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July 6, 2017

Unruly and Unwanted Guest Management

Small business restaurants have the difficult task of managing guests who may not always feel like acting like their best self.  Small businesses do so not only to manage the customer service experience but because unruly guest can pose a danger to themselves and others.  But doing so with respect and compassion ensures that you also don’t open your small business up to unnecessary litigation.

1. Plan- consider your company culture and your brand.  Consult with an advisor to understand your rights under the law and then outline your business’ responses to these situations.  From cursing guests to sleeping guests, have a response and a response to their response.  Planning your response out standardizes your response and decreases the likelihood of any successful litigation.

2. Train- small business restaurant employees everyday experience food complaints and can probably rattle of the appropriate responses to those situations with ease.  But very rarely (hopefully) deal with unruly guests so the finer points may be lost on your employees when it arises 2 years after they first trained on it.  So train at least yearly and train beyond the book or computer with some role-playing.  Well intentioned employees just going from the hip rarely ends well.  Since your small business will be accountable for even their off the cuff reactions be sure they have been trained and don’t have to make it up themselves.

3. Assign- lets be honest, just like dealing with an unruly child, dealing with an unruly guest is a gift.  If you are fortunate enough to have a guest whisperer on your staff, identify them as the go to point person.  

As always, prevention is also a key component.  Check out this strategy for preventing unruly guests in the first place.

Tags: discrimination, guest management, new orleans, restaurant management, small business, violence in the workplace

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