Ten rudest things servers and bartenders do to guests to make them wish they'd never come in

Categories: Behind the Bar

136520828.jpg
As a service-industry lifer/professional, I loved Lori Midson's list of the "Ten rudest things things customers do to make servers wish you'd never come to their restaurants." Over the course of my 27-year career in service, I've seen examples of all of her top ten...and more.

But what really gets to me is when people in my industry treat guests like they're doing the guests a favor by taking care of them. In my opinion, the hospitality starts with us regardless of the attitude or actions of our guests. It is our job to turn any poor treatment around; that's what we are here for. So I came up with my own list, of the ten rudest things that servers/bartenders do to make guests wish they'd never come into their restaurants:

124824505.jpg
10. Not focusing on the guest in front of you.
I know servers/bartenders are supposed to have eyes on the whole room -- but that only applies when you are away from your guests. To maintain hospitality while at a table, you must make those guests feel like they are the only ones in the room; your focus must be completely on the people in front of you. Looking at other tables while waiting on another gives the impression that you are disinterested, and that those guests are not as important as someone else. Save your scanning eyes for when you step away. And on a related note, it is rude for other servers or managers to interrupt you while you are at a table, taking orders.

9. Being too familiar.
I am all about getting to know your guests and building a relationship, but joining in conversations uninvited or talking about yourself without being asked is just plain wrong. My wife and I once had to sit at a local restaurant for twenty minutes while our food got cold and our server told us about her experiences in Lebanon....all because we ordered hummus. If guests ask your opinion or ask about you, that's fine -- but keep your answers interesting and keep them brief. The experience is about the guest, not about you.

8. Sitting down on the job.
This one happened to me just last week. My wife and I went to a Denver restaurant for brunch. When we walked in the door, the hostess was sitting in the waiting area. She got up begrudgingly, grabbed some menus and took us to a table. We felt like we were inconveniencing her by showing up. After we'd been seated and didn't see a server for at least ten minutes, I walked back up to the lounge/waiting area (where another host and two servers had since joined her) and asked if we could order. Her response? "Oh, I figured someone would have seen you by now." Brilliant. Employees should not be sitting down in view of their guests; it gives them the impression that taking care of them is an inconvenience. Break time should be somewhere in the back of the house.

7. Being on the phone/texting.
Sometime last year, at a bar that will remain anonymous, a bartender walked up to us with his cell phone in hand, actively texting. "Hi" he said, barely looking up from his phone, "What can I get you?" My response? "I could text you our order if that would make it easier for you..." That seemed to wake him up, and he put his phone away, startled. Then he took our order. This is a severe example, but I see variations all over town. I love it when I can see a phone lighting up in someone's apron while he's taking our order. That's s just plain rude -- leave it in your locker or bag.


My Voice Nation Help
213 comments
Steven Dryver
Steven Dryver

^Don't ever force your own personal tastes/biases upon the customer. Don't talk down to others simply for not being like you. Better yet, don't ever consider working in the service industry, again. After all, even a healthy economy still needs ditch diggers.

Amy Franklin
Amy Franklin

At a SoBo bar, the drunk bartender decided to eat off of our plate before serving us. Ate our food right in front of us. We've never been back.

Katy Reynolds
Katy Reynolds

Right I love my job, making ppl have a great time out is always my goal! Why would u get a job where ur income is based off personality if your mom forgot to give u one lol

Michael J. Wojcicki
Michael J. Wojcicki

Had a waiter steal my credit card number in Denver when i lived in Colorado and sell it to some crooks who ran up $4000 worth of charges on it. Called cops etc. Never been to the place again. hard Rock Cafe on 16th street Mall.

Bethany Milam
Bethany Milam

Not all ppl are bad, get over it. I've had great servers & bad ones. I've had assholes customers say sh*t to servers & I've said sh*t to them. It happens some ppl are dicks, don't let it control your day.

Bethany Milam
Bethany Milam

I like how everyone takes it to the rudeness of the customer, it should be a give and take, balanced so everyone can get through it peacefully. Just remember it's not the customers choice where you decide to work, at least here in Colorado, it's a choice. We don't pay you, we don't force you to work, we can only control our attitudes. I'm a nice person & still have been treated the way this article suggests.

