Service with a smile… or maybe not


Is it me or is good customer service a thing of the past? Have we become a nation of people so needy we can’t live without said item so we tolerate with the day to day shite of customer service?

Many people saw and reacted to my tweet last week regarding some time spent in what is deemed by some, previously by myself, as an excellent pub. The beer is generally of a high standard; a grand selection with some rarities and the prices aren’t so bad. What really bothered me was the service and attitude from staff. Not just one staff member but all of them. If this was a one off I wouldn’t be too bothered but it wasn’t the first time for me I received many responses and messages from people who have suffered the same service yet we still go for other reasons as mentioned above.

It doesn’t matter who you are; and I definitely don’t want people to be like “Hey Beer Blogger David! Welcome to our fine establishment. Take a seat, I’ll bring you a selection of today’s excellent beers. Are your balls too warm on our leather seats? Would you like me to blow cool air onto them?”, my minimum expectation when I walk up to a bar is a greeting and to be asked what I would like; maybe even a suggestion of what is pouring great today. A blank stare, like I’m looking in the mirror the morning after the night before, not so much.

Then, when I’ve finished my drink, I’ll return my glass to the bar. At this point, as a minimum, I expect at least an acknowledgement and a thank you; a nod if you’re too busy serving to say thanks in my direction. I’m being polite and doing you a favour. Looking at me out of the corner of your eye waiting for me to turn away will not do.

Other minimum expectations I have are:

  1. All pubs should allow you to try before you buy when it comes to beer.
  2. Upon entering the Stalybridge Buffet Bar, Mark Johnson must be stood in “his spot”.
  3. My mother-in-law; my hairdresser for the last 10 years, will always ask which way I take my hair. To the left, if you are interested.
  4. Competitive “bantz” on Twitter must end with wrestling gifs. Looking at you Beernomicon.
  5. Beers must be available in a third, a half and pint measures (I can take or leave two-thirds)
  6. Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come on Eileen is played at all wedding receptions.
  7. A KFC Bargain Bucket contains one of each of the four main pieces of chicken (Thigh, Drumstick, Breast, Keel); the remaining pieces may go either way.
  8. My mum will always get me aftershave and a shirt for Christmas.
  9. Trains not to leave the platform before the departure time (I always expect a train to be late)
  10. Prior to going out; each time I go up to check in on Laura getting ready, she will not be in the same outfit as the previous time.

There are plenty of good pubs and bars in Manchester and the UK, serving excellent beer with a polite and courteous service, appreciative of good customers and not intolerant of those with questions. Do not for one moment believe that being ignorant makes your bar or pub appear cool.

Pretentiousness is a curse; Tolerance is a virtue

Rant over



3 thoughts on “Service with a smile… or maybe not

  1. Right here’s my two pence

    Great article as always. I would say you’re right in demanding at least a thank you for returning glasses, you’re essentially doing the job of the bartender. But here’s some golden rules for a bartender:

    1. Say how you doing or hi when greeting a customer
    2. Thanks when given change
    3. Be aware of the situation. No probs in using your phone (people live off their phones texting their partners etc) but apologise if you’re caught using it and have to serve
    4. Be knowledgable. If you don’t have a beer someone wants suggest a equitable replacement
    5. Keep a calm head
    6. Treat everyone as if it’s their first time in your establishment
    7. Strike up a convo, it might make someone’s day
    8. Keep the bar clean
    9. Have a drink after work with the regulars
    10. Enjoy it. Bar jobs can be a good career


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s