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You don't have to treat restaurants staff like dirt.

(29 Posts)
photographerlady Thu 07-Feb-13 13:51:47

I just think its unreasonable if generally staff is just working through a busy crowd, not being rude and noticeably overwhelmed and you treat them like something at the bottom of your shoe.

This is something I picked on up really quickly when taking kids out to eat is that almost every time I do another family are making rude remarks to the staff. Sometimes the subtle moan of another family and sometimes a scene. I really do not like treating people like crap, I worked in food when I was a teen; as a waitress, in fast food, in the kitchen.. but never had anyone just verbally spit on me like I see when I go out.
Grant it the restaurants I take the kids to are generally pizza hut, pub chains and anything really close to the cinema of choice but without fail I have another woman say to me thinks like:

w: (to me) Why is it taking this long, there are tables to be cleaned off...
me: (tries to just politely smile)
w: (to host) Excuse me we are standing here... how long is it going to be?
w: -swear word- useless.

Or loud people fighting at the wait staff for not having more drink, or something of that nature but loud enough that I and all surrounding tables here it.

Or male partners pointing and yelling at staff

stripeyjimjams Thu 07-Feb-13 17:50:44

Grrr, it makes my blood boil how some people treat staff in the service industry. I worked in shops for around ten years and the abuse that me and my colleagues received in high end shops would turn your stomach. It's damn hard when some obnoxious alpha--fail--male calls you stupid in front of a long queue of people and you're standing there thinking "I have two degrees."

I always felt sorry, though, for the families and friends of these people. They'd mostly be standing off to the side, looking very embarrassed. And, I hate to admit it, it would be fun to tell these obnoxious types just how much we 'stupid' shop girls laid into them when they left. Ripped them apart and laughed our heads off over a biscuit and coffee at break time. Sorry, real mature. blush

DeepRedBetty Thu 07-Feb-13 17:46:19

Like most of us who've ever been students I've done my turn behind the counter and am therefore well aware of the difficulties serving staff face. The other side of the coin is that I also know the tricks of the trade smile.

The last time I had a meal out, it was a birthday with friends. Midweek, January, the restaurant was half empty. However service was slow, mistake ridden and perfunctory. The staff were not rushed off their feet. There were three, and they were clearly visible, standing by the till/kitchen door area, talking animatedly amongst themselves and ignoring the tables. Not just once, but every time - at the beginning when we wanted to order right through to the end of all three courses. Of course I don't mind waiting when the staff are clearly doing their best to keep up, but I do mind when the only thing stopping them is gossip!

After some thought, we decided not to leave a tip. Not an easy decision and something I've only done once before.

I also think the 'consumer rights' industry has had something to do with the increase in rudeness to customer facing staff. Unfortunately there are a remarkably large number of dim people who've seen something on WatchDog or Mary Queen of Shops, only partially understood it and think if you complain loudly enough about anything it will magically sort itself out to your entire satisfaction, even when what you want is utterly unreasonable.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 07-Feb-13 17:30:36

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

jetsetlil Thu 07-Feb-13 16:12:16

I agree! I have worked in hospitality for nearly 20 years and hopefully this year will be my last. I am completely burned out. I think some poeple have forgotten how to behave themselves in restaurants - the rudness is unbelieveable and I work in a top end reataurant. It has become worse in the last 5 years I think and this is possibly due to all the cooking/food related shows on TV - lots of armchair experts these days!!

HighJinx Thu 07-Feb-13 15:36:56

I think people are generally ruder than they used to be and anyone who deals with the public in their jobs is subjected to a load of unnecessary and unjustified crap.

I saw a woman on the customer service desk at an airport recently following a cancelled flight and the abuse she took was unbelievable.

Pandemoniaa Thu 07-Feb-13 15:30:45

YANBU, OP. Although I always think that rudeness to staff in service industries says more about the ignorance and insecurity of the rude person. Certainly, I'd think very much less of someone who thought it appropriate to be rude. Even if service is poor, there are assertive but polite ways of dealing with the problem.

I've also experienced the quite astonishing difference between the UK and the USA when it comes to service and, to a greater extent, in mainland Europe. I realise that there's a tipping culture in the US (and some people will suggest that has an influence) but equally in other countries there's a respect for people who work in the service industries. Over here there seems to be an assumption that these are menial jobs and that the people who do them can be treated insultingly,

GetOrf Thu 07-Feb-13 15:27:24

Small minded people always try to get their kicks from belittling people they think beneath them.

DD used to have a summer job at Macdonalds, she said a large amount of people assumed that she was thick and useless, and called her all sorts. The management of the place were pretty good - any abuse could be reported and the people immediately kicked out - but it's horrible for a 16 year old to be called a stupid bitch because the milk shake machine was broken.

JaneLane Thu 07-Feb-13 15:24:08

This was in a shop but obviously very similar environments. I saw a grown man reduce what looked like a 16/17 year old girl to tears because they were out of stock of the item he wanted. Apparently it was her fault that the company couldn't stock their shops properly and he accused her of hiding it from him?

I felt so sorry for her - I remember being that age in a shop with rude customers! I went over and asked her if she was okay and the man stormed off! He had kids with him as well who'd stood there bemused whilst their father shouted and swore at a 16 year old.

