Customers

Day 3 of the blogging from A to Z challenge. C is for Customers.

As a few of you are aware, my day job is in the restaurant of a garden centre. I won’t reveal where, and I deliberately haven’t written about it much, but today I want to say a word about customers.

Most of my day is spent at the till and making coffees. I should note that we have a soft play area in the restaurant, and that it costs £1.50 per hour. We serve main meals, sandwiches, toasties, various drinks and cakes. Most of the time there are three or four of us working there. To be at full efficiency we need five: One cooking, one on till, one making drinks, one on dishwasher and one delivering food/collecting dirty plates. 75% of the time there are only three of us. One cooking, one on till/making drinks, one on dishwasher/food/dirty plates. Then we all help each other out when we get a moment.

Here is a list of things you could do to make our lives a tiny bit easier. It’s not much to ask, but you’d be surprised at the amount of people who don’t think about any of these.

  • Please put your dirty plates back on your tray and put it on the rack. It’s there for a reason. Especially don’t put them on the counter while I’m serving a long queue of people.
  • Don’t let your children turn the pots of sugar sachets upside down and empty them all over the floor. Even worse if you don’t clean it up. Even worse if you don’t even acknowledge your child has done something wrong.
  • Don’t let your children run around the restaurant. There’s an enclosed soft play area for that.
  • Don’t let your children just take food from the cabinet whenever they like.
  • Don’t sit your child on the counter while you’re paying unless you can control them. Letting them touch anything, especially cutlery with their dribble covered hands, means a lot more work for us.
  • Don’t slide your tray across towards you over the wide counter until I’ve put your drinks down. Leaning that far while holding hot drinks is not easy. I’ll push it towards you when I’m done.
  • Don’t expect me to be able to hand you your milkshake/smoothie immediately, especially when I’m on my own at the till and have a long queue. They take a while to make.
  • Don’t complain that I’ve given you a filter coffee when you asked for a coffee. I’m not psychic, I can’t tell that you actually wanted a latte. 99% of people say coffee and mean just a normal black or white coffee.
  • There is no such size as ‘normal’ or ‘regular’. We do small, medium or large. ‘Regular’ is medium on the till, but 75% of you mean small.
  • Don’t complain that your food is taking too long unless it really is. 15 minutes for gammon steak cooked from raw is not too long.
  • Smile, say hello, or acknowledge somehow that we aren’t just robots.
  • Don’t jump the queue for a glass of water/to ask a question unless it really is urgent.
  • The sauces are right in front of you at the till and I even told you this when you ordered. Please pay attention.
  • Your fish cannot possibly be under cooked. Insist as much as you like, but each and every portion is temperature checked when it comes out of the fryer.
  • Don’t expect toasties/paninis to be done in two minutes. They take time to toast.
  • Try and order everything in one or two goes. Coming to the till 10 times during your visit gets annoying for both of us.
  • If you’ve been in the queue for a while you should know what you’re ordering, there’s a menu right in front of you. Don’t then get to the front of the queue, ask for a menu, look at it for a while, then have to decide on a drink. This is why the queue is so long.
  • We have two big menus and several childrens’ menus dotted around. They’re quite obvious. Use your eyes.
  • We do run out of food sometimes, for which we’re very sorry. We try and predict demand, but when you sell one jacket potato one day, so cook less the next, we’ll run out if ten people then decide it’s jacket potato day. Or sometimes like yesterday we’ll run out of ham because there’s a delivery problem. We’ll do our best to accommodate you with something else, even if it’s off menu, but don’t start getting angry. We do our best.

I didn’t realise quite how much annoys me. I’m off to work now, so I may have more to add when I get back.

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