Morganne Foster
Morganne Foster

I LOVE THIS. If people hate serving so bad, why do they do it?!

Morganne Foster
Morganne Foster

Mike Skeel - It's unfortunate that you're so judgmental about customers' drink choices. Refilling their drinks is the bare minimum of doing your job. If it really makes you cringe that bad, go to college and get a real fucking job. YOU are the self-righteous prick.

Screech Loud
Screech Loud

Omg cry cry! like any other job ain shitty cry me a river cuz i need a refill on my water ive workd shittier jobs than that u dnt like it find another profession

Ben Brennan
Ben Brennan

When a server asks if you're "still working on that.." well I was enjoying it but let me get right back to work for you.... or my personal favorite when a server is wearing an outrageous amount of perfume/cologne. Thanks but I don't want to taste you while I'm taking a bite and you just walked by. And please servers wait till somebody isn't mid bite or chewing when you come and ask if they need anything or how their food is. I can't tell you how often that happens

Ben Brennan
Ben Brennan

You're the reason chefs hate servers.. just so you know:) it is absolutely 100% your job to be their bitch for about an hour and a half. I'm a chef cause I use to serve and I don't like people very much so I stopped working a personable job.. I suggest you do the same

Donald Hamel
Donald Hamel

Does no one else catch the sarcasim in this? Or all of you taking this serious??

Judy Kirkham-Beville
Judy Kirkham-Beville

Geezus. Glad I am not working with these people commenting, as Chef, they would not be working for me, with me or around me.

Lee Thomas Champe
Lee Thomas Champe

Pull your head out of your ass dude. You don't know me and you weren't there.

Mike Skeel
Mike Skeel

So if service is so awful at all of these places, theres a simple solution. ..learn to cook, and dont go out. The restaurants will do jist fine without all of you condescending pricks business. There are plenty of polite, well tipping people who actually deserve good service, and get it, to keep the places in business

Mike Skeel
Mike Skeel

And if youre overly demanding, and talk down to your server, dont be surprised when you get awful service. They dont HAVE to serve you, and I have personally told my manager that I refuse to serve certain customers based on the treatment I have gotten from them in the past

Emily Walker
Emily Walker

wow who pissed in your pop? geeze dude calm down

Mike Skeel
Mike Skeel

Then dont go out to eat. Youre one of those "excuse me, I would like to talk to your manager" cunts. Good god, you sound like youre just looking for things to bitch about

Mike Skeel
Mike Skeel

You deserved it, dont make stupid sarcastic comments to someone who has to deal with pricks like you all day every day. Grossed out because someone took a drink of your soda? Cry me a fucking river

Jodie Morgan
Jodie Morgan

wtf cuz they can't do their job if you hate it they much do something else!

Mike Skeel
Mike Skeel

Joshua, you were probably a prick from the start, that, or the server was slammed and in the weeds. Oh my god, you had to wait for more sugar water? That server should be FIRED! dont be surprised when you get awful service if you make asinine complaints like this. Jesus, youre an asshole

Mike Skeel
Mike Skeel

Lmfao, youre the reason most servers hate customers

Vicki Hosman
Vicki Hosman

And yeah - you are. I'm one of the easiest people in the world to please, and both my husband and I have worked as servers. But this kind of response to the article is ridiculous. You should know as well as anyone that there ARE bad servers out there. And sometimes good servers get screwed by a shitty hostess - who you then have to tip-share with. If you're an excellent server, good for you... But there ARE people out there who need to read this article. Pull your head out and acknowledge it.

Steven Dryver
Steven Dryver

Looks we have a couple of #InternetToughGuys duking it out on antisocial media.

Steven Dryver
Steven Dryver

Then they wonder how they got food poisoning the following day.

Nora J. Lucero-Dimas
Nora J. Lucero-Dimas

spray vile perfume on themselves behind the bar close enough to customers they smell vile too.

Jennifer Harrington
Jennifer Harrington

Article addresses the reference of a prior article... westword asked the poll on FB about the rude industry workers....as the thread feeds anger about the workers...Or how about another article about the top 10 best things service industry does, or best customer stories....Positive receives positive.

