Lush Life | The worst trend in hospitality is becoming bad service

Hospitality is a dying skill, even in the Myrtle Beach area.
Hospitality is a dying skill, even in the Myrtle Beach area.

We have a habit of treating a population, as a whole, based on the behavior of the worst 1 percent of that population.

Even worse, we are in the habit of thinking that our purpose in this world is to not have to serve other people.

The food and beverage scene in Myrtle Beach does pretty good as a whole. Some places are stellar when it comes to service and some are just plain awful when it comes to service and hospitality. The latter seems to be the only growing population of the two.

There is one thing that anyone who is in the service business needs to know to make this pattern stop. You have to stop trying to be right. Instead of debating who is right, be solution-minded. How can you fix the issue at hand? Then, take a break and cuss at your coworkers about that customer like any normal, hardworking service industry professional does.

When you combat your customers or simply do not do your job, you show your ignorance as an employee and as a business. The fix is quite simple in most cases.

A to-go order at a popular wing chain in Carolina Forest went wrong for my family. When the employee was asked to correct the mistake of not including any dressing for the order which consisted of two dinner salads, she got an attitude.

How hard is it to apologize and go get the dressing that you forgot to put in the bag after the customer drives back to the restaurant? The manager was very nice and accommodating, but the poor guy had to deal with an immature, inexperienced service staff. Which, actually, is his own fault.

At a burger drive-through that has pretty good tater tots normally, I asked for dipping sauces and ordered a drink. I had to request my drink and didn’t get any dipping sauces.

Meanwhile, the employees were using explicit language as I sat two feet away in my car trying to ask for the things I had ordered. I heard their whole conversation and was most impressed at the colorful language.

The solution would have been for them to use the extra time they wasted talking dirty in getting the orders right. Then they could have had their riveting conversation elsewhere and on their own time, preferably not near the food.

A local real estate company told a friend of mine that they could not process a rental application after having it for five days because it was a busy day and they were short staffed. Why is that his fault?

I spent 18 years in restaurants. There is no excuse for anyone in a restaurant to not understand that paychecks come from the people who eat there, even if you get paid hourly. If you wash dishes, you should be the best dishwasher in town because the people who use those plates pay your rent, your mortgage and for the clothes on your back.

Hospitality is a dying skill. Serving your guests and treating them as your guests is rare in Myrtle Beach. Being geared to understand how you make your money and why seems to be the most common misconception. The places that struggle are those that treat eating out as a retail experience. Order, pay and get out. Serving has been displayed as a hassle and dealing with people has become inconvenient for some food industry workers.

Before the bad servers and bartenders lynch me, because those are the people who are mad right now, I will say that I know that some customers can be unruly as well. But like I said, you can not treat every guest like they are the worst 1 percent of the population. You have to assume that every person who sits down is nice. Even if they end up being rude or difficult, your job is to pretend they are nice. If you do not like it, find other work. It is that simple.

Customers, please understand that someone is serving you. Be grateful for that luxury. You get to sit in a restaurant with people you chose to be with, eat some food and drink some drinks that someone else brings to you. Be appreciative of that. If the server starts to treat you like they do not appreciate you, promptly call for a manager.

The best retaliation for poor service that you have as a customer is to not go back. Arguing will not get you anywhere. You can also skimp on the tip but the most effective way to remove bad service from your life is to just not return. We have enough places that have great service in Myrtle Beach that you do not have to tolerate poor service.

I have been to burger joints in Myrtle Beach where I thought the service was better than some fine-dining places at which I have eaten. I have had a great experience getting a chicken sandwich from a drive through. I have eaten at the special occasion places that do hospitality extremely well. Our food scene as a whole is not bad just because a few places overlook things like service.

Eat well, drink well and expect good service.

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