A bar is a bar, or the underside of customer service

Dany Marquis

My work team is mainly made up of women, who occupy front-line positions, that is to say predominantly our baristas. These are the faces, the smiles, voices on the phone, and the machine works thanks to their work, to the energy and passion they put into it.

This work, sometimes demanding, is dominated by relationships with customers, Ba ba on a daily basis they are the bridge between our customers and our products. As best we can, we let's try to plan and supervise all the work around the baristas and guide communications with customers.

But there remains an element which disturbs me and which remains difficult to control as a cafe owner, and which becomes quickly, for those who do their job well, an irritant.

We could define this irritant as impact management on male customers, good service from a female employee.

We won't be surprised that the guy from the song Bar-tendresse by Éric Lapointe ends up saying to himself: “Tonight I would like the woman behind the bar, be my mistress. » In a subdued bar context, where alcohol flows freely, each look, each frank smile from the waitress can be interpreter. I can still understand That.

“from the little look… illusions, a crooked smile little pig »

Bar employees must therefore manage, and even help themselves to of this unsatisfied need of the male gender, often in a not-so-subtle way, where the neckline down to the navel becomes a powerful marketing tool.

But as someone else would say, a bar is a bar.

And unfortunately, we find the same dynamic in a espresso bar. And despite everything I can do, I cannot prevent this dynamic. The young barista, passionate about her job, by life, who makes his coffees with religious attention, greets the customer by his first name, eye contact, smile, exactly as required in the training.

“Gnan, the Papet, the barista gave me a heart on my coffee! » says Ugolin, in Manon des sources, a superb novel by Pagnol, where reading lets us hear the sound of crickets and feel the warm air of an old village in Provence.

But now, in addition to offering exceptional service, without wanting it, it stirs up the amorous passions of certain men, and even sometimes their libido…

You may think I'm exaggerating, but every week, I receive a lot of testimonies in this direction.

For example, this week, an employee was brushed against spanked by a client. impossible to find out if it was an accident or if it was maliciously planned. The man, aged around 65, is a customer regular, calm, and one could doubt the words of the young women. These incidents are common.

Maybe not as explicit but I find it a shame women to have to manage this aspect of the job.

As a man, I can devote myself entirely to my work, and offer quality, attentive customer service, with all the consideration that I can towards my clients without me receiving requests in marriage… Or other less noble requests…

Would my male compatriots be so lacking careful that the slightest smile is interpreted as a promise of eternity? Should I also ask my employees to do their job well while being very careful not to arouse unwanted reactions. Again yesterday, a customer in his thirties left his phone number with one of our 16 year old barista!

Get a life!

Faced with this observation, I will therefore work to modify our customer service strategy and include the use of slaps and insults to put the libidinous and the lonely hearts in their place.


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