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
107 comments
Camille Ecklund
Camille Ecklund

If I EVER did any of these things while working I would be fired so fast! So maybe (juuuusst MAYBE) it's a case of shitty people who happen to work in a restaurant not restaurant workers in general.

Jacob Garcia
Jacob Garcia

Lucky strike in the Belmar sucks with their service. I will never go back because of the experience my girlfriend and I had there. This would definitely be a good read for all of the employees that work there in the service industry with food

שרי אורדאז
שרי אורדאז

Oh yeah... usually, at least one of these things will make me not want to go back to a place. My last experience, some bartender at a Mellow Mushroom.

Willie Culkin
Willie Culkin

I've done every job there is to do in a restaurant except own one. I'm not in the business anymore, but I go out to eat often. My expectations are pretty simple: I expect to feel satisfied when I leave. If the experience was exceptional, I will tell the server, the manager and everyone I know. If it was horrible, my feedback is polite and constructive, usually just to the manager or owner if present. I might mention it to a few friends, but I don't go on a hate campaign. It's easy to tell a place that is having a problem on a given night and one that doesn't know what they are doing. I also understand that a lot of customers are imbeciles, but so are people in general, you have to suck it up to an extent. I didn't think anything in this article was unfair, so I don't really understand the hostility.

James Speiser
James Speiser

@ Esteban that is irrelevant to Matty's statement.

Travis Page
Travis Page

Who fucking cares. "Service industry" is a fucking joke and people who get butthurt and hop on yelp are just as bad. It's just food. Get the fuck over it.

Rachel Coady
Rachel Coady

This completely dehumanises the service workers. Some bullshit customer has a stick shoved so far up his ass this came out

Matty Meatballs
Matty Meatballs

I'm going to start going to places and when they ask me how I am I'm going to respond with cashing my pay check or oil change, instead of fine how are you! ( ya know like a human being) You got to give respect to get it and when you walk in with your RBF ( resting bitch face) it doesn't exactly give us servants a ton of incentive to make your meal an " experience" yelp gave every asshole an opinion it just so happens all of their opinions are wrong! Nobody works harder than people in the "serve us" industry both FOH and BOH except perhaps full time moms and dads and they make even less!

Esteban Mainzer
Esteban Mainzer

the dining public are the reason those "servants" have a job.

Chase Cox
Chase Cox

This I why people come see us at Illegal Pete's! Good food, drinks and good people with good service!

Handy Wipe
Handy Wipe

Westwood You ALWAYS go after servers. Did you ever stop to consider they make sh*t pay, they have to deal with your nasty swine flu germs, they are hassled by management/other customers/your PLEASANT self and did I mention they make sh*t pay? No benefits? No paid vacation? No job security? Is this just because your proctologist is a jerk and you can't retaliate against HIM so you have to find easier prey? Well, it's getting old for this reader.

Matty Meatballs
Matty Meatballs

Fuck this guy This is ridiculous the general dining public can be very rude a lot of times and servic industry workers are treated more like indentured servants

Jared Forqueran
Jared Forqueran

Adding extra "o"s to your "to"s doesn't make it sound better.

Trinda Weymouth
Trinda Weymouth

I was recently completely yelled at by a bartender for using my nicotine inhaler! It only exhales water vapor but he had too get all copish with me! And one of my best friend's has been a health inspector, for the govt, over the years. Some restaurants I completely avoid due too not wanting too get poisoned.

Tatiana Timmins
Tatiana Timmins

This was actually a good read. I work in the service industry and when I go out to eat, I expect the same kind of experience that I would give my guests. But those good experiences are so rare, I get disappointed a lot when I dine out. However, I will say that the good servers are very appreciated. It's a tough industry, and it definitely is not for everyone.

Lawrence Dunn
Lawrence Dunn

I guess the server who engages in more than one of these activities with any one party has pretty much abandoned the idea of a decent tip. They would if I were in the party.

