Are you being served? Part one….

Following an experience at Manchester Bierkeller’s opening, where I witnessed two very smartly dressed people leap on food being handed out by staff with fervour akin to starving child, I ended up in a chat with a friend in the service industry.


This lead to a chat with another friend and before we knew it we were debating manners and what is good and bad and indeed, good and bad service. So in a two part post (one email I received had 33 points in it!) I thought I’d take a look at what is courtesy from a member of staff’s point of view (today) and from a customer’s point of view (next week). After all, some of these make it unpleasant for all of us.

Apologies in advance for the rant….

Conegliano Prosecco Superiore

Don’t be a dick

Exactly what it says on the tin. These are the people who make everyone’s time at the bar or sitting in the restaurant, or even round at a mate’s house unpleasant.

The bloke standing at the bar wafting his platinum plated credit card only looks smug – the staff won’t serve him any quicker (slower usually) and, if you’re unfortunate enough to be standing next to said chap, you won’t either (been there!).

Restaurant Bar and Grill

Grumbling about waiting? By all means, make an actual complaint, leave, but don’t just moan, you’ll just annoy those around you, the staff as well, and you won’t get served any quicker. Probably slower if anything.

You’re at a friend’s house (or let’s face it, bar, restaurant, wherever) and someone gets drunk. Waaaay drunk. To the extent that they’re unpleasant, rude and are starting to look green. Yeah, don’t be that person either.

Don't Shoot

Clicking your fingers. Oh please no. I didn’t realise people still did this. I appreciate that the service might not be up to scratch. If it’s that bad, get up from the table and get the attention of the staff, if nothing else, you’ve proved your point about their service to the others there, simply by doing that.


Please be polite

Please and thank you. In the words of a good friend, ‘I am a waiter, not your personal bitch’. Same goes at someone’s house, at the bar when the waitress takes your plates. Be nice.


Snatch and grab. Reverting to the Bierkeller experience. Seriously, you might be hungry, you might be in a group of 100+ people. Are you really so desperate to eat that you have to fall upon the staff handing around canapes like vultures, stripping the tray down to its crumb covered carcass?


Groping the waitress. Apparently this still goes on. As does groping the waiter. Even on a hen night when you’re a bit lairy, this is still sexual harassment. And just not nice. I wouldn’t expect it to happen in my work and the service industry should be no different.


Another personal one  – from  both events I’ve run and from home. You invite a couple of mates round, you’ve made something nice. Someone’s late. Way late. No text, no phone call. You slowly watch all the nibbles disappear because everyone’s waiting and you can’t get hold of them. By the time they do arrive dinners overdone, the souffles sagged and you want to drink the last of the cooking sherry.


Complain while you are still there

The steak was overdone, the sauce was split, the waiter was rude, the bartender ignored them. They immediately leap onto Twitter or Facebook because they think a public complaint will get it resolved. Instead they look like they threw their toys out of the pram. The staff are working hard and deserve enough of your respect for them to make a complain while they are there in person, quietly, discreetly, rather than throwing a strop. If it’s still not resolved, then sure, by all means, tantrum away, tell everyone, but give them a chance to fix it before you do.


Ok, that’s the first set of grumbles up. Now it’s time for the other side of the pass. I know we’ve all had bad service, let me have them…!

One thought on “Are you being served? Part one….

  1. Clean and smart!

    No-one expects you to be in a three-piece suit to grab a burger but dress appropriately for the place.

    Clean, when I was a waiter it was the most awkward situation to ask someone to leave because the tables round them were complaining about the smell. Not talking about being a bit sweaty on a hot summer’s day, but having not showered/changed clothes for the past week.

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