Customers are Particular, Embrace It

Posted on April 1, 2012


As a service professional, you are in the hospitality business.  That means taking care of people.  And a large part of that is taking care of special requests.

Too often, I have noticed restaurant staffers get annoyed with things they should not get annoyed with.  Here are a few things all people in the service industry must be cognizant of:

If it’s Not a Big Deal, Go Ahead and Do It

Often patrons will ask for things that put you a little bit out of your way or do not meet protocol.  And that’s fine.  If you can do it, go ahead and do it.  The guest wants a booth instead of a table, that’s fine.  Don’t worry about the seating rotation.  Don’t worry about seating the hard to seat table first.  Just take care of the patron.

This applies to a lot of requests.  It could be an item not on the menu, but something you have in house, like a side of olives.  It could also be modifications of menu items, that may take extra work in placing or fulfilling the order.   Regardless of the request, no matter how simple or complex, the result should always be the same.   If you can do it, do it.

Don’t Get Annoyed Because the Guest Gave You More Work to Do

The guest may not realize that their request is difficult.  It is also possible that if they did know that, they would not care.  The fact of the matter is you are at work, and not every task is going to be easy or simple.

An example I can think of is someone who orders a diet coke with lime or water with lime.  Your restaurant may have ample supply of lemons, but limes, not as much.  That may mean going to wait at the service bar until a bartender can get you a lime.  So what.  You can get a guest a lime, so get them a lime.

At the end of the day, you need to understand that the guest wants what they want and that’s it.  If you can do something, then do it.  Embrace the particularities of the guest.