It is challenging and quite often, a waiters nerves are put to the test.
Based on our clients personal experiences we wrote down a list of the most annoying types of customers that every waiter hates to deal with but, unfortunately, has to.
1. The rude guy
We can’t avoid the rude one. He is the one that snaps or yells to catch your attention while you are serving other tables, interrupting you while you present the dishes freshly served and complaining because the food is cold after he spent 20 minutes facebooking with the warm plate under his nose or trying to catch the best picture ever of your plate to post in every social media.
First of all, waiters are servers and not servant. Being polite and listen to them will only improve your experience since, even if it is a temporary job for most, they want to do it as best as their possibilities.
Second, you are having a dinner with someone else so put down your phone, talk like in the old time with the others and enjoy the surrounding for those couple of hours.
2. The “I-know-the-owner” pain in the a**
The instant this guy passes the door to your restaurant, you have no doubt that he will be a major pain in the ass. They usually come pretending to have a reservation that nobody took, wanting the best table, extras on the house and particular foods that he does not give a floating duck whether it’s on the menu or not.
Knowing the owner will not make anybody feel special to whoever is serving the customer, unless the customer is going to be served by the owner in person. And most of the time the owner doesn’t even know this person – they just randomly met once half drunk and, since then, they became the waiters worst nightmare.
3. The “One-thing-at-a-time”-customer
This type of customer usually gives you a good run, making sure you fall asleep the minute you hit your bed after your shift. It goes:
- “Sorry could we have some more bread?”
- “sure, here it is”
- “oh thanks, and could I have a cola more?”
- “There you go”
- “thank you, can I also have a spoon”
- “here is your spoon”
- “oh and maybe also a bit more oil”
… and you go back and forth and back and forth from the same table six or seven times in 2 minutes – most often when the restaurant is fully booked and all the other customers are waiting, the bell in the kitchen is ringing and it’s half an hour since you tried to find 1 minute for yourself so you can finally go to the toilet.
Those people usually cannot wait for what they just asked and complain if you go first with some hot meal from the kitchen instead of bringing them a spoon (and also – why on earth do you need a spoon?! I just served you a t-bone steak!!!)
4. The “Keep-on-waiting” type
The scenario is always the same. They call you, usually a bit annoyed because you didn’t go directly to them, even though they are still all looking at the open menus in front of their faces. You go there and the show starts. Usually the one who called you starts saying “so guys what do you want?” “I don’t really know, what are you having?” “I don’t know, maybe the whole menu or maybe just a small salad, but it kind of depends on what you want”.
You try to help them and be polite, but nothing will change. So you cordially say “I’ll be back in a couple of minutes so you will be ready to order” and you got a glance of those eyes becoming more and more evil saying “no, I think we are ready” – and the show starts again.
5. The Picky one
It is quite normal to have some preferences and dislikes regarding food – as long as they are relatively simple. We are not talking about allergies or intolerance but something simple like” no parmesan on top of the pasta” or “no beetroot”.
Sometimes is not so simple – let’s talk about the really picky one.
Nothing in the menu satisfies their “need”, not even the best wellington beef you can find and they will end up ordering a pasta with duck ragout and asparagus without pasta and asparagus or a bruschetta without bread (true story).
6. The late customers
There are two categories of late customers.
The first one is the customer that just made it on time, the kitchen is almost closed and clean and you’re one hour away from closing up the place and finally be able to head home after a long shift – but no. They arrive sneaking in, making puppy eyes and tell you that they will only have a quick course and that’s it. Moved by their expressions and worried about what the boss would say if you deny two guests the gastronomic experience they set their stomachs on, you let them sit and they will punctually order a 3 course meal with the steak well done and a bottle of the cheap wine. Now, this will last for at least 2 hours.
The second category is the one that doesn’t realize how late it is. They already spent 5 hours in the place, and they stopped ordering food or drinks things since hours. You approach them asking if you can make their check, also because closing time was half an hour ago. After another 45 minutes of talk they accept your request, by which time you lost all hope of reaching your friends out for the birthday that you forgot to schedule your work hours for.
With this type of customers, not even cranking up the speakers with Rammstein will make them leave. They soon have you contemplate whether you should get less comfortable chairs in the restaurant.
7. The complainer
You reach their table, the plates are shining because they ate every little piece on them and you put up the usual, even if it seems stupid, question: “did you like the food?”
Prepare to get the wrong answer! “The pasta was overcooked, the sauce wasn’t the one that I thought it was, and I didn’t want parmesan”.
If only customers can say that at the first bite, you can check it and fix it, giving a proper service, but in this case you can’t check it, fix it or even give them something else – because by now, they are full with something that, apparently, they didn’t like.
You try to explain this to them, but they don’t want to listen – instead, they ask you to speak with the manager.
Clients sometimes cannot understand that you want to do your job properly and serve them at your best.
8. The tipper
You always want to make the experience of your customers as great as possible – and this type of customer is no exception.
