Working hospo is hard mahi for many reasons, from long hours and gruelling high-volume weekends to customers who treat us as their servants. There are always lovely and polite customers who treat hospo workers with respect and kindness but, throughout my 15-years in the biz, I’ve collected a number of pet peeves related to repeat shitty behaviour from customers. Here are my top five things customers need to stop doing:
- Don’t order a difficult cocktail or large drinks order and then come up to the bartender two minutes later demanding your drink(s).
Making a decent cocktail takes time, especially labor-intensive cocktails such as espresso martinis and other drinks that need to be shaken well. As someone who really likes classic cocktails such as the old fashioned; if I order one and the drink lands at my table in record time my heart instantly sinks because I know they haven’t made it correctly. Good things take time and customers should know this. The same goes for big drink orders too. We can’t smash that shit out in a minute or two because we aren’t the god damned Flash. Cool your tits and have some patience.
Bonus tip: look around and see how busy the bar or restaurant is, and how many staff are on. If your drinks are taking extra-long, it’s likely because the venue is understaffed, and your bartender is doing their best under stressful circumstances.
- Don’t put your hands on our bodies without permission.
I’ve honestly lost count of how many times I’ve been groped, harassed and out right assaulted by customers. Please, when you enter a venue, no matter how drunk or how many times you’ve been to that venue, don’t touch the staff. You can still ask for permission first, but this isn’t rocket science.
Regular customers, almost always white men, are particularly bad for these kinds of behavior. They open their arms in front of female staff expecting to be hugged like your pervy uncle at the family Christmas dinner. So, memo to our regulars: I really don’t want to hug you so you can cop a free feel.
Many male presenting hospo workers have also told me about women grabbing their asses or penises, and making objectifying, crass and harassing comments. Stop. Just stop. This is sexual assault.
- Don’t treat us like your pet dog.
Clicking your fingers at us won’t get us to perform tricks for your entitled ass. A customer clicking their fingers at bar staff to get our attention is really demeaning and I’m more likely to ignore you than serve you. Or customers who snap out a drink order without making eye contact, acknowledging we are there, and never say “please” or “thank you”. Businessmen in suits were the worst for this behavior; they’d flick money at me bark their order and then go back to talking with their minga mate.
Memo: I fucking hate this with the heat of a million burning suns.
- Don’t whinge at us to change the prices we don’t set (and no discounts, ya dick)
Upmarket bars have prices that reflect the socio-economic status of the suburb the venue is in, and whenever I’ve been working there has always been someone paying with a platinum credit card losing their shit over a $12 house wine. I understand, I too think that price is a fucking rip off. I wouldn’t pay that much for a house wine but I’m earning minimum wage and have no guaranteed hours next week so a $12 house wine would blow my budget. No matter how loudly you complain to us about the prices, there is sweet fuck all we can do about it because the boss sets the prices. So, please, go and whinge at them because I don’t have the time or energy to deal with your shit.
- Don’t act like we won’t remember your drink order.
I cannot stress how annoying it is when a customer comes up to the bar and gives me one drink order at a time when they have five or so. Watching paint dry would be less frustrating. If you have 5 drinks to order then, please, for the love of god order them in one go. This will save us both a lot of fucking time.
Most experienced hospo workers can roll out large drink orders, so just give us the list and we will tell you to slow down if we need. We can multi-skill like nothing you have seen before. I have been known to hold two glasses in one hand, while making a drink at the bar, and then make the other drinks in my other hand. Often while still taking drink orders.
We know what we are doing.
When I was working in night clubs, we charged the drunk, rude, and entitled customers an ‘Asshole Tax’. They would be overcharged and then that money went directly into the tip jar.
Want to avoid being taxed for being an asshole? Then respect the hard work of hospo workers, because our jobs are difficult, stressful, and highly skilled. We deserve your respect and admiration for the skills and intense emotional labour we perform every single shift.