Thursday, July 7, 2016
A day in the life of a Restaurant Server.
With last weeks rant about my experience back into the industry, I've decided to write today about dealing with the "entitlement" issues of our guests. I truly feel like I'm speaking for many of the industry people out there, across the board. So, I have this love/hate relationship with social media, and technology in general. I love it because it's a way to reach so many, especially if you haven't talked to someone in awhile. It's a wonderful way to connect with family who may not live in the same state as you, they can sort through your experiences, pictures and almost feel like they just saw you yesterday, when maybe it's been a year since they've seen you. The downfall of it is, there is so much negative that it can bring to someone's life. We all know the majority but for instance, you go to a restaurant and you have a bad experience, you don't just tell your mom and your best friend like back in the day, you tell the ENTIRE WORLD on Social Media, Tweets, Yelp, IG, and God knows what else I may have forgotten. Remember the customer is always right, no matter what. But is the customer ALWAYS right? In customer service, you're taught this. You are conditioned by this. You know your Boss will give you the ultimatum if the guest experience is anything but rainbows and butterflies. Although there is always two sides to a story, it doesn't matter though because you are replaceable! We live in a world now where everything is about self gratification, being HEARD, and ruining people through posting things online for everyone else to read, judge because we feel this sense of entitlement, we want to be heard! What happened to empathy? Compassion? Does it exist in the industry anymore? Wow! Times have reallllllllllly changed. Today, it's like, it may cost you your job if you have ONE off night, not because you're in a bad mood but because you just had an "off" table who's expectations of their experience were much higher. Although, you truly were doing the best that you could do and it just wasn't good enough, they of course needed something to complain about, on Yelp. So. For the guest who is always right, please think twice before you write a bad review and make someone feel worse than all scum of the earth. Think that maybe, just like you, they too are trying to pay their bills and "just get by." Do you ever have off days? Are you perfect? What if someone were to blow you up on social media because you had an "off" day at work, would you still have a job? Now, don't get me wrong, I always anticipate a great experience when I go out, it may not always happen but at least I'm aware in my mind in case it doesn't happen, so I'm not too disappointed. You see, when we have TOO much expectation and we get let down, we get pissed off. REALLY pissed off. In fact to be honest, just one week ago, I can't believe I'm writing about this but I went to a very popular restaurant in Atlanta, Barcelona Wine Bar, had a great experience the majority of the night EXCEPT for when my server accidently spilled olive oil in my purse while pre-bussing the table. My $500 Kate Spade purse, in which the GM did nothing about, really. He came over to the table with his many, many apologies, handed me his business card, saying if I needed my purse dry cleaned to give him a call. I could have let that experience ruin my mood, my night, my date, and ultimately I could have written the worst review you could possibly imagine because you know, anyone else in the city would have. But you know what? I didn't. Pick and choose your battles people. Material things are REPLACABLE. Peoples jobs are NOT always replaceable and in a world where there is always someone willing to do your job better because they're faster, stronger, smarter, better looking, etc., Employers don't hesitate to replace you. It's sad, really. How is that job security? It's always about money, and is the employer making money from having hired you. Guests' need to have a little bit more empathy and compassion before blowing up their "not so bad experience" into something more than it actually is. STOP. Stop with the entitlement. It's absurd and absolutely unreasonable. Not to mention annoying. There is a reason why industry people hate waiting on people like you. Do us all a favor and just stay home. The next time you have a bad experience, don't be a snob, walk out the door and write a bad review on Yelp. Acknowledge the situation with the server and management. Resolve it there, please. You don't always know someone's story or if they just may be having an off night, especially the day after a Holiday. Relax, they are just as human as you. We all make mistakes.