Customer service should play a major role in any restaurant, but when does one draw the line at accepting responsibility and forfeiting it to the party who may actually be responsible? Customers pay for exceptional service catering a fresh meal in a safe environment, and those basic needs should always be met. Some issues are on a more personal matter, though, and consumers have an inherent responsibility to themselves when it comes to individual needs and limitations. Knowing the differences between what faults to accept as your own and which are on the heads of your customers can help your restaurant stay well-regulated while maintaining its integrity.
Whether through legalities or common courtesy, there are some responsibilities that generally always fall on the backs of the establishment. While many of these may seem obvious, it’s a good idea to discuss this list (including any others that you see pertinent to your restaurant) with all of your employees in a frank and open discussion - probably during a work meeting.
Responsibilities of the Establishment:
Provide meals that meet food safety requirements
Provide a safe, clean environment for customers to dine in
Provide services free of discrimination including but not limited to sex, age, weight, race, etc (unless the consumer is under 16)
Provide exactly what was ordered
Provide accurate and complete nutrition and allergen lists when upon request
Refuse alcohol to any guest that appears inebriated
While these three rules may seem basic, they’re essential to any credible, functioning restaurant. Conversely, consumers accept some responsibility when entering an establishment, like with anything in life. While they’re relying on the restaurant to care for their needs in a responsible manner, they also are accepting their own responsibility for themselves and any individual nuances.
Responsibilities of the Consumer
Follow establishment rules or risk expulsion
Pay for items that were ordered and delivered accurately
Stop drinking when you’re inebriated (or, preferably, beforehand)
Inform the restaurant of any allergies when ordering
Items in the restaurant are the property of the restaurant - do not theft
Consumers may never have these rules stated clearly, but it’s widely-known and accepted protocol for the general population. We’ve all encountered the difficult customer or the trying situation, but keeping these standard restaurant/customer responsibilities in the back of your mind can help you sort through those tough situations. Restaurants will bare the brunt of these responsibilities, but consumers also accept that some may be their own!
E Friedman Associates Inc