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Croatian waitstaff reveal what irritates them most with guests

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Waiter serving guests in Croatia

In Croatia’s bustling hospitality industry, workers are facing a common challenge as the tourist season gets into full swing: dealing with rude and demanding guests.

As the summer tourist season heats up, daily Večernji list revealed some of the nation’s bartenders and waitstaff’s frustrations with disrespectful behaviour that makes their jobs even more demanding despite recent wage increases.

Whether working in the capital Zagreb, or on the coast in quiet family cafés or bustling nightclubs, Croatian hospitality workers are unanimous: the most difficult part of their job is dealing with rude guests.

Bartenders and waitstaff frequently encounter four particularly aggravating phrases: “Give me my usual,” “Come here, girl/boy,” “I know the owner,” and “I see you brought me the wrong thing.”

These expressions, heard often during the busy tourist season, are especially frustrating. 

Despite an increase in the starting wage for hospitality workers, with salaries now ranging from €1,100 to €1,300, and up to €2,000 for chefs, finding and retaining good staff remains challenging.

A young waitress from Kvarner explained to Večernji list that customers often act like they own the café, demanding to speak to the manager if their coffee is delayed, oblivious to the busy environment and the fact that the manager is fully aware of the situation.

coffee culture cafe in croatia


She recounts how she handles such conversations at least five times a day.

A waiter from Senj adds that dealing with rude customers is more challenging than receiving small tips or unusual requests.

This year, even tips are taxed, making the job even more demanding. He highlights the frustration of hearing customers insist on “their usual” orders, which, if slightly altered in the rush, result in complaints.

A waitress in Zagreb recalls a regular customer who always demands “his usual”—an espresso with a drop of milk, mineral water, and sweetener—and never fails to comment if she makes the slightest mistake.

She also mentions the irritation of customers snapping their fingers, whistling, or calling out “come here, girl.” (“dođi mala”).

Waitress in Croatian cafe

Rude customers are a pet peeve

A bartender in a Split nightclub shares his annoyance with customers who whistle and expect immediate service, disregarding other guests.

In addition to rude behaviour, other aggravating habits include not leaving tips, getting upset when items are unavailable, and rearranging tables and chairs.

Despite these challenges, Croatian hospitality workers remain dedicated to providing good service, hoping for more respectful treatment from their customers.


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