Roger Lynn
Roger Lynn

Wish every server and a hell of a lot of diners would read this...

cwbyt62150
cwbyt62150

Sometimes servers do this purposely in order to move an obnoxious customer out.  It's not always because they just don't care, they're using a tool available to them.


shaunnaborn
shaunnaborn

i am a bartender and I don't do this but, i have to admit that some of my fellow bartenders do this at times. well, you can't expect everyone to be a straight A's

Sterling Meeks Isatool
Sterling Meeks Isatool

My butt doesn't hurt anymore FYI. Poker party at my house Friday. My mom doesn't know Ssshhhhh

Aldo Covarrubias
Aldo Covarrubias

yeah, specially hipsters that hate their server, burrito making, bar tending jobs.

Miri Ladenburger
Miri Ladenburger

You're still a fucking jerk. RaeLynn was right. also, maybe incite a conversation with something that's true instead of making up some idiotic comment. How's that tasting you self righteous dick????

Justin Jordan
Justin Jordan

I would love an article now telling people the ten rudest things customers do. This whole article in satire. Ha

Carlos Murillo
Carlos Murillo

Jesus, everyone needs to calm the fuck down. You're an idiot if you think that servers or employees can't be the rude or obnoxious ones (and no, I'm not one of those assholes who doesn't tip or hits on the chicks--I usually get into better conversations with them than 99% of others do *and* tip way above average). Yes, it's almost always the customers causing trouble, but if you think it's impossible to fault a server then you need to reevaluate your views on people.

Kristen Marie
Kristen Marie

Yeah it doesn't even make any sense. I was in the restaurant industry my entire life. My dad was a bartender turned bar owner. I, myself, have done a few of these things maybe once or twice. I know how to give incredible service and 99% of the time I have. I have worked while sick, hungover, during family emergencies and for the 6 months my father was dying of cancer. And I'm sorry, sometimes, you are not my 100% priority and sometimes that will show. However, I'd love to come to your place of business and make sure that you're 100% on the top of your game every second of the day. And then write a list and complain about all of the horrible things you did.

Jason Wagner
Jason Wagner

Someone upset you don't get five star service at Denny's?

Covana
Covana

This guy really needs to take himself less serious and possibly start cooking more at home.

Peter William Goodwin
Peter William Goodwin

You can keep quoting that one part of the article, but it isn't changing the tone or point at all.

Mariah Salazar
Mariah Salazar

Whoever wrote this is clearly not in the industry. Most of these things aren't true at any normal restaurant

bondadprevalece
bondadprevalece

My biggest pet peeve re: #2 is when the FIRST thing a host or hostess says is "Reservation?" It makes me want to turn around and go. Your restaurant is half-empty on a weeknight, and that's the thing you're greeting people with?

Kay Dirling
Kay Dirling

Yeah, but he's saying don't embarrass them. As he said, if you repeat it back correctly, that's educating them without making them feel ignorant.

Kay Dirling
Kay Dirling

Oh, you can complain about table 22. People can be dicks no matter how awesome your service is. Just don't do it in front of other customers! Be professional, is what he's saying, and I agree 100%.

Kay Dirling
Kay Dirling

I worked in a restaurant for over a decade. He is spot-on. Any one of these things is terrible service.

Kay Dirling
Kay Dirling

Vent to a coworker in private. Check your phone away from the table. His remarks are about people who do these things in front of customers - which is rude. Period.

Alexis Renee N
Alexis Renee N

Dumb article! Here's an idea, stay home and make your own god damn food!

Brittany Chanel Price
Brittany Chanel Price

I disagreed with #5, as a server it's your job to educate your guest when they come in. If they are pronouncing something wrong you should tell them the correct way. It's kind of fucked up to let them continue to sound dumb. And really scotch whiskey was a bad example. Most ppl who drink scotch whiskey know what it is and the pronunciation

bondadprevalece
bondadprevalece

There is one. This was a follow-up to that. Why are we allowing Facebook comments again?

bondadprevalece
bondadprevalece

I tend to agree. Waitstaff have a tendency to be deified and praised for their saintly ability to be quietly abused. We live in a time where you're a gigantic asshole if you tip the waitstaff based on service quality.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...