Being entitled to certain luxuries is a fad that never dies, it seems. All generations do it, from all walks of life and all cultures. As a bartender I have a front row seat to different levels of entitlement from both the end of the customer and from the staff. I recently read an article that implied guests who are more well dressed are better customers, which I could not disagree with more. From time to time I've seen memes pertaining to the hospitality industry floating around on Facebook, such as tip jars with "the more you tip the better your service" taped to them. On the other hand I believe most of us are at least familiar with the awful people who leave messages on the receipt when they have a homosexual server, as if, whether it's a lifestyle choice or not, being a customer to a person entitles you to leave discriminating comments that can completely ruin someone's day.
It's got to stop, but I honestly don't know how to make it stop. I would suggest that one Avenue of defense, on the side of the industry would be to take a firm stance and refuse to give service to people, but the truth is I know where that sort of attitude might lead. I don't want every restaurant and bar to have the same sort of air of arrogance floating around the staff like most night clubs or dive bars, where the mantra is along the lines of "the customer's always wrong". Maybe it would be easier for waitstaff to play nice if entitlement disappeared altoghether, but again, we're all mature enough to know that utopian paradises do not exist.
|Keep your wits about you, and stay positive!|
Referring back to the article I mentioned in the earlier paragraph, the writer says regarding dressing up 'There are eight billion reasons why you should do this, but a well-groomed and well dressed man with a smile says to a bartender, “Hey, I am not going to be an asshole”'. I don't know in what context this came out of, but I could not disagree more. Time and time again, I've had unkempt people be absolutely delightful, polite and generous with tips, or well presented people be absolute jerks. The reverse has also been true, and I'll be the first to say the old adage to never judge a book by its cover is one of the truest metaphors I've ever known. I understand the temptation of wanting to believe that there's a way to pin people as having a certain personality, but looking at someone's style is not that way. Treat everyone the same the first time you meet them, and form your opinion of them based on that. Have your wits about you, and if someone's personality seems a bit off, just try your best to work around it. Some customers can turn around if you improve their day or night, others need to be dealt with in a more firm manner, but one's effort put into their style and appearance are not the answer. In my mind, this is just another way of unjustly discriminating. My guess is that if poorly dressed people are jerks to you, it's because you're assuming that they're a lesser deserving person.
The writer of the article makes a few other fair points, but they still have an air of entitlement attached to them. Points like being prepared with backup orders, awareness of tip etiquette, and "never use change" have their merrits, but also have their downfalls. Unless people work in the industry, they just can't relate, and that's all there is to it. It's fine to give favor to customers who tip well, you like, or are regulars, but always remember, the reason you even have this job is to make sure people are having a good time. That's your business. And I almost guarantee you that the better your attitude and the more freely you treat everyone, the more business and tips you will make.
|Tips are like a free research tool. If people like you, and like |
the service, they'll tip, regardless of how they're dressed.
You may have gathered from this piece that I have a fair level of contempt for certain behaviors in the industry, enough so that most of my focus has been on the employee rather than the customer. I believe that if you want to fix something it's much easier to fix it from the professional end, than the consumer end. If you have a certain level of professionalism and follow the Golden Rule (treat others as you'd like to be treated), I can't promise that customers will always be perfect, but I know that good attitudes are infectious and self entitlement in customer service really bothers people. I mentioned I don't know whether this is a cure all or not, but at least being the calibre of person who treats others in a non judgmental way ensures that you can be proud of yourself, minimize conflicts, and make a boatload of tips.