I complained to the manager of the shop that no one had come to check the poor girl was alright even though it was v clear that something was kicking off and she was by herself with him in an aisle.

How would that man have felt if it was his kids in a few years time in that position?

PickledInAPearTree Thu 07-Feb-13 15:13:53

I totally agree with you.

I cant stand seeing people belittling people.

You see some awful things.

wineandroses Thu 07-Feb-13 15:08:46

There is no excuse for rudeness, but there really is some genuinely crap service in this country, so I am not surprised that people get annoyed.

I have worked in bars (years ago) and DH worked in a service industry, so have sympathy for overworked staff, but also have expectations that staff try to provide a decent service. I have been to many places where staff stand around chatting whilst dirty tables aren't cleared, or food takes so long that it comes out cold. I have sent food back, and if asked for feedback from staff, I am usually honest. Not rude though.

Pilgit Thu 07-Feb-13 14:35:21

There is no excuse for rudeness. However I do get annoyed at inefficient service. My DH won't let me queue for coffee locally ad I have been spoiled by working in the city of London where service is usually very speedy so that I don't get irate about it!

saythatagain Thu 07-Feb-13 14:34:55

I would no sooner stick pins in my eyes than be rude to anyone working in the service industry.
I always find you can tell a lot about a person by the way they behave towards waiting staff etc.
Anyone I did know like that would become past tense pdq. <shudders>

forcedinsomnia Thu 07-Feb-13 14:26:37

My little sister clicked her fingers shock and told the staff to 'get bloody move on' in the restaurant on my hen do. I was very cross and told her to wind her neck in.....she has worked in the industry too. Would think she would know better....???

GetOrf Thu 07-Feb-13 14:23:06

It does say a lot about a persons character if they are rude to waiting staff, people in shops, cleaners etc. Absolutely.

I wouldn't dream of being rude, and I wouldn't go out to dinner with boors like these either. Have you said anything to these families of rude tossers OP? Mind you it's probably not worth it.

Bejeena Thu 07-Feb-13 14:17:50

Oh and even after I've eaten I am still nice to them, sorry put that wrong I mean if I had a complaint wouldn't say until after if you see what I mean.

Bejeena Thu 07-Feb-13 14:16:38

Having worked as a waitress myself I wouldn't dare be anything but super nice to people serving me until after I have eaten as you never know what will happen to your food.... I don't want somebody else spitting in it!

Bossybritches22 Thu 07-Feb-13 14:13:45

"The best index to a person's character is (a) how he treats people who can't do him any good, and (b) how he treats people who can't fight back."

I always think it says a lot about someone's character, if they are nice to waiters & other service staff. I'd dump a friend or relative who was nasty to others, like bunbaker says you treat others as you wouldlike to be treated.

Poor sods are doing a job, and often working much harder, longer hours than most folk so why make it worse for them?

nefertarii Thu 07-Feb-13 14:11:35

I own a restaurant. Yanbu.

What makes me laugh more is that people are ride to the staff but nice to me. If they complain its usually in a polite way, after being rude to the staff. They are tests

And usually point it out and tell them I don't want customers who can not give respect to every person working there. Not just the owner.

Usually they apologise to the staff. Twice I asked people to leave because of their attitude to the staff.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Thu 07-Feb-13 14:08:28

I treat people the way I would like to be treated. I smile at checkout workers and have a bit of a conversation and a laugh with them, I say please and thank you to people, hold doors open for others, or stand back and let them through a small gap, and I am polite to wait staff etc in restaurants. Tbh, it surprises and shocks me that other people don't do this.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 07-Feb-13 14:05:27

I can see both sides. I worked in catering and it was hard. Also, you shouldn't be rude to anyone. However, I live in Canada now and when I go home to the UK I am stunned at the poor level of customer service. It genuinely is a shocking difference.

Bunbaker Thu 07-Feb-13 14:04:23

I wouldn't dare be rude to restaurant staff, or shop staff or anyone for that matter. You have no idea what they will do to your food in the kitchen for a start. I always find that if you are polite and friendly to people you get polite and friendly service.

Whenever I see threads about rude staff or horrible NHS personnel etc I always wonder how the customer or patient has spoken to them in the first place, because I very rarely get bad service or rude staff serving me.

I treat people the way I would like to be treated myself.

MarcelineTheVampireQueen Thu 07-Feb-13 14:03:21

My mother is like this. She treats all wait staff like dirt ont he show and it is mortifying. We dont take her anywhere as a result. Although there have been occasions where we HAVE too (family occasions) and we overcompensate with kindness and tips for my mother.

Having said that, she spent her life working as a waitress, cleaner, fast food places so you would think she would have some understanding....

SkinnybitchWannabe Thu 07-Feb-13 14:01:42

Same goes for us checkout ladies.

Pagwatch Thu 07-Feb-13 13:59:49

If people in a restaurant were behaving like that I would never go there again.

KeepingCalmAndPostingNicely Thu 07-Feb-13 13:59:41

You're right OP - but so is pondering. I think if you've worked in that industry you really can understand what the poor staff member is going through. People might have phoned in sick at the last minute, not turned up, there may not be enough staff to start with, problems in the kitchen, failed deliveries - there are so many things that can go wrong but all the customer sees is dirty tables and a long wait for their food. I can understand their frustration but that's never an excuse for rudeness.

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