Career Advice

Tips to Deal with Challenging Customers in Restaurants

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As a server, you have to realize you’ll come across all sorts of customers. Some will be easy and friendly, while others will be more challenging to deal with. It is the latter that will test your communication and interaction skills to the limit. When you come across challenging customers, you’ll need to know how to deal with them. While the adage goes that the customer is always right, and it’s one of the best phrases to refer to when dealing with the irritating ones, some customers get bent out of shape for all the wrong reasons.

It doesn’t matter if the customer is right or wrong; you have to deal with the angry ones. However, how do you solve the situation without completely alienating the angry customer? This article will answer that question by providing tips for dealing with challenging customers in the restaurant. Take a look!

First, apologize

Some clients will complain about the slightest thing, and it’s your responsibility not to succumb to their complaints. Make a sincere apology to avoid further arguments. It’s worth noting that some customers will cause issues and make a fuss for no reason. Dealing with such people can be a nightmare, but every good server should remain professional and try to be humble.

They should listen to the customer and understand what could rather than rushing to defend themselves. Luckily, every good restaurant has good professional kitchen rules that help managers to handle common situations. For example, if a customer is displeased with certain aspects of their meal, a kitchen should be ready to put that table in first priority and take care of their satisfaction.

Don’t take anything personally.

When facing an angry customer, it’s hard not to take everything personally, especially when they are all mean and pissed. It’s good to keep in mind that the customer is not angry with you individually. They might be agitated with your product or service quality, so it’s not really about you. Knowing all that anger is not directed at you makes it more comfortable to remain calm and listen to the customer.

Bring solutions

If you are dealing with a challenging customer, you need to come up with the best way to solve it. While neither you nor the customer needs a superhero to save the day, the most excellent power you have up your sleeve is to make them feel special. Let them talk everything out then figure out how you can bring some peace. For instance, you could offer them a 50% discount at the moment or when they come to the restaurant again, give them a gift card, or a free appetizer and a round of drinks.

When you have a solution in your back pocket, you’ll excellently restore calmness, and your disgruntled guests will feel compelled to come back. When they do, they won’t have the same attitude because you came through for them. However, make sure you consult with the manager first as to what you can give away.

It doesn't matter if the customer is right or wrong; you have to deal with the angry ones. However, how do you solve the situation without completely alienating the angry customer?Click To Tweet

Put on a smile while talking.

Smiling is one of the most effective ways to solve a conflict. If you are dealing with a challenging customer, it softens your expression and shows you want to help. Keep in mind smiling while the customer is ranting can be nearly impossible, but if you do it, there’s a high chance the discussion will be peaceful.

Dealing with a challenging customer can be a daunting task, but if you are in the restaurant industry, you have to brace yourself for such situations. All you need is to be polite but assertive. Remember, you are in control of the situation, and you should keep it that way.

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