An online writer contacted me (and I assume everyone else blogging about restaurants) and asked for examples of horrendous restaurant patrons. I try to stay away from writing about such aspects of the business because Waiter Rant captured them best back in the day, and it is too easy to whine on and on about annoying guests. In the end, if you’ve read one story about an over-entitled, arrogant guest, then you’ve surely met them all a thousand times in your own establishment, pretty much every day.
But I got to thinking, as our season officially got underway this past holiday weekend–what surprised me about our customers, what annoyed me, what made me want to scream?
I was surprised by:
–How patient people actually can be if you just tell them you’re swamped and it’s going to take five days for their food to arrive at the table.
–How nice people can be when their food really does take five days to get to their table and how many still tip you 25 percent, regardless.
–How many large parties said the auto grat I put on their checks was too small, and how they left plenty of extra cash on the table.
–How I could conduct an almost a stand-up comedy routine about the madness with some of my tables, and have others nearby whom I had yet to even get to, laugh with us.
I wish I had seen less of:
–People rattling ice-filled glasses at me as a signal to refill their sodas, while I took another table’s order.
–People claiming to be restaurant owners and understanding how busy we were, only to complain every three minutes that their food was taking too long. (As an aside, people who claim to be owners are not the best tippers. People who claim to work in the biz usually are.)
–People thinking that just because we are a funky Keys restaurant, that being barefoot and sporting only a bathing suit is proper dining attire.
–People claiming they HAD to be on a party boat in a few minutes and begging me to put their orders in ahead of everyone else who had appropriately planned their time and not given into their hangovers and overslept.
Yes, it was crazy this weekend, and it is only going to get worse, I suspect. Yes, some people were impatient and demanding and blah, blah, blah. But many were not. I am always sorry when sometimes the nicest people are lost in the shuffle.
Meanwhile, I am skipping through the weeds all the way to the bank.