You show them around, giving the history of the place, explaining the food and giving advice for the wine. This table seems quite nice, even a bit chatty and you enjoy serving them. Until they ask for the check. You bring it to them and he hands you the wallet with a big smile telling you that was a pleasure, great evening and your service was amazing. And lastly, with a bit of pride, he says those 3 words…keep the change.
You go behind the bar and you see that he put 70 € in a 69,98 € bill. Suddenly your big smile becomes the only way to mask your frustration – and now you even have to go back and thank them.
9. The “Sorry, company-card”-excuser
You know from the reservation that tonight you will have a 30 people group to serve with a menu already set for them. The evening is going quite smooth, beside the noise they are making and the fact that you have to run back and forth from their table every single moment.
They finally decide that is time to move to the next place, most likely an hour and a half after the regular closing time – and when they are settling the bill, the one in charge will tell you those exact words:
– “I am sorry but it’s a company card, I cannot tip you”
Dude – you just each had a 80€ meal without spending a cent, and now you are telling me that I worked my ass of for all of you and you cannot even collect some coins between the participants to reach a decent tip! That is what you really would like to say, but no. As the good waiter you are, you smile and just say a disappointed don’t worry about it.
10. The “I-don’t-remember-what-I-ordered” table
This category is, unluckily, quite common. Most of the time you didn’t even took the order because too busy serving someone else, probably from one of the previous category.
You hear the bell ringing from the kitchen, you run there and you see quite some plates in front of you. Yes because this category is quite subtle. Could be too easy if they were only two but no, they are usually 4 up. They ordered every possible different things at the same time but nothing is to share. Seeing the first plate in front of you, you recognize immediately every waiters worst enemy: the soup, most possible, still bubbling because they especially request it very hot.
You carry as many plates as humanly possible, you finally reach the table and start asking who ordered what and zap, you see a rare form of youth alzheimer striking the whole table. At this moment they are so confused that they cannot even remember their own name.
You smile and repeat some of the plates you are holding, trying to disguise the pain inflicted by the scorching soup plate, while you feel the carriage getting heavier and heavier.
Finally someone in the table remember just one ingredient but, for a weird twist of fate, it is contained in all the dishes.
It is most likely that at the end of the dinner they will turn into the next category.
11. The split bill table
Usually composed by non less than 6 person, after you already brought them the check, they will ask you to pay separately. You explain them that it is not possible and it is even specified in the menu. They insist again and, moved by compassion you offer them to divide the bill in equal parts. Not good enough. They are firmly convinced to pay each one his single order, without willing of checking the bill and make their own calculation.
Probably is your first time encountering this species and since it is not too busy anymore you think “what the heck?! Cannot be too hard to do it”
You knot and start taking notes on who had what. Also here no one will remember a thing. It will probably take 10 minutes to write down all the food they had and link it to the orderer but it doesn’t end here: they also shared a bottle of wine. And you are witnessing the argue between what once was a group of old time friend breaking up because John Doe drank one glass more than the others, but not willing to pay extra.
A subcategory is the one that noted all the prices down and know exactly what has to pay each one of them, pretending to divide whatever they shared down to thousandth.
12. The awkward couple
This final section can also be divided in two.
First we have the nice couple. Usually fresh, young and came out for a romantic dinner when, most of the time, a room should be more proper. They sit and stare at each other eyes for most of the time. You are almost afraid of interrupting them staring the void but it’s what you have to do. They didn’t even realize that you were there or the menu on the table. It will take them at least half an hour to order, completely lost on each other, being hand in hand on the table, even when you have to serve the plates, making it impossible.
Beware because this all “hearts-flowers-and-rainbows” couple, after a couple of glass of wine, will lose the control and the consciousness of being surrounded by other clients.
It is like the last drop of wine they had gave start to mating season and, as in the animal kingdom, it also has its dance.
It all begins with one, most commonly the male, switching to the seat beside the partner.
Second step, they look again in each other eyes but, this time, without any obstacle between them.
Third step, they blindly find each other hand followed by a calm and gentle hug.
Fourth step, they start in what it cannot be considered making out, due to the intensity and the energy involved. A most proper phrase to define it could be eat each other face.
Hopefully and thankfully after half an hour of step four, they realize that the best decision could be to get the check as quickly as possible and try to reach home before the wave of passion will completely drown them. But it is not always that the case and you, embarrassed, you have to go there and politely stop what could possibly evolve into a b-movie scene.
The other part of this section is the awkward couple in the unpleasant meaning of the word.
This is usually a long time couple that, probably just started arguing when they locked their apartment’s door to reach the restaurant and still the case is not closed.
You reach that table and there is so much tension that you can cut it with a butter knife.
This stress makes serving their table hard. You watch them eating and not talking for the whole dinner, becoming increasingly afraid of giving them those sharp and pointy steak knife.
Near the table not even a fly is considering to pass by. But still you have to do it regularly.
Hopefully everything will end up fine, or just with minor injuries, but no casualties. Until you don’t see that familiar face in the first page of the newspaper that vaguely reminds you someone that probably you served a while ago.
We hope you enjoyed reading it.