Ageism

Whether you are 22 or 72, you have probably experienced it at some restaurant or bar. This notion that you have to be within a certain age range to be considered cool, or just given the time of day in a restaurant is an absurd one.  And I would guess, mostly an American one.

Not in Europe or Asia

In other cultures around the world (I don’t for a second claim to be an expert on this), all are respected. I would like to see this happen in this country.

Stereotypes

In a post I published back in September of 2013, I talked about how wrong it is in this business to assume things about people.   https://tabletalkpdx.com/2013/09/06/

Sure, customers can be annoying.  But, to assume that those senior citizens at your table are going to be difficult or cheap, or that those young people are not going to leave you a generous tip, is unfair and unnecessarily mean. And tough, you still have to serve them.

If we lived in a culture where tipping was not the norm, and servers were just compensated by the house, I doubt this would ever be an issue.

I’m starting to see

When my wife and I go out now, and we play the game of ‘are we the oldest?’, I am starting to find myself a victim of that ageism.  No, I am not that old (I suppose it is a relative term), but you wouldn’t know it the way we are treated from time to time.

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How dare those old people go out

I am not an idiot, (contrary to what some of you may think), so I make a point of avoiding places that are aimed at the much younger crowd.  However, from time to time, I still get the ageism treatment.

I happen to know some younger people, and they are often relating to me their stories of discrimination.  My students, friends of my daughters’, others, are exposed to the bad service that is associated with ageism.

My parents, other older friends have to endure the same thing.  What can be done about it? I certainly don’t have the answer to that. However, I recommend to all of those owners and managers out there who happen to be reading this post, that you don’t let this happen in your establishment.

Don’t assume

Make that effort to treat every customer the same (hopefully that means in the same friendly way). It turns out, no matter who the customer is, that their money is the same. Whether they are too old, too young, too this color, or too that color, their money is still green.

Besides, why wouldn’t you want to treat everyone the same, anyway? In all of my years in the business, I have always tried to make a point of treating everyone the same–the janitor, the mayor, etc. Remember, it is called hospitality…

 

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