Dealing with Difficult Customers

Dealing with Difficult Customers –
Killing Rude Customers with Kindness

Dealing with difficult customers is not an easy task by any stretch.  If you’re sarcastic by nature though, this will come easy to you – you’re able to be over-kind to rude customers and still get the last laugh. And its a win-win situation for the bar / bartender and the customer.  Let me explain….

So say you get some guy who starts pounding his fist on the bar, screaming “Service, Service!” Then you go over to take his order and he doesn’t know what he wants and says “Make me something good…and STRONG!”

From this point on, it could go two ways.

The first is to give into your temptations and put this guy in his place in front of all the other customers – causing irreparable damage to his ego. There are a couple of problems with this path however.

First, you don’t know who this guy is and for all you know, he could be some ViP who was college roommates with your boss.

Two, you’ve now put a challenge on the table and whatever happens next is probably not going to be good. Maybe you don’t serve him, maybe you kick him out, maybe a bouncer comes over and escorts him out, maybe he swings at you; likely he says something back and instigates further problems. And he could genuinely be a good customer who is just having a bad day or wanted to show off in front of his buddies or just doesn’t have any bar etiquette. Or maybe he lives on an isolated farm and the only bar he knows is the mini-moonshine operation in his Uncle Billy’s barn.

Any which way, you’re the bartender and its your job to serve and educate your customers – about certain drinks, rules of the bar, bar etiquette, etc…

Try this instead: “Hey buddy, how you doing tonight? I know you’ve been waiting, I could hear you pounding while I was busy serving other customers. Sorry about that, what can I get for you?”

And say he still responds with “Make me something good…and STRONG!” So you reply “Sure thing, how about a double whiskey and coke, easy on the coke?” Whatever he decides, when you give him the drink, say “Here you go pal. If you need anything else, just put some money on the bar in front of you and I’ll be over with another drink as quick as I can.”

More often than not, the guy will be happy that he got his drink, ego intact. And 9 times out of 10, he won’t pound on the bar for the next drink since you’ve now explained the ordering process. The other 1 out of 10 is likely just an all-round prick. Punch him out…..just kidding 😉

We hope this helps you in dealing with difficult customers in the future.  If you have a certain way that you deal with rude customers, do let us know in the comments below.

CHEERS!