Bring Back National Service!

An insight into the daily battle between the service industry and its customers.


Aimie Neighbour
Creative Strategist

Having worked in the hospitality and customer service industry for my entire adult life, I have come to the conclusion that some customers need to learn how to behave (and I’m confident that I’m not the only one who feels this way)!  Don’t get me wrong, the majority of people are well-behaved, considerate or even delightful but then there are the droves of finger-clickers, serial complainers, disorderlies and worst of all – the ‘know-it-all’s!

There is a solution to this problem – bring back National Service!  Brought in to aid Britain during the First and Second World Wars, National Service was compulsory at one point for all men aged 18-49 and some women.   Thankfully we are living in a time of relative peace (in the UK) however there are battles going on daily between the service industry and their customers.


Oh how we hate it when the bar is 5 deep and there’s a guy waving a £20 note in your face –

“It’s quite obvious you’d like to order Sir, that twenty isn’t going to make it happen any faster!”

or when someone orders a well-done 500g T-Bone steak and can’t understand why it isn’t ready in 15 minutes, or when a group of 20 people walk into a restaurant at 8pm on a Saturday night without a reservation and can’t understand why you don’t have a table for them, or when check in is at 2pm, the customer arrives at 11.45am and can’t understand why the room isn’t ready, or… the list could go on and on.

The only conclusion I can come to is to bring back National Service, but this time for the service industry!  Even as little as a 6 – 8 week stint at a bar, hotel, café, kitchen or restaurant could open the eyes and the mind of ‘Joe Bloggs’ so next time he visits a busy pub with a group of mates he decides what he and his friends want to order before they get to the bar! Can you imagine it?  No more ‘drip ordering’, what an exciting concept!  Or when a steak is ordered medium, it’s cooked medium, the customer thinks it looks medium-rare, they send it back to the kitchen to be put back on the grill for another minute, they accept the steak back and imagine this… they don’t tell you how they cook steak at home all of the time and they used to be a chef and they’re sister’s friend’s cousin owns the best steakhouse in the world.  The customer understands because they know what goes on behind the scenes; they get how hard it is.

On the flip side, this would mean that the industry would have to up it’s game – mediocrity would no longer be acceptable because we’d all know how it’s supposed to work.  Better customers, better service – an all round win-win situation.


Here at Ignite, we’re experts in hospitality – we understand the hard work and service the industry demands, which is why our first and foremost core value is that we’re collaborative.  We’re collaborative when working with our clients, we understand what they need in order to get them the best results.  National Service is quite an extreme approach, but I guess the underlying message here is how we achieve more when we work together and understand one another.

To find out how you can collaborate with Ignite to get the best for your hospitality business, please get in touch.

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