We all have ‘em. Those customers you wish would be a little less…present. Why is it often the most annoying, rude, or just downright weird patrons who seem to keep showing up day after day? From the ones who feel the need to draw on your chalkboard to the creepy old guys making you feel gross; bartenders have seen it all. Here we’ve tried to compile a few helpful tips for dealing with terrible regulars.
With side work of course! Now, just because someone is a little dull doesn’t mean you should ignore them. But, if a customer is creepy, rude, or makes you uncomfortable, find some bottles to wipe at the other end of the bar. Of course, if anyone crosses the line from ‘annoying customer’ into actual harassment, throw them the hell out.
Don’t Give Them Any Buybacks
If you want to discourage someone from coming in every day, don’t buy them anything. Regulars are regulars partially because they get a good deal at the bar. Well, once that well dries up you may be seeing less of them. Obviously, only reserve this for the truly heinous since it affects your fellow staff.
Of course you could always take the less passive aggressive route and just call them out on their s**t. Be polite but direct. Try something like, “If you continue to speak to me in that way you won’t be welcome here.” Enlist a co-worker to back you up if necessary.
Get a Manager
If someone is rude, harasses you, or makes you physically uncomfortable you shouldn’t have to serve them. Go to a higher up if you’re unsure of how to proceed. It is the job of management and owners to ensure that you have a safe workplace environment.
Don’t antagonize someone who is likely to be violent or seems volatile. Leave the space immediately and call the police if someone is truly threatening you or endangering your co-workers or patrons. Don’t be a hero.
You do not have to deal with workplace harassment from customers or staff. If someone’s annoying behavior crosses the line, alert your superior and look up local workplace harassment policies.