Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Holiday Season is Upon Us

This will be my third holiday season at the bar. Over the last two years I have noticed a trend in customer attitudes and comments during this time.
Customers tend to complain about me during this time. Since I cannot see a difference in my attitude or quality of service, I can only discern that it is the customers that change as the holiday season approaches and shortly after; between November and January.
Customers get more demanding. Maybe this is because they are shopping for everyone they know and spending copious amounts of money on things they will be giving away and probably want to keep for themselves. Maybe it is that at the bar they are spending money on something they cannot keep and expect me to fill them with a happy, warm feeling they can take home with them. This I have no problem with other than it is difficult to know what will have that effect on each person, and that when I am serving 75 plus people I may not have the time required to fill each one with squishy warm feelings as they munch on their hot wings and down more cheap beer than I could drink in a week.
Maybe the retail stores are to blame. During the holiday season, retail workers tend to up their game. They greet customers with more enthusiasm than they have shown all their customers combined throughout the rest of the year. They follow customers around the store and seem to fall over themselves to help each one with their every need. Please don't mistake me here. I am not saying anything I mean to be taken in a negative manner toward these employees. I know they have to deal with their own brand of annoying customers and irritable managers and I applaud their ability to keep the smile on their faces and the annoyance out of their voices. However, when customers are flooded with this type of customer service in stores, which they all are due to the amount of shopping everyone does in preparation for the holidays, they tend to expect this level of service everywhere. I am more than happy to give them my best customer service, but the levels and type available at a bar or restaurant is different than that at a retail store. I am unable to follow customers every move anticipating what they need. I think they would be annoyed if I were to do a table check every 5 minutes, though this is what they act like they expect.
I have already seen customers begin their ridiculous complaints (Dine-in only Specials, Charging for juice, and some jerk who thought getting my attention meant sitting there in silence ). This year should be fun.


Anonymous said...

Hopefully the abuse we take results in bigger tips. Although that is not a given is it?

A Nova Server said...

I still can't get this through my head: you cannot please people, they will act the way they want to act no matter what you do, most of the time! Ahhh, customer service during the holidays - such fun!