Pay attention! I am your customer

You often accuse me of carrying a chip on my shoulder, but I suspect this is because you do not entirely understand me. Is it not normal to expect satisfaction for one’s money spent?

Ignore my wants, and I will cease to exist. Satisfy those wants, and I will become increasingly loyal. Add to its satisfaction any little extra personal attention and friendly touches you can conjure up, and I will become a walking advertisement for your restaurant.

When I criticize your food or service, which I certainly do whenever I am displeased and to anyone who will listen to me, take heed. I am not dreaming up displeasure; the source of it lies in something you have failed to do to make my eating experience as enjoyable as I had anticipated. You must find that source and eliminate it, or you will lose me and my friends as well.

I insist on the right to dine leisurely or be treated in haste according to my mood, schedule, or any other circumstance. I refuse to be rushed, and I abhor waiting. This is an essential privilege that my money buys from you. And if I am not spending big money with you this time, remember that if you treat me right, I will be back later with a more enormous appetite and more money to spend—and probably with some of my friends.

I am much more sophisticated these days than just a few years ago. I have grown accustomed to better things, and my needs are more complex. I am perfectly willing to spend more money with you, and I have more money to spend, but I insist on quality to match your prices.

I am, above all, a human being. I am sensitive, especially when I am spending money. I cannot stand being snubbed, ignored, or looked down upon. I am proud. My ego needs the nourishment of a friendly personal greeting from you. It is important to me that you recognize my importance to you and that you appreciate my business.

Of course, I am a bit of a show-off too, but do not condemn me for that because you are probably a little hammy at times yourself—just smile and indulge my whims as best you can. Remember that while you are feeding me in the literal sense, my money is figuratively feeding you.

Whatever my personal habits may be, you can be sure of this—I am a real nut on cleanliness in restaurants. Where food is concerned, I demand the strictest sanitation measures. I want my meals handled and served by the cleanest, neatest people and in sparkling, clean dishes. If I detect such signs of carelessness as dirty fingernails, cracked dishes, dirty glasses and cutlery, or soiled tablecloths, you will not see me again.

I am your customer now, but you must prove to me again that I have made a wise choice in selecting your restaurant over others. And you must also convince me repeatedly that being a restaurant customer is a desirable thing in the first place. I can, after all, eat at home.

But you must provide something extra in food, presentation, and service, something superior enough to beckon me away from my table and draw me to yours. You must provide me with the incentive to eat out.

Do we understand each other?

This outstanding explanation of service from a customer’s point of view has been around for years. I have not been able to find the source and, therefore, cannot credit the original author.

Whoever you are -Thank you.

Mike Said

081 398 2190



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