From a Waitress' Perspective
Last summer, I worked six weeks as a waitress at an outdoor restaurant.
The atmosphere exuded chill beach vibes–mainly a bar and partially a pool club for people who docked their boats at the marina. In my short time there, I quickly recognized there were consistent types of customers I was likely to serve at least once every shift.
1. Precision Police
It is their mission to nitpick every aspect during their night out. These customers have no problem complaining about the type of ice cubes being incorrect and sending a drink back solely for that reason. While corrections are appreciated, and customers should enjoy their experience, the precision police always found the tiniest, most insignificant things to complain about.
Just like Goldie Locks, it was a process of trial and error to make things perfect. Either the drink had too many limes or not enough limes. Sometimes the volume of the music was too loud or too little. Or their food was not to the exact degree they prefer it to be.
Regardless, something always ends up being sent back to the kitchen.
2. The Chaotic Crew
The “chaotic crew” are noticeable before they even sit at their table: typically a large, loud group of younger parents with kids. I always enjoyed serving these customers and wanted to ensure I snagged them before anyone else could.
Simply taking their order would be a task in and of itself. People talked over one another, and no one was ever seated all at once. Orders were changed five times over. Someone once asked me for a bacon burger… without bacon?
While they were a little crazy, unorganized, and loud, they never failed to make me laugh. And the nice tip was an added bonus.
3. John Mulaneys
Overly polite customers made working 1000x easier. If you’ve ever watched a John Mulaney comedy special, you would understand why they are categorized as such.
One time I spilled a beer everywhere and the guy apologized to ME! He proceeded to help me clean up, and overall went out of his way to reassure me that the spilled drink was no issue at all (whereas if this happened with ‘precision police’ customers, they’d be demanding a full refund).
Usually, it’s a couple just out for a good time; they understand the struggles of working in a stressful environment. Their patience and good manners are extremely appreciated, and of course they leave a generous tip.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have the grouchy, stiff customers that tolerate no bullshit. They only acknowledge you to order, are very rude, and don’t even use basic manners.
Dread flows throughout my body every time I need to approach them. Some of these customers stop talking while I quickly refill their water, and continue their conversation the second I walk away. As if I am listening to what they’re gossiping about. Hell no! I’m concentrating on not messing up and thinking about the napkins I forgot to bring to my other table. Although it is my job to serve them, my existence seems to be a nuisance in their eyes.
Locals are my all time favorite. They’re the customers that keep the restaurant running.
I worked with my brother, Matt, who is way more personable and outgoing than I am. The locals loved him (for some weird reason, I don’t understand it) and would always ask specifically for him to be their server.
One night, while Matt was off, his regulars came in and were disappointed to find out he wasn’t working. While serving in his place, they requested I take a picture of them, and text it to Matt with the caption “looks like your sister stole your table!” They’re talkative, love to joke, laugh, and are there for a good time. Oh, and they treat you like an actual person.