Confessions of a hospitality worker

11 mins read

Many of us students work in the hospitality industry alongside our studies. It provides us with some funny stories, good pals and a messed up sleep schedule that is inevitably followed by an unhealthy caffeine dependency.

Hospitality has become incredibly difficult recently. Many of us were furloughed and then lost our jobs due to the coronavirus and lockdown, then returning to work where everything has changed. It’s difficult and scary but we’re getting through it.

It goes without saying that the hospitality industry brings us into contact with the public.

Our customers can be great. They can go along with the laughs, are kind and polite, treat you with respect and really make you feel a lot better right in the middle of a frantic dinner rush.

If only they were all like that.

It’s inevitable that we’ll come across the bad customers; the abusive, rude and entitled individuals who often forget that the server they are treating like a piece of rubbish is actually a fellow human being. 

Little do they know that as soon as their tantrum over having one less ice cube than they wanted has ended, they have caused someone to retreat to the stock room to scream internally and regain their composure after being treated so horribly.

The commandments of customer service, read to us by managers and the mandatory online training courses, dictate that being polite and attentive is the way to deal with rude customers.  Of course, this is correct, but sometimes all you want to do is give Karen at table four a piece of your mind.

So, here goes. I’m a hospitality worker, and I’ve got a few things to say to all the difficult customers out there.


First Impressions matter

If you make a bad first impression; being rude and dismissive, generally if you give off a bad vibe, the first thing I will do when I get to the bar/kitchen is warn every other staff member that you might be a difficult customer.  I’ll tell my work bestie that the bald guy in the Hawaiian shirt at the first booth is going to be a pain.

Can you not see I’m busy pal

This one really annoys me.  If you see us clearly doing something for another customer, don’t interrupt us by asking us to do something else, because I won’t be able to. By the time I’ve finished doing the first thing I’ll have probably forgotten all about you.  Besides, I was pouring that pint and carrying that card machine for a reason, you know.

I will enjoy throwing you out

If you are being an a*sehole, I am just waiting and hoping for you to give me an excuse to cut you off. Because nothing would give me more satisfaction than the look on your face when I tell you “no more drink” and throw you out.  All of us get a real kick out of that.


Challenges of Challenge 25

Perhaps the biggest pain is asking people for their ID, Challenge 25 is the law, and I need to follow that.  Stating your age, or your daughter/sons age when I ask for ID does absolutely nothing.  I need to see the ID regardless.  Also, if you are the type of person to show me the photo of an ID on a phone or your Facebook account;  you’re either not old enough to know that it won’t work or you’ve had too much at pre-drinks.  Either way, no drink for you.

The law is the law for a reason

When you start arguing about something that is the law, I think that’s great. Because I don’t need to put any effort into arguing with you because no matter what you say, I am not going to break the law for you (serve you after last orders, give you a free drink etc.)  The more you argue, the more stupid you sound and it’ll reach a point that I’ll stop wasting my time on you.

What am I saying behind my mask?

Wearing a mask for an eight-hour shift isn’t easy, but one massive benefit is that you can’t see my face. So, if you treat me like sh*t then I will mouth insults to you from behind my mask.


Excuse me mate, two metres please

SOCIAL DISTANCING IS A THING! Don’t come right up to me, especially if you’re not wearing a mask, and start talking to me.  You might not care about catching Coronavirus, but I do.

Last minute orders

If you see that a place closes at 9, and you saunter in at 8:50 wanting a bunch of food.  The entire hive mind of hospitality hates you, the minute you walk in the door a bit of our souls die.

Splitting the bill

If you want to split your bill, that’s fine.  If you want to split your bill with some paying card and some paying cash, you have very quickly become a headache.

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Don’t f*cking touch me!

Don’t grab my wrist to get my attention, don’t grab around my waist and if you even think about grabbing my a*se I will ask my manager to throw you out for being a creep.  Putting your hands on staff is never acceptable, especially during everything that’s happening just now.

Pet names can p*ss off

If one more lad calls me “sweetheart” or “darling” then I might actually be sick.

Wet napkins, really?

Whoever convinced you that piling all your wet napkins and other junk into your glasses and cups at the end of a meal was helpful was just wrong.  It’s a pain in the neck and its disgusting to clean out.  Stop doing it.  Especially you weirdos who put your used chewing gum in there, you are literally the worst.



Sorry, more on Coronavirus.  These measures are there for your safety, not for fun. It’s not that we got bored one night and thought “let’s make them do this.”  So, if the toilet says one at a time, it means ONE AT A TIME!

What do you expect me to do about that?

If you have an issue that is very clearly caused by management, or head office, yelling at me (literally the lowest rung on the business ladder) will do nothing to fix it. If the place is full then there is literally nothing that I can do about that.

In fact, if you have a tantrum about how Eat Out to Help Out didn’t cover your three pints, sorry to disappoint you big man, but I’m not exactly in a position to change Government policy with a snap of my fingers.


Just be nice about it

Finally, if you have an issue when you’re out literally just be nice and polite about it, and I will do everything to sort it as quickly as possible. Because there is a mutual respect there.  If you are entitled, rude, abusive and arrogant, I will not want to help you and I will do it purely so I can get you out of my life faster. So, for both of our sakes… please just don’t be a d*ck about it.

Well that’s me, rant over.  Mostly I just needed to get that out of my system, but if you’re ever out, it would be useful to keep these sort of things in mind. 

If you are nice to your servers then you will get a much better level of service.  People who are rude get the minimum effort treatment and are the subject of staff break rants and new start scare stories.  If any hospitality peeps out there are reading I hope you found this list amusing and probably relatable.

As for me, I’ll end it here.  I’m working a close tomorrow.

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