Yolanda Walker
Yolanda Walker

Ummmmmmm the author directly references the rude customer top ten in the first paragraph.

Joshua Trotter
Joshua Trotter

And you are a total fucking bitch ass punk! You wanna see dumb just look in the mirror...you had no right to personally attack her that way..you're lucky you're just a keyboard warrior cause if I heard you talk like that to a female in public(stranger or no stranger it makes no difference) I would slap you so hard the whole room would get so quiet you could literally hear a pin drop. Get a life and another type of job you f**king loser!

Jennifer Harrington
Jennifer Harrington

I think the fact that you are dwelling on a mtn dew refill from weeks past is a little off so yeah...I'm also sure that probably wasn't on purpose ...

Joshua Trotter
Joshua Trotter

so this is the reason you purposely took twenty-six minutes to refill my Mtn.Dew last Tuesday ? you just assumed I was a rude customer and already had in your mindset ,"f**k this guy, he can choke for all I care." ;)

Joshua Trotter
Joshua Trotter

I'm pretty sure you were my server last week ? Hmmmm....

John Michael Alvarez
John Michael Alvarez

Larry White, Kristofer Wulf I work at Milwaukee street tavern in cherry creek north... come in sometime I'll buy y'all a drink. We're a local industry bar, so for those of you that understand giving great service and understand that everyone is entitled to an off day, come on down. Our 'Sin' night is Sunday we have a VJ and it's pretty chill, starts at 9. Drink specials are all day and all week though, so if you're ever in the hood...

Justin Jordan
Justin Jordan

If you haven't worked in the service industry and you're bitching about anyone in the service industry... DELETE YOUR COMMENT NOW. #fools

Jodie Morgan
Jodie Morgan

perkins on s colorado blvd called the cops on us after we got an attitude back and asked for the manager ... they took over an hour to bring our food, got the order wrong and even though they sat us in a room all by ourselves asked us to watch our conversation needless to say worst service ever and to top it off it was our wedding night dresses and tuxes still on so they knew

Justin Jordan
Justin Jordan

Bitch. I hate your thinking. If I'm making a drink and I look at you in the eyes then walk away, maybe it's because I was finishing the last customer. You're not the only person there so please fuck off. #dumb

Jules Jones
Jules Jones

I have the BEST job ever. I provide amazing customer service because, oh yeah, it's my JOB. It's what I get paid to do. I deal with assholes, their kids, their sense of extreme entitlement every single day. But I also have the pleasure of dealing with lovely people, so I suck it up. Do I think evil thoughts about the assholes? Absolutely. Do I talk about them to my co-workers AFTER they leave? Of course. Venting is necessary. Do I treat them badly? Fuck no. Why? Because it's my fucking JOB. We close at 9:00. If you walk in at 8:59, you're still a customer and deserve the same quality treatment. Yeah, we get treated abusively sometimes. But if you can't deal, get a job where you don't have to deal with humans. Otherwise, shut the fuck up, do your JOB and do it well. Because. It's what you get PAID to do.

Jared Max
Jared Max

The other day, I was serving a lady who wanted a glass of red wine. She said she was thinking about a certain Cabernet Sauvignon on the list and the gentleman accompanying her proceeded to inform her that the cab 'isn't a red wine'. I'm gonna correct him...

Scott McMahon
Scott McMahon

haha no balloon animals? I dunno if we can hang anymore

Larry White
Larry White

I am not Scott... I'll remember that next time you come in lol... Listen everyone... There is bad service everywhere... And there are bad customers as well... I am one of the easiest going happy guys out there... I have fun with my tables... I just like people... But remember... Yeah it's our job to make sure you have a great experience... But I'm not you slave... If you're in a bad mood don't go out, I'm not a therapist or a court jester/clown... Unfortunately I can't make balloons animals to cheer you up... If you don't tip don't go out, I make 4 dollars an hour... Your tip keeps menu prices down so I don't have to get paid a real wage... If you can't control your kids don't go out, I'm definitively not a baby sitter... Have your kids behave like you would at your own home... If you only like your food the way you cook it at home then please cook at home...

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...