I’ve been working in pubs since I turned 18 and have had some crazy experiences with how customers think it is okay to treat waiting staff. Pub work is fun and the people you meet are always so interesting, from the staff to the customers. But during the stresses of working in a constantly moving environment, sometimes manners slip and customers can be less than polite, so here is how to act towards wait staff.
1. Don’t Get Angry If We Refuse To Serve You
The law requires bartenders to not serve any customer is drunk. We can be fired and fined for serving drunk customers. For us your brother’s stag do isn’t as important as our job.
2. If I ID You, I’m Not Trying To Insult You – It’s The Law
Regularly, working in university cities you need to ID the customers coming to the bar. This usually goes one of two ways, either the customer will be insulted that you think they don’t look 18. Or the customer will laugh and show you their ID. The issue here is that it isn’t whether the customer looks 18, it’s whether the customer looks 21 or even 25. Unfortunately, not maybe 20-year olds look 25. So, we will ID you.
3. Don’t Wave Your Hands Or Click At Me
When serving a busy bar, bartenders try to clock who arrived when. Sometimes we get it wrong, if we do just tell us and we’ll serve you next. Don’t click your fingers at us or wave in our faces, that just makes us less likely to serve you.
4. Please Don’t Vomit On The Floor
If you do get drunk and feel the vomit rising. Then please go to the bathroom or outside. Pubs don’t have cleaners, we have a ‘body fluid kit’ and who has to clean the vomit up will come down to a sick game of rock, paper scissors.
5. Be Aware That We only Have Two Arms
Plates can be hot, they’ve been under the hot lights and have come straight from ovens and pans. Sometimes this means you can only carry one at a time, or if we carry three we might not have them best placed. If this is the case, then give us a little bit of extra time to place the orders down. Similarly, it isn’t always possible to clear a table in one go. So please be patient, you will get your meal.
6. If the Pub Is Busy, Things Will Take Longer
The busier the pub, usually the more popular it is. This is a good thing, but does also mean that service might be a bit slower. If there are 10 orders in, then your food will take longer than 15 minutes. Similarly, getting served or your drinks arriving might take longer. You will get your food and drinks, but timings do change depending on the shift.
7. Be Polite
Politeness goes a long way in service jobs. If a customer is polite and chatty with me, then I might work harder to give them the best experience. I am a chatty individual and will happily talk to your son about his application to university or your daughter’s dream of joining the army. If you’re rude to me, I will still serve you perfectly well, but I will only serve when necessary.
8. If We Make A Mistake, Tell Us.
Mistakes happen. Usually they’re human error and that okay. In a pub, if a mistake happens we are usually more than happy to rectify it immediately. We are less happy to fix the issue once you’ve eaten the meal that you had a complaint against. We don’t want you to have an experience, but it’s very difficult to understand that the potatoes were cold if you’ve already eaten them.