Working in Hospitality

How working in hospitality has changed since COVID-19

Working in Hospitality
Photo by Anders Nord on Unsplash

5 weeks ago, pubs re-opened and everyone was extremely happy about it, however, people underestimated how hard all the pub staff were working to provide drinks and food to each of the customers. Pub staff are put through the ropes to keep customers full and hydrated, as well as happy and comfortable. The UK temperate recently sky-rocketed and working in the heat has been awful, the uniform is also full black, so 30/35 degree heat vs the full black uniform makes every shift extra warm, and the uniform also contains all heat and sweat.

Whilst I love working in the pub, I think every customer needs to realise that the staff can only work so quick, we can only pour the drinks as quick as the taps dispense, we also cannot prioritize some customers over others. If someone has been waiting 10 minutes for drinks or food, we cannot prioritize someone who has just arrived, we don't do favoritism or benefits for any regulars, we serve people in the order they are meant to be served.

Because of the recent coronavirus situation, we have been forced to serve every customer using table service, so we have become more of a restaurant, than a pub, each order is placed onto a tab, and every now and then we face the problem where customers run off without paying their tabs. Sometimes its not bad, where the tab is only £5/£10, but sometimes we have some £40/£50 tabs that are left unpaid. People need to start understanding that we place each order on tabs that correspond to the table numbers, whilst some people remember and come back to pay, or read messages sent by us for them to come back and pay, a large number of people will know they haven't and have no intention of coming back to sort out the tab they forgot to pay for.

A lot of people also move tables a lot, we're lead to believe they don't realise we have to clean each table that has been sat on, even if they're only sat on it for a few minutes before moving, we are told that each table must be cleaned after the occupant has left, this is to prevent any contamination left from the previous occupant being passed on to the next person seated at that table.

We also mainly work with bookings, which most people don't realise, you must not walk straight past the "wait here" sign, which you blatantly looked at, you must wait at the sign, for someone to seat you, only we know which tables are free or booked, it isn't up to you to assume which tables are free, and it isn't acceptable to just show up and sit down on any table that you "believe" is free. Each table is booked at a certain time, if we sit you there, be prepared to be asked to switch tables or leave when the booking shows up.

There are a lot of people who show up thinking they own the place, walking around treating the staff with no respect, you need to learn that each of the staff has complete control over your food and drink, we also have complete power to escort you off the premises and refuse you service, and you also have no place to get angry if you are refused service, your actions and behavior lead to you being refused, so go learn how to treat people with respect before heading into a pub where you'll only embarrass yourself.

If you are asked to leave the premises due to the pub closing, you must respect the instructions you're being given, you can't remain seated talking to your friends, the pub are asking you to leave for one reason, because they're closed, therefore you legally cannot be on the premises any longer, pubs hold licenses, and can lose their license if you remain on the premise for longer than allowed. So if asked to leave the pub, you have to listen to what you're being told, and exit promptly.

Once again, even though all these small things aren't helpful during the post COVID pub life, the pub life is the best part about my life, the small interactions and jokes between the customers make each shift different.

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Joel Greene
See all posts by Joel Greene