It’s Not Their Fault

It’s not their fault, so don’t hold it against them. It is not the customer’s responsibility to pay attention. Sure, we all wish they would, but we just can’t count on it. And we still have to deal with it.

It is not their responsibility to know when to order.  It’s not their responsibility to know what is proper to order. It’s not their responsibility to know who to order it from.

Yes, it’s true, we want them to order a lot of food and drink, and tip big on it. You bet, we want them to always give us their attention when we are at the table, say ‘please’, and ‘thank you’ every time, but let’s face it, that will always just remain a fantasy.


Maybe they came in a bit late.  Maybe they didn’t order a lot of food and wine and then tip big on it.  So what?  The truth is, most customers don’t know what they are doing. They don’t have a lot of experience eating out, and often it shows. Again, I say, “So what?”

It’s not about you

So, take your ego out of the equation (gee, I’ve never said that before), and just do the work. Even if the customer didn’t say “thank you”, you should. Even if the customer didn’t say “excuse me”, you should. Even if the customer didn’t say “please”, you should.

A lot of these guests are going back to the same places again and again.  And that is what we want. Make sure they are going back to your place by being sure that you and your staff are nice, every time.

If all else fails, kill them with kindness. The ol’ southern charm routine. Smile through those gritted teeth and remember it is not about you, and be grateful that you don’t have to be them. You get to be you.

It’s called hospitality

Your reward will be: 1) Doing good work (which should be reward enough). 2) Assuring you and your coworkers of a job. 3) More money–bigger tips of course, but not just that, but also a place that stays busy because customers keep coming back and spending their money there.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I know this is not easy. I would certainly be challenged to smile through the rude customer thing. It is hard to continue to be nice to people who are not nice back, but that is the business we have chosen, so figure it out!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. B says:

    Best post yet.

  2. Tim Jones says:

    This is a great article, Tom!

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