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8 Difficult Hospitality Customers

10 years in hospitality, and working in nearly every role it never ceases to amaze me how rude some people can be. Here is the David Attenborough observations of the everyday restaurant customer.

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1. The brb shop keeper


Devoid of any basic courteous or rudimentary manners, I often wonder if this customer group severely struggles from human interaction, are continuously anxious beyond all measure, or just plain rude. Nothing says 'Hey I'm a dick' than when your waiter comes of to merely meet, greet and welcome you to the venue than immediately interrupting them with a 'we aren't ready yet, come back in five.'

A simple hello, or non-interruption would suffice. It's not like I'm here to individually shake your hands, exchange life stories and potentially start a long lasting 'netflix and chill' relationship with your good-looking 20 year old daughter, I'm just saying hello. But it's alright next time I'll start the clock and be at your table in exactly 5 minutes… when it suits you and your hot daughter. And if I'm not back in 5 minutes... just wait longer. That suits me.

2. How much for this many? The classic student.

Giphy / Via

I get it; I was a student once too. I have lived cent-for-cent, day-by-day, centrelink payment-to-centrelink payment, but besides when I was in primary school and I used to run up to the tuck-shop with the loose change I found under the couch that morning to see how many red frogs I could get with my loot… never once have I ordered food by the amount that my pocket allows.

'Can I please get um…. *scratches at emptied sock of shrapnel on the table* ummm… $7.65 worth of wings please.' Never mind portion sizes, carefully worked out pricing and the basic practice of money exchange for food. Yeah I'll tell you what I'll just pop into the kitchen and get you a 40% scaled down size of food to suit your 40% scaled down lazy work ethic, average financial management and piss-poor planning prior to arriving at the restaurant. Have some respect and purchase within your price range; eat only what you can afford, and order food as is priced, don't become your own exchange rate.

3. The Irregular Regulars


'Oh please do tell me how often you come in here'

We all have those customers who come in yes a noticeable amount times, but mate trust me… you don't have to sing from the roof tops and tell the whole world about it… you have been in twice this month. Based on my calculations if you have to eat three times a day seven days a week to satisfy your slightly over-indulged figure you spend approximately .003% of your feeding time here. I don't give a heck, I've been working here for 5 years, 10 hours a day, so you can lay off the 'I've been paying your wages' and 'I should invest in shares at this place' attitude, sit down and stop acting like a bloody pelican.

4. The Whack-a-Moles

I understand that sometimes you need to grab the attention of your server, as none of us are perfect and we are prone to mistakes, but if you have to lift your greesy fat fingers every two minutes like a never ending game of whack-a-mole, I'll chop them off. I think these people suffer with severe trust issues, and believe that we aren't even doing our job. Who knows? Perhaps a past waiter cheated on them? But look baby… just trust me, I got this! Yes I got the extra large diet coke you ordered with the extra large side of hot chips to go with your salad, yes the food is coming (sorry it has been longer than 5 minutes), the drinks order… yes I just put it through the moment I left the table (believe it or not it takes longer than 20 seconds to make three pinacoladas, a jug of sangria, and espresso martini… believe it OR NOT!). These people need learn to trust, and also when I come up to your table and say 'can I grab you anything else for the time being' that is probably your chance to speak up, rather than wave me over in 45 seconds time.

5. The Picky Masterchefs


I work nights fairly often, so don't get the chance to go out, but correct me if I am wrong isn't the point of going to a restaurant so you can order the food that they cook, because you can't do it at home, don't have the skills or you want to try a new cuisine? It amazes me how often people will push the menu to the side like a white guy at a random airport security check and begin with 'so I'm looking for a dish that has a bit of meat, some salad, perhaps some mashed potatoes, and some garlic bread, but no butter, onion or dairy… do you have anything like that?'

Excuse me while I just look back at the annals of your life and find the exact meal you are thinking of, I'll pop into the kitchen and whip you up the meal you wanted to create a home. Like seriously, sometimes I want to check under the tale to see if these people have brought their own cook-books, knives, pots, and pantry to pop into the pantry to make the meal in their minds. Mate, this isn't death row where you get to pick the exact meal you want , and to be perfectly honest if I get asked one more time for something that isn't on the menu (and that you haven't even bothered with the menu) I'll be sure that you are on your last death-row meal.

6. The Neglectful Parents


I love kids. Kids are great. I don't mind that you couldn't afford a baby sitter for the night, but please don't make it my and the other 250 patrons of the restaurants issue that your kid has to 'let off some steam or else he won't go to bed tonight'. What am I Marry Poppins or something?

My job is to provide service in the form of drinks and food, in an timely matter in a neat and presentable fashion, it is not to entertain your kids for two hours after they eat the ice-cream you got them as their main meal. If you are happy to throw me a couple of tenners and drive me home at the end of my shift for a couple hours baby sitting I'm happy to help out, but the last time I checked I'm not working at Chucky Cheese and our restaurant isn't a jungle gym, keep your gromit in line and out of everyone's way, or else I'll burn it to hell.

7. The Instagrammer


Don't get me wrong social media is definitely becoming a strong and useful platform for people to rate, review and stay in touch with hospitality venues, but this obsession has to stop. No I'm not going to just stand there for 5 minutes with extremely hot plates in my hands, while you stand on our chair looking down on the platter your ordered like a dentist about to perform a root-canal. Who are your followers on instagram? The entire bird, dentis and cartographic community? I love looking at your well thought our food photos pretending I'm a bird, a gloved up dentist, or I am an old explorer mapping out the various new land forms I came across.

And by all means don't forget to get multiple photos, for Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter; choose an array of filters; discuss caption options and hashtags... meanwhile 35 minutes have passed with your food now a cold, soggy mess and for it to only be MY FAULT. Like, do I have to sit there with a spoon, making airplane noises saying 'open wide here comes the food vvrrrrmmmmmm' to get you to do the one thing you are actually meant to do at restaurants......... EAT.

Don't worry... I'll get your meal replaced, just don't forget to tag me in your photo. But please how about next time we practice some insta-eating and leave the instagramming till later.

8. The Regretful Regulars


Look I appreciate the regulars that come in, restaurants actually profit mostly from the return of customers and the expression of goodwill which is why we all work so hard to meet service and food requirements, but there is no need to be a jack-ass about it. Just because we know you by first name, you get a friendly discount on the bill, and can request your favourite sitting spot, doesn't mean you can then go and arrive 30 minutes late to your booking, not to mention past close time, just so we can pamper your every need.

And if we mess something up, accept it. Be lucky that the last 2,345 times you came here we got everything right. We put up with you every time, and if anything you should be understanding that we might just get it wrong. Accept the 99% success rate and get the out the door so we can close this place down. Yeah don't worry about tipping for all the extra stuff you get… I mean you practically pay our wages anyway. See you later… you simply aren't worth it some times.

9. End Rant


So now that I have spent the better part of my day complaining about people that don't really matter I hope you guys all think twice now when in the seat of the restaurant. Say hi, be nice, tip your waiters, enjoy your night, and don't be one of these guys. See you all tonight, at a restaurant near you!

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