5 most stupid hospitality questions


Making ends meet – as we all understand freelance journalists and students don’t have enough disposable income to own toilets made of gold – I have been subjected, while tending bars, to some pretty absurd, ridiculous, naive, ignorant and plain ol’ stupid questions.

Here is a look at the top 5

5.  Years ago at an undisclosed restaurant in Calgary (Earls), a colleague of mine pipped up, asking:

“Should I put straws in these beers?”

Yeah, if you’re serving beer to pensioners whose twilight years are fading in the rearview mirror or want to get punched, deservedly so, in the face.

4. A self-proclaimed wine connoisseur ambled confidently into the pub a while ago.

“May I have a pinot noir?” the lady asked without hesitation.

“Well of course you may,” I replied, while pouring her a glass of a wine mainly associated with the Burgundy region of France.

“I asked for a pinot noir, which should be a white wine, isn’t it a white wine?” she queried, with a tinge of uncertainty.

Now I am no wine connoisseur, sommelier or French linguist, but I thought wine drinkers, and anyone who hasn’t spent their lives as a recluse or under a rock for that matter, knew noir denotes black. Once again I was rendered speechless.

3. A lady sat down with her daughter for dinner and was interested in one of the many delightful dishes the Ship Inn has to offer.

“This looks good but could you tell me what is a linguine?”

For that question, no answer could suffice.

2. An 18-year-old Mormon, not that there is anything wrong with her religion, somehow, with her obvious lack of bar knowledge, obtained a job serving drinks as a waitress (the restaurant’s employee vetting process is another discussion entirely) asked:

“What do you put in a gin and tonic?”

I assumed she was joking until I realized she didn’t have a sense of humour. It was obvious she was serious. Gobsmacked, crestfallen and bewildered I answered,

“Well it’s made up of gin and, …… wait for it, tonic.”

For those who are still unaware of what constitutes a gin and tonic, the entire world feels sorry for you. Maybe Darwinism should make a comeback.

1. Somebody of questionable intellect recently walked into the Ship Inn on South bank and asked:

“Is this a bar?”

I thought to myself, ‘What gave you that impression, the six beer taps staring you in the face, or the wealth of bottled beers in the fridge, or the booze and beer paraphernalia strewn about, or the rows upon rows of spirits collecting dust.’

The list could go on, but I think you get the point.

If you have encountered stupid questions in the hospitality industry or otherwise, I would love to hear about them.



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