Before getting on with today’s post, I would love to share that the blog post ‘What people misunderstand about “you don’t need a degree to be successful”‘ that I wrote last week has been featured on Vulcan Post (click on the link to read it!) and is doing well with ratings and shares. Although I was not trained to be a writer, but this shows that with practice and really believing in what you are writing, you are able to connect with readers. I may be submitting more guest posts for other websites, will keep everyone updated when I do so. One achievement down, many more to go. Now on to this week’s post!
When I turned 18 and got my keys to adulthood and freedom, drinking and clubbing has become a huge part of my life. There is just something about the flashing lights, sick beats and the high you get of the influence of alcohol that makes me feel like I can rule the world, and cannot get away. When I needed to find a part-time job to sustain myself through university, it was only natural that I found one in the biggest club in Singapore (up to you to guess which club that is), and have been serving them for 6 months thus far.
After half a year serving guests and observing the struggles that my colleagues go through when trying to meet the demands of angry, sometimes clueless customers has inspired me to write up a list of dos and don’ts when getting drinks to all club-goers. This will serve as an all round guide in drink-ordering etiquette, complete with tips and tricks to ensure that your drinks come to you within a reasonable amount of time without harassing the bartenders, waiters or cashiers. This will be useful with the upcoming end-of-year parties and festivals for the month of December as well!
1. Be patient.
Probably the number one thing that will keep both the servers and customers happy will be to stay reasonably patient while waiting for orders to be out.
Let me try to put things into context when you are waiting 5, 10 minutes for your drinks – there are about 20 people every half an hour fighting to get their alcohol, with about only 3-4 bartenders to every one of those orders. Of course, the orders are not limited to only customers waiting at the counter, but bartenders would also have to make drinks for those at the table as well.
We just want you to know that we have not forgotten your order, and are trying our very best to attend to each one of you customers to the best of our ability, and in return, would be very grateful if you do not keep trying to get our attention to ask where your order is every 2 minutes. We could be so much more efficient without any additional distractions and you would be able to receive your drinks much faster as well. Best of both worlds right there.
2. Be polite and friendly
Ask any person working in customer service – nice customers are always better to serve than nasty customers. We really get a kick out of customers who mind their Ps & Qs, those who flash a smile or show their gratitude whenever we serve them, and you can be sure that we will be so much more motivated to serve you properly when we are in a good mood.
Servers are usually too busy to sit around and chat, but on the rare occasion that we are not as busy, feel free to strike up a conversation with us. Who knows, the friendships that you forge in the club may prove to be useful in the future!
3. Meet staff requests as much as possible
These are a few examples of what the staff might request customers to do: Get another card because the card presented cannot go through, go to other counters to order if there is no more stock left for a certain product or when the bar is too busy, show one’s IC as verification for those cards without signature.
Even though most customers just follow such requests without much hesitation, but there are certain ones who just absolutely refuse to be accommodating, and kick up a huge fuss about how “the club should not be doing this, the club should be doing that” etc. This does not only annoy us, but is also a huge time waster where we could use the time trying to persuade such customers into acceding to our requests to serve other waiting customers.
We do not ask these requests for fun or have any hidden agenda behind it, in fact, we would very much rather not ask customers for anything at all. However, there are certain rules for the staff to follow to ensure maximum efficiency and minimum problems. Thus, it would be much appreciated if customers would not be difficult and help us do our job as best as we can.
1. Act self-entitled
Things like rolling your eyes at us when we cannot do what you ask for, demanding that we hurry up because you have waited for very long already, then raising your voices when we cannot perform up to your extremely high expectations. Such behaviours are all unwarranted for, and would not make us get your drinks to you any faster. All it would do is annoy us and make us really not want to deal with you. The service crew are expected to and also wish to serve customers, but we definitely do not owe anybody a living, so please treat us with respect and we would gladly do the same.
2. Make unreasonable requests
Staff at the clubs will definitely try to fulfill all customer requests (why wouldn’t we? It will only serve to boost our image and reputation if we could get a good word from you), but there are just some things that we really cannot do. Some examples of that would be to continue swiping the card that fails to go through the credit card system in hopes of it being able to work, getting into the members bar when you are clearly not one, and asking for discounts but failing to identify the people who can give it. Life could be so much easier if people do not ask for things that they cannot get at that point of time!
3. Verbally / physically harassing staff
This, among all others, is something that definitely should not be happening, ever. Unreasonable and entitled customers are to be expected from time to time, but abusing staff with rude language, or worse, physically hurting staff is never okay. Some examples of harassment that I have suffered is getting shouted at by wasted customers, getting coins thrown at my head, being slapped by a drunk girl and getting my ponytail yanked hard by another. I always stop extremely short of myself yelling or hitting back for the sake of company image, but really, if I weren’t representing the company, there would not be anything stopping me from protecting myself from such people. If you expect respect and good customer service from the staff, the minimum that customers could do is treat us like human beings that are capable of such caliber as well.
There are many parties coming up, brace yourself for the upcoming celebrations for the new year and have a happy drink-ordering experience! 🙂
*Disclaimer: I do not represent the views of the company that I work for, all views are purely my own.