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Views: 32669 Description: Even a good server must learn how to handle themselves when dealing with difficult people, whether it be customers, co-workers, or management. Also watch "mindset of a good server" here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHvcHreQLp0
In summary for how to be a good server when dealing with difficult people:
1. Don't take it personally. Understand that it's not you, it's them. Most likely it's their problem that they're projecting onto everyone else. If they're patrons they might be cheap, picky, had a bad experience in a restaurant recently, or have any number of other things going on. Or they might just be impossible people. They might be there trying to get a free meal or a free item. If they're a staff member being difficult then you have to find out how to succeed with or without them on your side.
2. Keep calm. Avoid letting emotions get the best of you. Your inner state and feeling shows in your outer appearance. Stay centered and connected to your inner power. People, customers, co-workers, management, may try to push your buttons. Some people want to control you or fight you. Some customers may start to try to justify their disapproval of an item or something that happened and remain difficult or increase in difficulty for the entire time they're there, rather than choose to not take it personally themselves. Avoid getting defensive, even and especially when you are right.
3. Put things in perspective. How am I going to use my energy? Do you still have other tables to take care of? How is the difficult situation or table affecting your other tables or the flow of the restaurant. Sometimes you have to be firm and take control, say genuinely "I will take care of it, I apologize." and go about your business. Better to lose a tip on one table and have 4 happy tables than lose tips and even your job on 5 tables because of one unhappy table.
4. Put yourself in their shoes. Have empathy. They are still a customer, even though they're difficult.
5. Keep it moving. Don't get stuck on something negative. If you can smile, you free yourself. Always maintain a positive attifude. Negativity will spread to your other tables or interactions with other people if you let the difficult people whether it be customers or management bring you down. Stay your course.
*Understand and accept how things are, then work towards positive change from within. You can't expect others to change, but you can change how you react to these events. A smile goes a long way.
*What is at stake? One bad tip? Losing your job? What is the cost in overcoming the situation. Accept it as an isolated event and don't let it make you negative or stop complaining. Complaining can turn an entire waitstaff into a bitter, apathetic group. This affects everyone.
*Understand how your restaurant's management team usually deals with these types of situations. Do they give the customer what they want to pacify them and move on? That's what most restaurants do out of fear of bad word-of-mouth advertising and loss of potential customers. On the surface this makes sense, but bending over backwards for everyone eventually becomes as counter-productive as asking every difficult patron to just deal with it or hit the road.....
Username: TrueGritProductions Added On: 2013 April 11