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Dealing with Hangry Guests

Who invited them to the party?

Preparing food for your guest includes the opportunity to satiate a basic human need of hunger. Yes, humans come into your restaurant hungry which is a good thing because they want your food.  However, being hungry has some drawbacks, it can add to their sense of urgency and heighten their awareness of imperfections. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary now includes the word hangry (Hungry + Angry) to describe this scenario (Hangry – Definition). If you are in the restaurant business, you are going to deal with hangry folks on the daily which makes our job that much more difficult.

Along with hanger, some guests are just jerks, and unfortunately, that is why you need to be on point as soon as a guest enters your restaurant. From the host stand, to menu design being easy to navigate, to the server greeting a table, to that first bite of food; are all invaluable experiences that need to be honed by your staff. One perceived eye roll from a host, to a complicated menu, to a delayed greeting by a busy server, to an unsavory first bite can absolutely destroy someone’s experience because the guest is in an altered state of hanger. They are literally looking for an opportunity to continue being hangry and we need to do everything in our power to keep these loonies from writing a scathing review over one innocent mistake.

The good news is, if done correctly, we can replace those feelings of hanger with warmth and a sense of accomplishment. When we eat, our minds release pleasure chemicals rewarding us for eating (CNN – Eating Feels Good). That is an amazing opportunity we as restaurants can appreciate! Taking a diner from hangry to satisfied is very helpful for keeping great word of mouth advertising. We all have a friend, family member or know ourselves can be the worst people in the world to be with until they eat something. If your restaurant is consistently turning hanger to joyful conversation you are doing things right! Understanding that your guests are coming to your restaurant to fill more than just their pie holes but to put them in the right mindset to be a pleasant human for all to enjoy again is imperative.

A great restaurant works for every guest to have the same outcome, they turn emptied stomach humans into satisfied chatty guests who will sing our praises whenever someone asks about their experience. Work with us at “Your Restaurant Helper” to ensure that hospitality is the most essential life skill for your employees. This will help ease your guests’ angst through their dining experience.  Know that there are tough cookies that are looking for complaints to get a free dessert; but mostly our repeat diners thoroughly enjoy our restaurant. Hanger is a temporary feeling that can be fixed with the right mixture of hospitality and delicious food. Jerks are jerks but they can leave as full and satisfied jerks. This is a tough business but with care, attention and that special ingredient know as hospitality, our happy and chatty guests will outnumber any poor press from unhappy humans.


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