I recently spotted an article listing the 16 Most Annoying Customer Types in pubs. I’ve never personally worked behind a bar, but I’ve talked to plenty of people who have, and I can see the truth in most of them. However, I freely admit to #3 – if it’s not immediately obvious, I’ll always hold my pint up to the light to confirm its clarity.
In my experience, most bar staff are polite, welcoming and competent. Even in Wetherspoons, which always seem short-staffed, the actual customer interface is usually good. But, to put the boot on the other foot, there are a few who bring them into disrepute. So I compiled a quick list of 16 Annoying Bar Staff Behaviours, covering those who...
- greet you with “Are you alright there?” rather than “What can I get you?”
- can always find something to do behind the bar like slicing lemons or rearranging glasses rather than actually serving customers
- totally mishear a clearly-spoken order – “Pint of Harvey’s Best, please” – goes to Foster’s tap...
- ask “what?” when you order one of the regular cask beers
- treat you with supercilious disdain as though you’re something that the cat dragged in
- happily gossip with customers when there are people waiting to be served
- have no idea in which order customers should be served
- hand you a blatantly short pint and then walk off
- have to check the till before they can tell you the price of the most popular draught beer in the pub
- insist on asking “Is there anything else?” when it’s clear from your order that there isn’t
- have no idea how to use a handpump, so you either get a totally flat pint or a glass of foam
- give you a pint with obvious airspace between the beer and the rim
- blatantly favour regulars sitting or standing at the bar
- ask “have you tasted it?” when you return a pint looking like raw sewage
- refuse to change music or heating levels despite most customers asking for it
- expect you to point out the dish you are ordering on the menu
Any more suggestions will be gratefully received.
I asked for ideas on Twitter, and one person replied with “lacks product knowledge”. I can see that being a problem in a specialist beer bar, but in the average pub it’s enough to expect that they’re actually familiar with which products are on sale.