Search This Blog

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Every place has it's regulars. They prop up trade when the times are harsh and always avoid that difficult piece of mental arithmatic which allows you to estimate exactly how much of the owners new BMW you've paid for over the years. At £2 a drink, 5 drinks a night for 5 nights a week for 5 years that's thirteen thousand pounds!

Now you may see why regulars are valued customers and often have certain priviledges extended to them that A.N. Other punter will not. When you've been in a place longer than all but the bar taps you almost expect certain priviledges. Like being able to use the nearby disabled toilet instead of the trek up two flights to the gents. Like an excepmtion to not being hassled to flee out the door at the stroke of time and being left behind as the stools go up.

These small courtesies are oft extended to valued regulars though this can raise a problem. Joe Punter sees regular being left quietly tending their near finished beverage and rightly queries why he can't be left. Similarly the amazingly swift delivery of another perfectly pulled pint lands next to the hand holding the precise change while the massed hordes of the mongol army queues at the bar leaves a miffed look on many irregular faces.

It's often just a case of illustrating to the new and confused punter that despite the evidence of his own eyes the venue/room is being cleared and that he too must join the drinkless, huddled masses exterior to here. Most folk accept the inequity and pass quietly. Others rail against the injustice and pass less quietly though often more swiftly, damply and horizontally.

On occasion though one is forced to ask favours of your regulars. Often these are petty trivialities such as, 'W ould you mind moving out of here as there's a private function moving in?', or 'I know you don't usually sit here but could you not use the cellar doorhandle as your coathook?'
The regular may be nice and recognise the need to stay friendly or posses enough insight into the running of a place to know that they should comply. Unfortunately, kust because they're a regular doesn't mean they're either friendly or knowledgeable. Then one risks losing a very financially rewarding customer for the sake of a triviality.

Kid gloves must be worn. Unfortunately my hands don't fit into kid's gloves, they barely fit into adult gloves and I have to buy my disposables in silly sizes on special order. These times it's often best to get either a manager so senior they think they might be able to remember the original licencees who gave the regular their own engraved stool or the sweetest looking newest member of staff to politely seduce them into complying. Either trick works and keeps the new BMW's coming. If only doormen got paid on comission!

No comments: