Adding Insult to Injury

rude guestIf you come into any restaurant in a sour mood, or if you only have just enough money in your pockets to get the daily special, then do all of us in the restaurant industry a big favor and go home. When guests walk through the front doors, which are being held open by any combination of smiling hostesses and managers, and they rudely pass by without so much as a thanks, it doesn’t exactly inspire a good, warming feeling for anyone involved. In fact, it tends to makes for a chilly, gruff, and ominous host-stand greeting.

In turn, this translates to the table and how displeased guests will treat their server, who is obligated by the conditions of his contract to treat anyone with the same respect he would treat his friends and coworkers. More often than not, a grump leaves very little tip for someone who works so hard. Plus, many times, bitter customers leave scathing reviews—insult to injury, especially when the only people at fault most times are the guests themselves, who were angry before they entered! No one wants to see the guest be seated angry, but in all honesty, most times it cannot be helped, as many hungry, impatient diners refuse to think reasonably while fantasizing that every little thing is an attack on them. behavior 2I deal regularly with guests who get mad when they have to wait for a specific table or server and then complain when they see others being seated before them. If they would listen carefully to the fact that the others are not so picky as to require a special table (tables are made the same) or a specific server when most servers have very similar degrees of competence, they’d maybe make it past the host stand with a bit more joy in their hearts.

Now, I don’t want to be unreasonably judgmental toward those who might be struggling financially, but when someone walks in and looks and smells like he hasn’t taken a shower in a week, and he’s talking about how poor he is, even if he’s friendly and open (a big plus to the host team that often gets verbally attacked by rude guests), he can still be just as much of a problem as someone with a bad attitude. Having little money means he’s going to pay as little as possible, and at most restaurants, the cheapest meals are the ones that have the servers running back and forth to the table every few minutes. That time and effort is all for naught when it comes to the impoverished guest because he leaves exactly what his bill is, maybe rounded up to the nearest dollar as a tip, and then he scrams, usually walking out the door as discreetly and quickly as possible.

behaviorOn a weekly basis, I hear of servers being left with not even enough money for the bill, meaning they had to cover the rest of the tab with tip money from someone else. If some guests want to play difficult, they can still be managed, but when they don’t pay attention and ignore the stipulation that their add-ons cost more money that they don’t have, they should do better than yell at their server. Wait staff don’t earn enough money to survive when broke guests stiff them, nor do they make enough to be subjected to rudeness every time they come to the table. I guess I’m just trying to say that it would be great if guests treat service industry employees with the same respect they expect from others. Doing so would make the dining experience much better for everyone involved.