5 types of customers in restaurants
16 February 2015, 12:42
Nairobi - There seems to be a general misconception that waiters are impartial voyeurs, wholly uninterested in you, dear customer, barring orders and food allergies.
This is, of course, complete crock.
Us gossipmongering waiters have categorised you from the minute we’ve handed you your menu.
The Pilgrim In Search Of Food Guru
Pilgrims like to be taken by the hand and guided through the dining experience. Every. Step. Of. The. Way.
From the opening question "Soooo, what’s good here?" to the exasperating half hour you spend explaining each ingredient in the menu while your other tables collect dust, pilgrims are high maintenance.
Will they find enlightenment? Who can say?
The Order Amnesiac
“I have an Alfredo pasta?”
Blank stares all round.
Silent table conference of did-you-order-that-because-I-didn’t-order-that looks are exchanged.
Tinged with a note of desperation, “did no one order the Alfredo pasta?”
Then, suddenly, a lone voice rings out in the darkness.
"Hey, George, didn't you order that?"
"Chicken pasta with cream?"
George jerks in his seat as though his ON switch has just short-circuited, causing his Coke Zero to go flying. "Oh yes!" Proudly: "I ordered that."
Yes. Yes you did.
The Please Don’t Shoot Me
These lovely folks look just as taken aback when you ask them how they are as when you’d told them you were going to carve satanic markings into their bellies and feed them shots of virgin blood.
Voices don’t get raised above a whisper and they practically shy away when ordering their mains. You start wondering if your doppelgänger is on a Most Wanted list somewhere.
They're usually bolted before their phone pings the success of a completed credit card transaction.
The Freebie Me
An easy one to spot from the moment they sit down and complain about their wobbly chair and overstuffed pillows, Freebie Mes are an uphill battle.
The glass is dirty, the I-don’t-know-what-this-is-but-it’s-definitely-not-a-mojito mojito gets sent back, the fish is too fishy, the meat too chewy, the candle is too high, the music is too noisy, the malva pudding is cardboard drenched in sugar, the coffee is cold and burnt …
The phrase I WANT TO SPEAK TO YOUR MANAGER gets thrown around like confetti. And lo! A discount! Free dessert! Only one meal is charged!
But we know, Freebie Me, we’re onto you… We tasted that fish, the chef showed us that meat, and in the scullery we finished your coffee and the mojito that you sent back.
And it was delicious.
The Okie Dokie Yokie
The kind of customer that most waiters want to fall to their knees in front of with tears in their eyes, praising Jesus, woolly mammoths and unicorns everywhere that these blessed people sat down in their section.
The wrong order was brought to their table? No problem! They’ve always wanted to try flambéed snails, today’s their lucky day. The food is taking an hour and a half because the chef is having a nervous breakdown trying to hand-roll two hundred ravioli parcels? Really? They hadn’t even noticed the time.
The restaurant’s experiencing a spot of load shedding plunging everyone into darkness? Fantastic! Candles make everything so much more romantic anyway. See? Having an Okie Dokie Yokie at your table is the kind of stuff waiters’ wet dreams are made of and snivelled into pillows about.
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