Internet Praises Warning Sign Against Rude Customers: 'Respect Our Staff'

A sign outside a restaurant has left internet users furious after it revealed how the food outlet's staff deal with abuse from customers.

Shared on Reddit on Wednesday, Paul, who is from Butler County, Pennsylvania, posted the picture on the popular forum r/Damnthatsintersting where it now has more than 9,600 upvotes and hundreds of comments.

With the caption "Seen outside my local Dairy Queen," the picture shows a sign that reads: "Please respect our Staff. For many of them, this is their first job. They are someone's child. Do not be rude to them. Thank you to those that are respectful and patient! P.S. It is sad that we have to post this but some people need reminded."

Sign asks customers for respect
A picture of the sign seen outside a restaurant asking customers to be kind to employees. The sign has been praised online. Jorsonner/Reddit

Paul told Newsweek: "When I saw this sign I was sad because I remember a lot of my friends in high school worked there and at the supermarkets in the area and they always complained about customers."

A 2018 study investigated how customer treatment of employees can impact workers. The study noted that 98 percent of employees report experiencing incivility at work, with around 50 percent saying that these experiences happen at least once a week.

Using a survey questionnaire whereby participants answered questions about experiences with customer interaction at work, researchers invited participants who were working or had worked at a full-service restaurant in the United States as frontline employees.

After analyzing the data, the study found that customer incivility was positively related to both employee burnout and emotional job demands. This indicates that employees who experience rudeness and hostility from customers are more likely to feel burnout and struggle with work.

Interestingly, employees experiencing burnout were also more likely to act with incivility toward customers, causing upset for all involved.

Newsweek has reached out to Dairy Queen for comment.

Reddit users were shocked by the note and took to the comments to share their thoughts.

"Being rude to the person that handles your food is a really dumb thing to do anyway," said one commenter.

While another Reddit user wrote: "They should have the right to refuse service to rude people."

One commenter shared their own experience and said: "My first job was at Dairy Queen 26 years ago. Even back then it was not uncommon to be treated like dirt. It's fairly common in the food service industry period, which is a shame. What I remember is that often times it was by older people, not who you'd really expect. You make a guy's banana split cosmetically not exactly to his liking and next thing you know he's telling you what a disgrace you are. It was a learning experience for sure."

"For all the fast-food workers reading this, no matter what, you're awesome, and you are greatly appreciated," wrote another Redditor. "It doesn't matter your age, gender, or race. You are all awesome."