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Restaurant workers report rise in rude customers

Pack your patience: Restaurant workers ask for kindness, grace during pandemic

Workers in the hospitality industry say they’ve never seen customers behaving this badly.

CLEVELAND — We all know that being a server is not an easy job. There is seating customers, bussing tables and serving food, but when you throw all of that into the middle of a pandemic, that changes everything. 

Restaurant workers in the hospitality industry say, they have noticed customers who are acting more agitated than normal, making for a stressful environment. Limitations and shortages brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic appear to be making things worse, and oftentimes, the server is at the wrong end of the behavior.

“People get hangry and upset because they are not used to this kind of delay,” one restaurant worker told 3News.

Workers have been leaving jobs in restaurants, bars and hotels at the highest rate in decades. Each month so far this year, around 5% of the workforce in this industry has called it quits. In May alone, that added up to 706,000 people.

Right now, of the 10 million open jobs in this country, 1.6 million are in the leisure and hospitality industry.

Low wages are the most common reason people cite for leaving the hospitality industry. But according to a New York Presbyterian Hospital study, when people are experiencing high anxiety, like in the middle of this pandemic, irritability is often a symptom.

So restaurant workers everywhere say, pack your patients – and above all else, be nice.

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