Quit complaining – the customer isn’t always right…
Regardless of the COVID focus on hospitality this morning which has revealed the following public health officials’ findings https://www.thecaterer.com/news/hospitality-low-risk-infections-coronavirus-health?utm_source=TheCaterer&utm_campaign=friday.
Maybe we’ll all appreciate the people who work in the industry that little bit more when lockdown eases again.
When I first came to live and work in Liverpool in the mid-nineties, one of the main focuses of attention within the tourism, leisure and hospitality industries here was to improve on the level of customer service being offered at the time.
I was made aware that ‘mardy service’ had long been the grudge of the discerning shopper/diner/punter (albeit indigenous or visitor) in Liverpool but times have long since changed following the city becoming a top UK shopping destination.
Prior to lockdown, the evidence of improved and in fact, very good customer service has never been more apparent than in our burgeoning restaurant scene, particularly those with a coherent and committed policy towards training their staff.
Through Ubiquity’s focus on hospitality plus our specialism within food PR, we’ve experienced the many different varieties of shopping and eating out experience in the city and the North West.
Liverpool being the uber-friendly, down to earth place it is means you get talking to customers and staff alike at all the great places you visit. And I’m always conscious, having worked in this sector for 20 years now, what it’s like, especially in restaurants from the staff’s point of view, particularly in peak periods.
From all the anonymous conversations I’ve had and because you might be curious, below pretty much sums up what staff see as the eight golden rules on being a good customer in a restaurant:
1, Don’t talk on your phone while someone is taking your order. It’s a two-way relationship and he or she wouldn’t do it to you.
2, Please ask about menu items once your guests are all seated if you’re in a big party, rather than ask the poor waiter/waitress to repeat over and over as they trickle in. It’s the wrong way to start the evening.
3, Don’t get personal with members of staff, so you think you own him or her for the night. Nobody likes over-familiarity in everyday relationships and your waiter/waitress probably won’t appreciate it!
4, If you know the proprietor, just ask the waiter/waitress to pass on your regards to them in case they are present. Don’t play ‘Billy Big Biscuits’ sounding like you’re his or her best mate and are looking for special treatment or a discount. It’s embarrassing and won’t work. Anyway, if for example, the restaurateur was your best mate, he or she would have personally invited you.
5, If the restaurant has a ‘bring your own wine’ policy, ring in advance to check they don’t stock, e.g. your favourite New Zealand Marlborough. If they do, don’t bring it!
6, Move to pay the bill soon after receiving it and don’t hide it under plates or your bag. Don’t make it a treasure hunt. It’s degrading and makes it look like you don’t want to pay.
7, Tipping is your prerogative, but always do it in cash. Ten per cent is sufficient and courteous, whilst beyond twenty per cent is entering into Billy Big Biscuits territory again.
8, Make the waiter/waitress feel appreciated not subservient (please don’t click your fingers!!) and that’s the key to a successful experience for all concerned!
Looking forward to seeing you in your favourite haunt again soon.
#Liverpool #Manchester #hospitality #eatingout #COVID19