The world of difficult restaurant delivery customers can be a roller coaster ride with all kinds of people – and yes, that includes some tough cookies too. 

Yes, we’re talking about difficult restaurant delivery customers who can test your patience and your business’s reputation. Whether it’s dealing with someone who’s rude on the phone or an impatient soul who can’t understand why their order is taking so long during peak hours, these encounters are just part of the gig. But here’s the thing – how you handle these situations can make all the difference in turning unhappy diners into loyal patrons.

The key? Know what makes them tick and have a game plan ready. So let’s roll up our sleeves and get down to business because managing these tricky interactions doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems.

Understanding Different Types of Difficult Customers in Restaurant Delivery

Dealing with customers is one of the most stressful jobs that almost all employees in the restaurant industry have to go through. The stress of dealing with rude customers is one of the main reasons that contributes to employee turnover. What’s worse, as the uncertainty and fear of the pandemic bled over to people’s daily lives, the brunt of it was felt by restaurant employees.

Naturally, the feeling of being ticked off isn’t just a customer thing. Of the nearly 500 deliverers we surveyed, topping the list are weak tips, food not being ready at the restaurant, and lack of communication with customers. To remedy this, many operators are scaling back delivery services and menus, so as not to overwhelm the kitchen and create a negative experience for both the dine-in and delivery customers.

Identifying the Rude Customer

We’ve all encountered them – the difficult customer who seems to find fault with everything. They complain about the food, the service, the prices, you name it. Rude customers can be incredibly frustrating to deal with, but it’s important to remember that their behavior is not a reflection on you or the restaurant. 

Be prepared to handle legitimate complaints too. Sometimes you may need to be persistent to work things out, but keeping customers is in everyone’s interest. Teamwork between the restaurant and the RDS is key.

Some telltale signs of a rude customer include interrupting, using offensive language, making unreasonable demands, and refusing to listen to explanations or apologies. The key is to remain calm, professional, and empathetic, even in the face of their rudeness.

Dealing with the Impatient Customer

In the fast-paced world of food delivery, impatient customers are all too common. They want their food now, and any delay is unacceptable in their eyes. This can be especially challenging when you’re dealing with factors outside your control, like traffic or kitchen backups.

The best way to handle an impatient customer is to communicate clearly and often. Give them a heads up that their order is on its way, offer a solid guess on when it’ll arrive, and if there’s any hiccup along the way, don’t forget to say sorry for the hold-up. If possible, offer a small discount or freebie to make up for the inconvenience. 

Handling the Chronic Complainer

No matter how hard you try, there will always be customers who find something to complain about. Maybe their food was cold, or their order was incorrect, or they just didn’t like the taste. Whatever the reason, dealing with a complaining customer requires tact and patience.

The first step is to listen to their complaint without interrupting or getting defensive. Apologize for the issue and offer to make it right, whether that means replacing the item, offering a refund, or providing a discount on their next order. The goal is to turn a negative experience into a positive one and retain their business. Of course, you have two customers to please, so don’t make promises the restaurant can’t keep. 

To sum it all up

When you’re zipping around delivering meals, bumping into a tough customer every now and then is just part of the gig. Whether it’s the rude customer, the impatient one, or the chronic complainer, each presents its own unique set of challenges. But here’s the deal: once you get a grip on recognizing different types of tough customers and have some go-to strategies ready, you can often flip those tricky situations into wins.

Staying cool, acting like a pro, and showing you really get where others are coming from makes all the difference in how your interactions play out. Listen to their concerns, apologize when necessary, and offer solutions to make things right.

So embrace the challenges, learn from each experience, and watch your restaurant delivery business thrive.