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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.

                    1. "Can I get the Fra Diablo not spicy please"
                      The name translates to spicy that's the name of the friggin dish!

                      "What do you mean you are out of prime rib, can't you just make another"
                      Yes, we would love to accommodate your request, please enjoy your 5 hour wait for dinner.

                      "Can I get the Cesare salad without anchovies in the dressing?"
                      Why don't you try the dressing as is, then if you don't like it I will try to choke the anchovies out of you.

                      "I really didn't like my entree it had a very sour taste to it, can you remove it from the check?"
                      Looks down at the 3/4 empty plate and recalls no complaint when you asked shortly after serving them if everything was ok.

                      "Is the fish special fishy? I don't like the taste of fish"

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: jrvedivici

                        "I'd like an egg white omelette, no butter, extra Hollandaise, please"

                        1. re: chileheadmike

                          Sounds like when someone orders the "asshole" -- a veggie burger with bacon

                          1. re: charlesbois

                            My bf does that. He truly enjoys a well made veggie burger, but isn't a vegetarian. But he will order bacon on it if he still wants meat with his meal. It's sad how many servers get confused by his order, and condescendingly tell him that bacon isn't vegetarian.

                            1. re: viperlush

                              If for some reason my only choices for a meal were a beef burger or a veggie burger, I would totally go for the veggie, and yes I would want bacon on it.

                              1. re: viperlush

                                Agreed. Bacon goes really well on a black bean burger with guacamole. It's a veggie burger, not a burger solely for vegetarians.

                                1. re: LeoLioness

                                  Thank you for forcing my tired old brain to look at something in a different light.

                                  "...not solely for vegetarians."

                                  A new search. A veggie burger I can look forward to. YEAH!!!!

                          2. re: jrvedivici

                            "I want a burger, WELL done, but not burnt" Gets burger. "This burger is dry" ............

                            My response "I can bring you more ketchup?"

                          3. Cooler heads prevail.

                            1. <Except that hospo workers are people too. Maybe sometimes you forget that.

                              Any comments?>

                              Sure thing. While waiter and waitresses get abused from time to time by bad customers, I don't think this is very often. I have many of my friends who is working in the restaurant business, and they tell me that most customers are very reasonable to nice. Tips are usually great. Most patrons who go to restaurants want to have a good time, so it is in their interest not to be overly critical as well.

                              I can see many other occupations have it far worse than wait stuffs. Cleaning crews who go to clean offices. People barely even look at them when they go around. Customer service, especially those who work on the phone. People literally yell at them all the time. Why? First, customers do not see them face to face. Second, most customers who call the customers service already are in a not-so-great mood. Sale reps. They have to visit their accounts / clients. More than half of the time, their clients do not want to see them.

                              I have several customer service and sale reps who tell me that how nice I am. They would tell me that many people treat them badly. There, I was just treating like anyone else -- wasn't even trying to be nice. I guess the fact I was willing to listen to them and ask them to take a seat was nice.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                I agree Chem.
                                I have a friend who works for Centrelink (in Australia, it's where you get social benefits, the dole etc)
                                She spends her entire day getting chewed out by angry, usually drug effected clients. I couldn't do it.
                                I'm happy putting up with douchebag diners!

                                1. re: cronker

                                  I would love to hear more about centrelink.... but I doubt the mods would allow it,,,why?

                              2. I saw this and thought it was appropriate for here;


                                1. Yes, and as I pointed out, surly or downright rude service should never be tolerated. You are in a service industry, you should be nice and friendly a part of your role.

                                  1. People who order hot food 2 minutes before closing when things are being cleaned, come in after closing and stay after closing.

                                    Special place in hell for all of them.

                                    1. I was a server in a past life, so no longer relevant, but....

                                      I am literally just one person. While I considered myself to be good (better than good, really, but let's not toot horns), there are times when there's just too much to get done for one person to handle. So if you had to wait an extra 3 minutes for your water, maybe look to see how busy I am (was).

                                      Sometimes the idiot hostess decided that 18 seats in your section should be sat in 5 minutes. Or the manager is putting out a fire somewhere else. Or doing coke in the bathroom- true story. I knew how to ask for help when I needed it, but sometimes there was none to be had, and I had to do the best I could.

                                      Knowing that, that's what I most wish people knew. I hated giving service that was below my personal standards (yet WELL above the restaurants), there's not much that is more frustrating than not being provided with the opportunity to reach your own potential.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: plaidbowtie

                                        "Or the manager is putting out a fire somewhere else. Or doing coke in the bathroom- true story"

                                        I really take exception to this statement regarding the manager, they are hardly the ONLY ones doing coke in the bathroom!!! Most managers use their office!

                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                          And the dumpsters are staked out for the busboys.

                                          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                            And the servers are in the fenced area for dirty linens...

                                            1. re: meatn3

                                              Sounds like a new thread "Service Industry Workers where did you do your coke?"

                                        2. id rather eat at home than eat this slop

                                          1. HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! Oh boy! I gotta tell you there are a couple posts here that you've just gotta laugh at.

                                            1. All good points. Let me know when you have figured out how to solve the issue that people bitch too much - whether seated or serving.

                                              1. Often, being helpful isn't very helpful. Bless your hearts for attempting to clean up a spilled or broken glass, or joining in when you see someone stacking chairs, but you're actually making things more difficult. Thanks for being thoughtful, but we got this!