Can You Handle These 5 Types of Difficult Restaurant Customers?

August 15, 2017

No matter how much you love it, running a restaurant certainly has its challenges.

It is time-consuming, hectic, labor-intensive and competitive. And to cap it all, there are the difficult restaurant customers you often have to deal with. It’s impossible to please everyone, and there will always be customers that take some extra effort to handle. Here are 5 types of the most difficult restaurant customers, and some suggestions for how to manage them

1. The Complainer

The difficult restaurant customers that complain about everything: the lighting, the seating, the food… It’s probably just in their nature to complain, and it may have nothing at all to do with the ambiance or the food at your restaurant.

How to deal with difficult restaurant customers that complain:

It may be tempting to serve them promptly, so that they get out of your restaurant as quickly as possible. However, it is better to go over and listen to what they have to say. A lot of complaining customers just want to feel heard. The next step is crucial: show empathy in acknowledging their point of view. Often, it is a good idea to apologize, even if you’re not at fault. Then, offer a remedy that will make them feel like they’ve won the battle.

2. The Loud Customer
Unlike the complainer, this customer is having a great time. They talk loudly and laugh hysterically, disturbing everyone else.

How to deal with a loud customer

Dealing with difficult restaurant customers that are loud can be tricky, because even if you politely ask them to tone it down, there’s always the risk that they will be offended. However, it has to be done for the benefit of all the other customers around them. So ask them as politely as you can. You can also relocate them to a more secluded spot if space is available.

3. The Impatient Customer

These are the difficult restaurant customers that are in such a rush that they don’t want to wait to be seated or served.

How to deal with the impatient customer:

Make sure that your staff is very clear about timelines with this customer. If it will take 10 minutes to seat them, tell them this. If you’re not sure whether it will be 5 or 10 minutes, tell them the longer amount of time so they don’t become even more frustrated after 5 minutes has passed and they’re still waiting. Try to make it clear that it won’t be possible to be in and out without waiting.

4. The Late Customer

This is the customer that turns up 5 minutes to closing, and expects to be able to get anything on the menu.

How to deal with difficult restaurant customers that are late:

You could simply tell them you’re closing and the kitchen is out of food. However, if the food is still available, you could seat them, but let them know that since you’re about to close, the offerings available from the kitchen are limited, and let them know what is still available. By being clear from the start, you can avoid disappointing this customer.

5. The Unruly Customer

This customer is not just loud. They are belligerent and disruptive, which can be uncomfortable and annoying for the other diners in the restaurant. An unruly customer is definitely not good for business.

How to deal with unruly difficult restaurant customers:

If you want to get an unruly customer under control, you have to be calm and reasonable when dealing with them, and not be intimidated. However, if they don’t cooperate or they become confrontational, you may have no alternative but to ask them to leave.

Without customers, there would be no restaurant, so you want to make certain that you provide excellent customer service and handle those difficult restaurant customers with care and professionalism.

Getting Your Commercial Kitchen Up and Running

Getting Your Commercial Kitchen Up and Running

Getting your commercial kitchen up and running. Serving Ware   If there's nothing to serve the food on, there's no restaurant. You'll need tons of cutlery, plate ware, bowls, ramekins, cups, and glasses. Consider the number of tables you can fit in your restaurant and...

read more
Safety Tips for Your Commercial Kitchen

Safety Tips for Your Commercial Kitchen

Safety tips for your commercial kitchen to keep it running smoothly and keep disease out. A well-run commercial kitchen means maintaining the utmost cleanliness and safe conditions for your food preparation. If you were to contaminate an area with Salmonella or other...

read more
Cooking Equipment You Need Today!

Cooking Equipment You Need Today!

If you've ever attempted to purchase cooking equipment for a new kitchen or tried to improve the quality of tools in your current kitchen you've found that stocking up on high-quality kitchen essentials is much more complicated than it should be. Nowadays everywhere...

read more
Cooking Equipment Disasters You Can Avoid

Cooking Equipment Disasters You Can Avoid

Cooking equipment disasters you can avoid through proper safety procedure and careful proceeding. Kitchens are the heart of the home, but they’re also home to a lot of cooking equipment that can pose safety hazards. Cooking fires top the list of things that can go...

read more
Why You Should Maintain Restaurant Supplies Religiously

Why You Should Maintain Restaurant Supplies Religiously

Excellent quality and well-functioning restaurant supplies are the backbones of a restaurant’s success. While you may be able to operate a restaurant without regular equipment maintenance in the short run, the long-term effects will add up. Decreasing equipment...

read more
What Restaurant Supplies Does Your Café Need?

What Restaurant Supplies Does Your Café Need?

What restaurant supplies does your café need? Our Pro's Do It All: Provide, Install & Maintain From soda fountains to most any frozen beverage machine, we offer a fantastic variety of beverage equipment and restaurant supplies. Tipton Equipment is one of the few...

read more
Three Benefits of Using Used Kitchen Equipment

Three Benefits of Using Used Kitchen Equipment

Three benefits of using used kitchen equipment are more straightforward than you would think. SavingsUsed kitchen equipment will save you thousands in, starting a restaurant. High restaurant failure rate leads to restaurant kitchen equipment only being in service for...

read more
How to Run a Successful Event & Party Room

How to Run a Successful Event & Party Room

Do you have a large space in your restaurant set aside for special events and parties? Does it get reserved as often as you wished?If you’re like most restaurant owners or managers, the answers are yes and no. You probably have a space – almost everyone is expected to...

read more
Philadelphia Outlaws Cashless: What it Means to You

Philadelphia Outlaws Cashless: What it Means to You

In early March, Philadelphia became the first city in the U.S. to forbid restaurants from refusing cash payments. As of July 1, all Philadelphia restaurants will have to accept cash payments and cannot charge cash-paying customers more than non-cash ones. Several...

read more
Types of Insurance Your Restaurant Needs

Types of Insurance Your Restaurant Needs

No one gets into the restaurant business thinking about insurance and paperwork, but it’s still an important part of doing business. Insurance helps protect you from natural disaster, theft, employee injuries, and liability. Many times you can get insurance discounts...

read more
Control COGS in Your Restaurant

Control COGS in Your Restaurant

Restaurants are known for having razor-thin margins, but you can improve your profits if you have a good handle on your costs. That doesn’t mean you have to skimp on restaurant supplies, but it does mean you can be strategic about what you spend. Do you know your cost...

read more
It’s a Toast: Why We Love the “Friends” Kitchen

It’s a Toast: Why We Love the “Friends” Kitchen

Welcome to our new series, “Roast and Toast!” Each month we’re going to feature one kitchen we love and one kitchen we hate. It can be from anywhere – a sitcom, a cooking show, a cartoon, a movie, or any other screen you’d see one on! We’re starting off with a toast...

read more