December 6, 2019 The Binge: Crazy-Accurate Restaurant Server & Customer Stereotypes

restaurant stereotypes

Every industry has its stereotypes. And restaurant stereotypes are especially notorious—as pointed out in this video by the guys at Dude Perfect. It’s a hilarious take on the common restaurant stereotypes we’ve all seen: from overly ambitious servers to obnoxious guests.

Chances are you’re bound to encounter at least a few of these scenarios in your restaurant (if you haven’t already).

To help you and your team sidestep the craziness, we’ve broken down these restaurant stereotypes and provided tips on how to make the most of these zany, awkward, and sometimes downright hilarious situations.

1) The Jokester Server

This guy or girl server is hilarious…or so they think. They may have missed their calling as a stand-up comedian, but lucky you—you get to their best stuff on your dining floor. Every. Single. Night.

How To Handle It

This is one of those restaurant stereotypes you should just lean into. Laugh at every joke. Encourage their passion. Help them be their most hilarious selves. And maybe gift them with a joke book if their one-liners start getting old.

2) The Ambitious Re-filler

Who doesn’t love a server who goes above and beyond? May there never be a dry mouth in their presence! They are always there: watching and waiting to refill the next glass.

How to Handle It

We would say just leave a pitcher on the table. But do you really want to steal the thunder from these go-getting restaurant stereotypes?

3) Mr. No-Manners Customer

Oh, geez. This guy. Everything this customer does is loud and obnoxious. Asking about the specials. Telling off-color jokes. Blowing his nose. Surprisingly, he always travels in a pack. People like this really have friends?

How to Handle It

Try not to judge. We’re sure people find this guy endearing and yeah, maybe he’s really nice. So, give these restaurants stereotypes the benefit of the doubt…but maybe practice your fake smile in the meantime.

4) The Overly-Friendly Waiter

These restaurant stereotypes are nice. Like, really, really nice. They’re everyone’s best friends and make your guests feel right at home in an awkward, overly-aggressive way. They share inside jokes within minutes of meeting people. And they have pet names for total strangers…like bud, buddy, or pal.

How to Handle It

You don’t. The thing about these over-eager restaurant stereotypes is they’re a lot like golden retrievers. They love people, and being around people, and did we mention they love people? And everyone likes golden retrievers. So it’s a win-win…unless you’re a cat person. In which case, that’s a whole other issue you need to deal with.

5) The Phone Addicts

Ah, there’s nothing like the gathering of friends for a night out on the town. This is why you got into the restaurant business. To give people a place to hang out and reconnect. To…oh wait. They’re already on their phones. They haven’t looked up in fifteen minutes. And no one is talking to each other.

How To Handle It

The constant presence of smartphones has become a stereotype of life. Whether it’s checking email, social media, or just entertaining ourselves with the latest Jimmy Kimmel bit (or hilarious videos about restaurant stereotypes) phones are everywhere. So, fight fire with fire and trade one device for another with on-demand trivia tablets. The difference is, these tablets bring everyone together for a good time… 

6) The Fake Name Guy

Say hello to Mr. Harry Butte. Or whatever their name is. See, we don’t know what to actually call these customers because they keep giving us fake (and often obnoxious) names. You may never find out what their real name is—these restaurant stereotypes apparently prefer a life shrouded in mystery. But you can guess who they are by the maniacal cackling whenever you call out a fictitious-sounding name at the hostess stand.

How to Handle It

Beat them at their own restaurant stereotypes game. Call them by the name they gave you for the remainder of their visit. See, you can be funny too. Aren’t fake names hilarious?

7) The Clumsy Waiter

As they say in the South, “Bless their heart.” These poor restaurant stereotypes are usually easily-identified by the ever-present, recent stains on their uniforms. Other servers flinch away as they walk by—particularly if their hands are full with dinner plates. Your glassware count has severely diminished since they’ve started. And they no longer get the good tables with the high-profile guests…after that one incident when they dropped a tray of hot soup on Mrs. Jones’ bouffant.

How to Handle It

There’s no fighting gravity. We suggest switching to plastic. And maybe replenishing your first aid kit.

8) The Rage Monster

Wow. Who knew a customer could be so upset over a football game? Or a five-minute wait? Or, like, other people just existing?

How to Handle It

Unfortunately, this is one of the restaurant stereotypes we see way too often. You could cushion the blow of their anger by catering to their every whim. But that gets exhausting and at some point, a little unrealistic. So, if a guest starts becoming belligerent, maybe recommend another restaurant that would be more accommodating to their restaurant stereotype…like a delivery service.

9) The Prankster Guest

Notice that your salt shaker tops seem a little loose? That’s the tale-tell sign of the Prankster guest. These jokesters like to wreak minimally invasive havoc on their friends and other diners with silly pranks that may leave guests feeling, well, salty. As far as restaurant stereotypes go, they’re pretty harmless…but still annoying.

How to Handle It

Prank proof your establishment. Ban all types of silly glue, whoopy cushions, and other tools of the jesters. Keep a running tally in the back of the house that states how many days since the last bout of pranks. There’s no such thing as being too serious when it comes to dealing with these silly restaurant stereotypes!

10) The Annoying Music Man

You thought some live music would be a good idea. “Hire a musician,” they said. “What could go wrong?” they said. Well, now you have an acoustic guitar player passing around a tip jar and crooning loudly into a poorly-adjusted microphone as he sits practically on your guests’ lap. So, yeah…things aren’t looking great for these restaurant stereotypes.

How to Handle It

Invest in a jukebox. It’s the only way to overcome this all-too-accurate restaurant stereotype.

11) The Awkward Breakup Couple

Oh, no. It’s happening. That couple inconspicuously seated nearly in the middle of your dining room floor. Their heads are ducked down and they’re whispering intensely. One of them starts to cry. Everyone around them looks uncomfortable. It’s one of the classic restaurant stereotypes—the couple breaking up in a public place.

How to Handle It

Trust us, you don’t want to touch these restaurant stereotypes with a ten-foot pole. It’s already an awkward enough situation—don’t make it weird with more interruptions than necessary. Keep the Ambitious Re-filler away from them. And get a piece of your best-selling dessert ready. Someone at that table is going to need it.

12) The Big Price, Small Portion Place

This is one of those restaurant stereotypes we usually see in more upscale restaurants. Guests order a high-priced entree, expecting to get a full meal. Instead, they’re treated to a speck of protein with some microgreens and smear of sauce on a beautifully decorated but scant plate.

How to Handle It

Don’t be that restaurant owner…break the restaurant stereotypes! Even if your place is more fine-dining, give the people what they pay for with larger portions. Or at the very least, be more upfront in the description of the dish. If the shrimp platter only comes with one (1) shrimp instead of several shrimps, say so. Just be sure to really sell that one shrimpy shrimp with a detailed description to justify why such a quality ingredient deserves to stand alone on its pristine plate.

13) The Obnoxious Birthday Celebrators

Some people like to go all out for their birthdays. That’s fine—we get it. But some venues take it to the next level with one of the more dreaded restaurant stereotypes: The over-the-top birthday celebration. There’s singing. There’s dancing. Who brought silly string? Why is the 30-year-old birthday boy crying? This feels like too much.

How To Handle It

Just don’t. Put some candles on a cake and call it day. It’s all within your power to break these restaurant stereotypes. You can do it. Stop the madness.

Whether you’ve experience one or all of these restaurant stereotypes, it’s good to have a plan in place – or at least a little comic relief to laugh off these typically harmless individuals. Glad we could be of service.

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