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"We Don't Owe You A Living" — F&B Service Worker Exposes Horrible Customer Behaviour

"Please don't be rude to us unprovoked."

Cover image via Jessie McCall/Unsplash & Maksym Tymchyk/Unsplash

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Whether service is a little slow, or your food isn't as hot as you anticipated for it to be, there's never a good enough reason to treat F&B workers badly

Opting for a career in hospitality, it is important to remember that all food and beverage (F&B) service workers deserve immense respect for their profession. While some hold on to the job out of absolute necessity, others have a genuine passion for providing satisfactory support to their customers. Nonetheless, it seems as though many individuals have not recognised this caveat.

On 29 July, an anonymous Reddit user who goes by the screen name u/Inv1s1b1e, submitted a post to the subreddit r/Singapore, a dedicated platform for Singaporean stories and experiences. Apparently working in the kitchen of an F&B outlet for more than three years, the person goes on to divulge some of their experiences in this line of work.

The user stated that they have heard all sorts of customer encounters from their service staff colleagues, which were utterly demoralising, and left them thinking, "Why do guests behave like that?"

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Maksym Tymchyk/Unsplash

From the outset, the anonymous user was forthright about their intentions, saying that the goal of the post is to share the side of the every day service worker, in hopes that people reading the thread will learn to empathise with them.

"It's not that we don't want to let you sit, so please don't insinuate that we are dumb or dislike you to refuse you entry"

Beginning their discussion, the user commented on the frequent problems they face with customers who make reservations, but come late without any warning or heads up on their anticipated delay.

"If you make a reservation at a busy restaurant (not cafe), and you are late even exceeding grace period, not picking up calls [or] answering texts, the table is going to someone else [who] walks in (without reservation). Please don't make a fuss and [treat] us like we owe you a living," the user stated. 

Continuing on, the confessor also stated that those who decide to walk in without a reservation and are told by the host that they're full, should understand that the empty tables around them are going to be used, "They are reserved for guests [who will be] coming [in about] 10 to 15 minutes."

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via FSR Magazine

The user also went on to say that customers should not be demanding if they're dining at low-end eateries, as they aren't paying for top-notch services

Commenting on certain customer requests, the user stated that if customers would like all their orders to be served at the same time, it can be done for most restaurants. Nonetheless, they also stated that guests should manage their expectations if they aren't eating at the grandest place in town.

"Your pasta is probably gonna arrive 15 minutes earlier than your baked mac and cheese in casual, low-end places. Service there may be different than most expensive places as these are the places entry-level [staff] usually work at. [It's] common to see people complaining about bad service there, but hey, you get what you pay for."

Speaking on ordering certain cuts of meat, the user also stated, "If you order beef medium-well [or] well done, you WILL have [a] slightly longer waiting time than usual dishes, because, well, it takes a longer time to hit that temperature."

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Nikkei Asia

Further down, the anonymous confessor also stated that certain eatery rules are not decided by them, using serving water as an example.

"Some restaurants give tap water for free, some charge for it, some only have sparkling [or] still water. So if you say, 'What kind of restaurant doesn't serve ___?', kindly know that we don't make the rules, someone else does."

Among some of their biggest frustrations, the user also elaborated on how ludicrous it is for a group of 15 people to split a single bill by 15 credit cards

While the user admits that it's reasonable for smaller groups of say, four people, to want to split a single bill, it gets preposterous when larger packs want to mimic the same outcome.

"[If] your office group of 15 pax wants to split the bill, and 15 credit cards [come] out, just know [it's] gonna take LONG for service staff to split, [please] don't complain when [it happens]." Offering a solution to the issue, the writer stated that it would be easier for restauranteurs to bill one card, and have whoever paid the total amount receive their settled balance from the others later.

A rather comedic contribution to the overall post, however, came when the user spoke on how their facial expressions are not an actual reflection of how they feel inside, "Some of us just have that 'resting b*tch face' and it's not that we dislike serving you, that's just how we look naturally, so please don't be rude to us unprovoked."

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Hospitality Technology

Concluding their overall statements, the user hopes that their confession will help some understand what F&B service workers face on a daily basis, and to treat them with kindness when being served.

Initiating further conversation in the responder section, the user asked other F&B workers to add to their contributions, if they have any.

Since sharing the post, it has received a 95% upvoting percentile, and cumulated over 170 comments, ranging from fellow F&B workers, to everyday people

A slew of F&B providers shared their experiences working in the food industry.

From describing a fussy customer who wanted a particular place to sit at, to an overall general statement that working as a server was not a pleasant experience, here are a couple of the most astonishing responses:

Image via Reddit
Image via Reddit

To plenty of people's surprise, one commenter affirmed the instance of splitting a single bill by many heads, recalling the time he encountered a group of 11, whom all pulled out their credit cards to split the bill 11 ways.

What made the instance even worse was their eventual complaint to the restaurant for taking a long time to calculate the split, as they had a flight to catch.

Image via Reddit

Another user said that the inherent fact of being a service worker calls for this form of 'abuse', as in his own words. Explaining his perspective, the user stated that 'service' puts customers on a pedestal to treat the staff as lower than themselves. 

Concluding his statement, the commentator aptly said, "Basically, it brings out the ugliest side in the shittiest people."

Image via Reddit

Nonetheless, plenty of comments also flowed in uplifting the confessor and other service workers, thanking them for their hard work and dedication

Image via Reddit
Image via Reddit
Image via Reddit

One individual even went on to disclose that he makes it a point to arrive early at his reservations to ease the tasks of the servers.

Adding to that, he stated that his father used to work as a waiter in the F&B industry all his life, therefore he understood the inherent issues faced by service workers with troublesome customers.

Image via Reddit

Click here to read the full post on Reddit

Recently, a salesgirl in Taiwan exposed how luxury retail workers discriminate against their own customers:

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