5 Customers Every Server Encounters

Every girl loves going out with her girlfriends to dinner or shopping, and we always have a great time... until we see a customer being rude.

We’ve all had our fair share of witnessing the customers who woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but what’s worse than watching these customers is serving them.

Over the summer I worked at a chain restaurant, Hickory Tavern. I have worked on and off at this restaurant, and others, since high school. As a hostess, I thought I saw some rude customers, but I promise you it was nothing compared to what I went through serving. Here are 5 types of customers I, and every waitress, encountered this summer:

1. The Interrupter

“Hi, welcome to Hickory Tavern, my name is Al-”

“Sweet tea, no lemon, extra ice.”

We’re all too familiar with the customer who won’t even let you finish your spiel. These are the customers who refuse to look happy, much less look at you. Apparently they have somewhere better to be, yet they’re still here taking up a table. The best way to deal with the “interrupter” is to keep a smile on your face and kill them with kindness.

 

2. The Pointer

“I’ll take a tavern burger...”

*points to item and runs finger along the description*

“With the lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle. And for the side…”

*runs finger down list of sides*

“I think I’ll take the tater tots.”

We all know the customer who will jab at the menu and hold it to your face to make sure you know exactly what they want. As a server, I promise you we know the menu inside and out, forwards and backwards, and can repeat it in our sleep. I can assure you I know every topping on every burger, and ever sauce option for the wings. The “pointer” just wants to make sure you get their order right, but as a server, we want to get it right even more.

 

3. The Picky Eater

“I’ll have the BBQ chicken nachos, with the BBQ sauce on the side, and no chicken, scallions, cilantro, or sour cream.”

“So, just the chips and cheese?”

“Oh, can I add guacamole?”

I wish I was joking when I say this is an order I took this summer. And trust me, you don’t want to bother with what their meal was. We’ve all been picky eaters before, but at some point it just feels awkward to keep asking. When you encounter the “picky eater” you just have to make sure you ring in all the details and double check with the kitchen before it goes out because if not, you may also get a visit from the next customer type- the complainer.

 

4. The Complainer

You know the customer who orders their steak well done, but then complains because it somehow isn’t done enough? And you reluctantly take it back to the kitchen already knowing they’re gonna let it cook until it’s black? But don’t forget they didn’t want scallions on that baked potato so you need to get a new one out and can you believe their drink is only ¾ of the way full? These customers can be a pain and don’t seem to realize you also have four other tables and a party, but just keep your head up and know they’ll be gone soon.

 

5. The Verbal Tipper

“You did such an amazing job.”

“This is the best experience we’ve had here.”

“Tell your manager that we were very pleased with the service.”

“What’s your name so we can ask for you next time?”

*leaves $3 on a $45 tab*

I’ve heard plenty of arguments about whether or not to tip your server, but the bottom line is they’re busting their butts for you their entire shift and $2.13 an hour (before taxes) just doesn’t cut it. While it’s nice to hear you did a good job, words of affirmation isn’t my love language and it won’t pay my tuition. The only thing left to say is #tiptheserver challenge is the best challenge yet.

The truth is, working in any customer service field is rough. People have bad days and can misplace their anger, but keep your head up, Collegiettes, you're killing the game!