Yesterday, I went to lunch with some friends, and one of my biggest peeves at a restaurant happened. I walked in, was about to be greeted by an employee, and she turned to finish a conversation with one of her co-workers. Completely ignoring me and having me stand there waiting on her to finish her conversation.
In the industry, I would call this "failing at step zero". Having worked in the foodservice industry for many years, I have taught my employees that there are certain steps to ensure proper customer service. Some I have added from working at different establishments, others I have added myself. To me, Step Zero is the most important step of all.
Step Zero: Be there.
That is it. Just "be there". This means you need to give the customer in front of you your full attention. Many times I have gone to different restaurants, and the servers or order takers (at fast food places) are busy trying to pay attention to what is going on with other employees or other customers, and not giving me the full attention that is needed to ensure that my order is going to be correct. Of course this is not just the employees fault, many mangers allow this sort of situation to occur because they won't or can't instill this one piece of common courtesy amongst their employees. In many establishments (I have mainly seen this at fast food locations), employees are required to work two or three positions. I went to one fast food location, and the drive thru was moving very slowly for a noontime lunch rush. They had one person doing everything in the drive thru (taking orders, filling drinks, taking cash, handing out food). While during slow times, this can be easily accomplished by one person, at lunch, where there were 5 or 6 cars in line, it was unacceptable (and unsanitary, but I will get to that in a foodsafety post). It was also the reason my order was incomplete.
Now that I have ranted about one of my biggest peeves at restaurants, I want to hear from you. What peeves do you have at restaurants?