no reason.

                  As do I. I know I would be reprimanded if my boss heard me being rude to a client...PERIOD! There is NO reason/excuse to be rude to a client...ever.

                3. I think it's good for customers to have a clue that restaurant staff are just real people trying to do their jobs and make a living. They aren't slaves put here for jerks to abuse/disrespect.

                  1. It's been a while since I worked in restaurants. I do wish customers would understand that the server is not the cook. The server has no control over how the food tastes and very little control over when the food comes out of the kitchen.

                    If the service has been good it is unfair to penalize the server with a poor tip if the dissatisfaction is with kitchen issues.