That is where most customers live. They have no idea what that even means. Even those who consider themselves to be savvy when it comes to the whole restaurant thing. But that’s okay, they shouldn’t have to be. That is our job.
Even my wife
My dear, darling wife is a great example. She has somehow managed to stay with me for over 25 years. Just imagine how many times she has had to endure eating out with me. Beyond comprehension, I know.
When we go out, even if we have planned it for a week, she still has no idea what she wants to drink when the busy-as-hell bartender greets us. And she doesn’t need to. That’s part of going out. That’s actually the part that I have forgotten.
I forget that it is not my job to make their job easier. That’s what they are there for. If I would just focus on having a good time, I would be making their job easier.
I can’t help it
I have tried, but there is no off switch in this little brain of mine. When I walk in to a place, I immediately take it all in. Actually, it starts before I walk in. I observe most of it when we walk by and I can peek in to the front window. I’m like Jason Bourne (but only when it comes to restaurants, otherwise I hover around simpleton).
I notice that there are two groups ahead of us, that there is one empty table, that one table is trying to get the attention of the server so they can pay their check…leaving the bar as an option for us. I also notice that there are two bar stools, but they are not together, and I have already profiled the people sitting at the bar to see if there is a chance of asking someone to move over so we can have two seats together–without getting in to a fight with them over it.
It’s a blessing and a curse
I have said that before, I know. But really, it is just a curse. You have no idea the disease that I live with (actually, that is what my wife says–usually under her breath).
The responsibility does not lie with the customer, it lies with us. They are going out to forget their worries. And now it is our worry.
Find your patience
Do whatever you need to do to find that place of patience and calm. Customers are not going to always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. They are not always going to know what they want when you want them to. They are not going to be aware of when you are busy, in fact they are going to demand your attention when you are your most busy. That’s how it works out there, so figure it out.