What kind of customer are you?

By Alison Czaplicki

Alison Czaplicki

Have you ever been the last person in a restaurant or bar and thought, “Wow, I bet it’s time for them to close. We should probably wrap this up and call it a night.” If so, you are one of a kind.

Many students find themselves working their way through college in the restaurant business. And if they haven’t worked at one, they’ve been a customer. Working in the food industry for over two years has introduced me to different types of people. The eight types of customers are as follows:

1. The Menu Artist

This customer creates his or her own entree. They take something from two different plates and ask for it to be made with another. plate. This does not irritate me, but it will irritate the kitchen. Avoid this by ordering something listed on the menu.

2. The Teacher’s Pet

Remember that classmate constantly raising her hand in sixth grade to answer all of the teacher’s questions? It’s like that, but worse. This type will raise a hand to get your attention when you are at another table taking an order, or whistle and snap fingers at the server. This can be distracting and rude.

3. The Under-Tipper

Customers who have never worked in a restaurant have a belief that servers make an outstanding hourly pay and tips are a bonus: This is wrong. Tips are the ONLY way servers make money.

4. The Verbal Tipper

These customers will catch you off guard. They will compliment you until it makes you sick, ask to talk to your manager about the great service, and then tip you nothing.

5. The Over-Tipper

You are awesome. A server aims to make 18-20 percent. Anything over this is like opening a present on Christmas day.

6. The Wall

Ever talk to a wall? I have. Sometimes I will greet a table with no response back. It becomes a problem when I approach the table the second, third and fourth time with no response. You need to communicate what it is that you want, and ignoring your server is not going to make it happen.

7. The C’s—Cool, calm, collected:

These customers are a breath of fresh air. This type is rare, and might even go extinct.

8. The Watchless
These customers have no sense of time. When a business closes at 10 p.m. it does not mean order another drink at 9:55 and lounge around for 30 minutes. No one likes to stay at work past closing time.

The next time you dine-in at a restaurant, think of what type you are and evaluate if you would want to wait on yourself. This may change the way you act at future dining experiences.