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Restaurant Industry: Are the Customers Always Right?

I apologize. I apologize. I apologize. This is the two-word phrase that gets tossed around when dealing with customers in a restaurant. The majority of our customers deserve an apology when a mistake is made. Other customers, I’m not so sure. Managers understand the frustration and the inconvenience, but does that really give customers the right to act as if they never made a mistake and insult the employee? Some customers have no understanding when a mistake happens.

A table in a restaurant.

A table in a restaurant.

R-I-G-H-T Types of Customers

Let's look at the word “right” for a minute. Restaurant managers look at this word as though the paying customer is never wrong, no matter what the circumstances are. Let’s spell the word “right” out, and you tell me if you have come across this type of customer.

R: Repulsive

There have been plenty of managers that have been called a sorry excuse for a manager. Why? Yes, mistakes happen and managers have standards to follow. They apologize and try to make it right. Is the name-calling from the customer really necessary?

I: Impossible

These are the customers that are impossible to please. No matter what you do to make their day better, it’s not good enough. It’s sad when you have a customer that you already know is going to have a complaint because that is all they do. Even if the employee tries a different approach with the customer, there will always be something wrong.

G: Greedy

There are customers that really take advantage of employee mistakes. Employees offer incentives to make things right, but the customer wants more and more. The customer wants a week's worth of incentives and discounts.

H: Hateful

There are customers that enter the restaurant with an attitude already. Employees speak and the customer will not say a word. Customers will talk to the employees like they are getting on the customer's nerves. Customers will get smart with the employees because they are having trouble understanding what the customer wants. Some even think the employees are mind readers and are supposed to know what the customer wants.

T: Tricksters

There are some customers that like to complain just because they know managers will try to offer something to make the customer happy. These are the customers that just want something for free. Most likely, these customers know the restaurant policies about staff mistakes. There are some customers that will manipulate the employees to think that a physical object was in their order to get something free also.

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So, Are They Always Right?

There are some really awesome customers out there that understand what it is like to try to please a customer and understand that mistakes do happen. Other customers won’t even give a new person in training a chance. Trainees have to learn some kind of way.

After reading this article, you have to ask yourself, “Are customers always right?" When you think about it, most of them are not, but there are some who are always R-I-G-H-T.


Larry Slawson from North Carolina on August 23, 2019:

As someone who used to work retail, you are definitely right about the types of customers haha. Thank you for sharing!

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