Classification of Restaurant Customers


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Classification of Restaurant Customers


“I’ve been here for ten minutes and my server hasn’t taken my order yet!” This is a direct quote from me before I worked at a restaurant. I never looked to see how many tables my server actually had or how much running I made them do. The sad truth is most people do not notice these details either, which may affect the tip their server will receive. By looking at the attitude and maintenance of restaurant customers, you can classify them into three categories according to their tipping patterns: the “hmm…how good were they? tippers,” “the “stick-to-the-fifteen-percent tippers,” and the “I-am-or-once-was-a-server tippers”.

     The “hmm…how good were they? tippers” stick out as a sore thumb would. They have the attitude of “They are working for me,” and “The whole world revolves around me.” They also say things such as, “Is my food suppose to look like that?” and “Where is my refill?” They are the customers who always have a disgusted face and are not satisfied with anything. The “hmm…how good were they? Tippers” are not only high maintenance but also the worst tippers. When the bill comes, they feel they can justify giving a small tip because of their “lack of service”. Many can guess the server likes these customers least. These customers not only put the server in an angry mood but also the rest of the employees that must hear from that server.
     
     The average customers in a restaurant fall under the “Stick-to-the-fifteen-percent, tippers.” They have the attitude of “I’m just here for the food.” These average customers can be heard saying, “Looks good, I just need ketchup.” and “When you get a chance, may I please have a refill?” The “Stick-to-the-fifteen- percent tippers” have a more serious, laid-back face and stay quiet. These customers are average maintenance and average tippers. The only time they leave more than a fifteen- percent tip is when they need to round to the nearest dollar. Their server is mellow and polite because he is thankful for the expected tip. A server walks away from the table cool, calm and collected with no need to complain.

     The best customers of all three categories are the “I-am-or-once-was-a-server tippers”. These wonderful customers have the attitude of “I know how hard they are working.” and “Wow, our server is busy.” They are the customers who don’t say anything at all except for their order.

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They are also the happiest with what they receive. They do not complain or ask for anything extra. Not only are the “I-am-or-once-was-a-server tippers” the lowest maintenance of all three categories but they are also the best tippers because they can put themselves in the server’s shoes, for they have been there before. When a server walks away from their table, they are glowing. The server feels the need to tell every employee about her excellent tip and makes sure to give these customers a special smile or “thank you” in hopes they will be back soon.

     “Thank you, the food looks great!” This is my quote when I go to a restaurant. To see what servers go through everyday, I now understand what type of “tipper” I should have been a long time ago. If the “hmm…how good were they? Tippers” and the “stick-to-fifteen-percent tippers” could see what the “I-am-or-once-was-a-waiter tipper” sees, maybe their attitude, maintenance level and tipping patterns would change. I made a change for the good and more people should.
     


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