THE customer is always right. If only that were true.

It’s Christmas Day, and for many of us a visit to the local hostelry is part of the festive tradition – pop along for a lunchtime pint before the Christmas dinner and the Queen’s Speech……perfect!

We pub-goers know what annoys us – slow service, lousy beer, and quiz cheats perhaps.

But what really gets under the skin of landlords? We asked some landlords to let rip, vent their spleen and get their biggest bugbears off their chest.

Have you ever wondered why you struggle to get served? Maybe you’re breaching the pub commandments….

Reading Chronicle:

1 – Don’t wave your money around or put it on the bar. The latter is especially a no-no if the bar’s wet! “This is the real one for me,” said one manager. “Don’t put your money on the bar when I’m standing with my hand out!” Another added: “Customers who believe waving money at you will get them served quicker are annoying! – There are more but I could go on for hours!”

2 – Don’t ask for a beer that’s not there. “The most annoying thing is the customer that looks at all the pumps on the bar,asks what ales you have on sale then when you’ve finished telling them still asks for a pint of something you don’t sell!,” said one infuriated landlord.

Reading Chronicle:

3 – Don’t try to be the juke box. “I would say listening to things on mobiles or tablets is the most annoying thing – or anything that makes other customers’ drinking experience a poor one,” said one landlord. “Playing loud YouTube stuff to irritate customers,” echoed another.

Reading Chronicle:

4 – Don’t tear up the beer mats! One landlady called serial tearers “pretty annoying”. Another wasn’t quite so polite.

Reading Chronicle:

5 – Don’t treat the public house like a public toilet. The first landlord to reply to our poll replied: “Sneaking or even brazenly striding in to use the toilets without being polite enough to ask. If they ask it’s absolutely fine but it’s amazing how many people think a pub is a public loo.” Another added: “Using toilets without buying a drink or asking.”

Reading Chronicle:

6 – Don’t order the Guinness last. Remember those old Guinness adverts? “Good things come to those who wait”. They had that slogan for a reason – it’s a slow drink. As one landlord says: “A customer comes in and says ‘can I have six lagers, six bitters and two glasses of wine?’ You crack on serve them real quick, and the place is packed. ‘Anything else?’ you ask. ‘Oh yeah – a Guinness!!”

Reading Chronicle:

7 – Don’t ignore house rules. If there’s a “no swearing” sign – don’t swear! One landlord said: “You ask people to refrain but some respond with ‘Why, it’s a pub’. One asked me how he could change the rule. I said ‘buy the pub’ – that shut him up!”

Reading Chronicle:

8 – Don’t order one drink at a time – or order reealllllllly slowly. That was the simple gripe from one licensee. “I can remember more than one thing at a time,” he cried. Another said: “What’s the most annoying thing customers do? Order one drink at a time especially when it’s a large round, then wander off in middle of ordering to continue a conversation.”

Reading Chronicle:

9 – Don’t complain if a guest beer runs out. The clue’s in the name – ‘guest beer’. If it were always on, it wouldn’t be a guest, would it?

Reading Chronicle:

10 – Don’t be rude! Not much irritates one city-centre landlord, except: “Customers who don’t say please and thank you.”

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11 – Don’t expect the landlord to be psychic. “What annoys me? The customer that just says ‘surprise me’ when asked what they’d like,” replied one landlord.

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12 – Don’t assume you know better than the landlord! “Don’t hold your pint up to the light – I know how to keep beer!” said one landlord. What’s annoying? “Self -appointed experts on how to run a pub – Grrr!” added another.

Reading Chronicle:

13 – Don’t be a freeloader! “People who want a taster of every ale and then end up just ordering a half!” was a recurring complaint from our panel.

  • Do you work in a pub? What most annoys you? Share your gripes below…