We dive into stories from the hospitality industry, rate them, and discuss how they could have been handled differently. In this thought-provoking article, we’ll explore some of the most significant themes that emerged from our recent podcast episode.

The Audacity of Customers

One recurring theme in the hospitality industry is the audacity of some customers. Riley shared a story from the subreddit r/bartenders about a customer who violated the rule of not bringing outside food and drinks into the bar.

Despite being politely informed of the policy, the customer continued to bring in food and even challenged the bartender when confronted. Riley expressed their frustration, stating, “Your purse does not get a chair. Your suitcase does not get a chair. You do not get a chair unless you are ordering something.”

This audacity extends beyond just bringing in outside food. Customers often feel entitled to special treatment or disregard the rules altogether. Carl added, “How do people not understand this?

These people took up a quarter of my bar for 4 hours last night and spent $0.” The entitlement of customers can be a significant source of frustration for bartenders and other hospitality professionals.

Disrespect and Threats

Another disturbing theme that emerged from our discussion was the disrespect and threats faced by bartenders. Riley shared a harrowing experience where a customer, who happened to be an ex-sheriff, came behind the bar and physically confronted them.

The customer even resorted to name-calling and shoving. Riley expressed their frustration, saying, “The way people feel empowered to say and do anything to you because they know you aren’t in a position to retaliate.”

This incident highlights the power dynamics that exist in the hospitality industry. Bartenders often face verbal abuse and threats from customers who believe they can get away with it. Riley further emphasized this point, stating, “It’s not the end of the world. Most nights are good.

Just one. This one just happened to be soul crushingly bad.” The emotional toll of such incidents can be significant, leaving bartenders feeling disrespected and vulnerable.

Law Enforcement and Entitlement

A particularly troubling aspect of the story shared by Riley was the involvement of law enforcement in both instances of threats and disrespect. Riley noted, “As a side note, this is the second time I’ve been threatened with physical violence at this job.

And both times came at the hands of people involved with law enforcement.” This raises questions about the behavior and entitlement of individuals in positions of authority.

The incidents involving law enforcement personnel highlight the challenges faced by bartenders when dealing with customers who believe their status grants them special privileges. Carl added, “Telling cops no to anything is an absolute nightmare.

They have total meltdowns.” The power dynamics between law enforcement and hospitality professionals can create a hostile environment, making it difficult for bartenders to assert themselves and maintain control over their establishments.

Implications and Potential Impact

The themes discussed in this article shed light on the challenges faced by bartenders and other hospitality professionals. The audacity of customers, coupled with the disrespect and threats they face, can have a significant impact on their mental well-being and job satisfaction.

The involvement of law enforcement personnel in such incidents raises concerns about the abuse of power and entitlement within the industry.

These experiences can lead to burnout and high turnover rates among bartenders. The emotional toll of dealing with disrespectful customers and the fear of potential violence can take a toll on their mental health.

It is crucial for bar owners and managers to prioritize the safety and well-being of their staff, providing them with the necessary support and resources to navigate these challenging situations.

Conclusion and Future Outlook

The stories shared in our podcast episode highlight the need for a shift in the culture of the hospitality industry. Customers must be held accountable for their behavior and respect the rules and boundaries set by bartenders and other staff members.

Bar owners and managers should prioritize the safety and well-being of their employees, implementing policies and procedures to address disrespectful and threatening behavior.

Additionally, there is a need for increased awareness and training around the dynamics of power and entitlement within the industry. This includes educating law enforcement personnel on appropriate behavior and the importance of treating hospitality professionals with respect.

By addressing these issues head-on, we can create a more inclusive and respectful environment for everyone in the hospitality industry.

As we continue to share stories and insights from behind the bar, we hope to inspire change and foster a greater understanding of the challenges faced by bartenders.

Together, we can work towards creating a safer and more enjoyable experience for both customers and hospitality professionals alike. Cheers to a brighter future in the industry!

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