Are there ever circumstances where it is okay to “fire” a customer?


I know, I know this might sound crazy, but hear me out. We all want as many customers as possible and want them to spend their money with us as often as possible. But not all customers are created equal.

Let me say that again louder…


And some, quite frankly, can be more trouble than they’re worth. It can be tricky to find a balance between welcoming every customer who comes through your door and maintaining the integrity of your business by only keeping those who meet certain standards.

But what about your worst customers? Do you need to or want to continue to serve them? Are they worth it?

You know the ones I’m talking about. Hey, I owned restaurants for 24 years. I get it…. The coupon cutters, the ones that always complain, the extra needy ones, the ones that sit for hours after their bill is paid, the “bread and water” customers. Oh, I could go on forever.

So What Does It Mean To ‘Fire’ A Customer?

I’m not suggesting that the next time “Mr. Horrible Customer” walks in your door, you yell, “You’re Fired,” and refuse them service (although that would be fun.) But if you have taken the time to build a customer list or have a rewards program that they are part of, it simply means removing them from all communication. You don’t need to invite them back. Stop marketing to them.

It’s a HUGE benefit to build a customer list and use it to get your existing customers to return and spend more, increasing their customer lifetime value. People have routines; unless you insert yourself into their lives and give them frequent communication, they will likely forget about your business.

Words to live by: People lead busy lives, and without constant reminders, your business will quickly fall from their radar screen, no matter how much they like you.

But what do you do when that connection starts to sour? Like that in-law that comes over, eats all your food, falls asleep on your couch, never offers to pay, and stays weeks longer than anticipated. But I digress. The flip side benefit of creating your list is that you can remove people and eliminate yourself from their routines.

It can be daunting to consider ending a customer relationship, but sometimes it’s necessary with a customer who has become too difficult, unprofitable, or incompatible with your business goals. Simply by stopping contact with them, they will slowly disappear. You never have to tell them; they never need to know action was taken.

This may not mean they stop entirely coming, but they will fade over time. When a customer’s behavior harms your business or team morale, it may be time to let them go. The customer is not always right. Let me repeat this one too:


Your business and your team deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, just like any other professional relationship.

If you need a customer list built from scratch, from 0, click the button below and jump on a One on One Marketing Planning Session with a DFY Marketing Expert. We’ll show you exactly how we can build you a list of new and your best customers with no work on your part.

And how to extract the most sales without giving the house away from that list.

Warning Signs That A Customer Is No Longer Of Value To You.

Recognizing the right time to let go of a customer can be challenging. One of the warning signs that a customer may no longer be of value to you is when they continuously demand discounts or want you to lower your prices.

Another warning sign is when a customer becomes verbally abusive to your staff or difficult to serve. If a customer constantly makes unreasonable demands, always complains, or posts negative online comments, it may be time to part ways.

In the restaurant world, some couponers come for the free deal and a glass of water -then, bye-bye. These types of customers do not benefit your business in the long run and COST you money.

Eliminating them frees up resources, shows your staff that you support and value them, saves time and money on unprofitable marketing, and ultimately leads to a healthier and more profitable business.

How An Existing Customer List Benefits Your Business In The Long Run.

Every business thrives on an existing customer list because it creates a stable revenue stream. Loyal customers are not just repeat customers but advocates for the business. They are more likely to refer their friends and family, give positive reviews and drive sales.

Creating a loyal customer list takes time and effort to build trust and nurture relationships. It involves providing excellent customer service, personalized experiences, and consistently delivering quality products.
The long-term benefits of a loyal customer list are invaluable. It reduces marketing costs, increases revenue, and provides a sense of security for your business. It provides valuable data so that you know your customer’s lifetime value. It allows you to invest resources into other areas of growth and development.

With a list, you can focus your marketing expenditure on the people that spend the most with you and encourage higher spending from others. Ultimately, building a loyal customer base is essential for the success and sustainability of any business.

And the cleaner you keep your list of valuable, happy, engaged customers, the more effective your marketing and the higher your retention rate.

The money is in the list; no matter what industry you are in, it’s important to know when and how to effectively ‘fire’ the customers that no longer serve your business. This means your list gives you a higher return on your marketing dollars. But you can only do that if you know who they are and can stop marketing to them.

Creating a loyal customer list is the secret to long-term success, and using it to build strong relationships with customers is essential to maximize profits while minimizing costs. Taking the necessary steps to create the right customer base will ensure you are one step closer to achieving your business goals.

Don’t have a list of your best customers?

Click the button below to schedule a FREE One On One Marketing, Build A List, Get Customers, and Make Sales Now meeting with a DFY Marketing Expert.

A $297 Value FREE because we love you. If you’re not on our list, we would greatly appreciate it if you clicked the subscribe button at the top so we can continue to show you how much we appreciate you and become part of the DFY family.

Michael Thibault

Known as “The Done For You Marketing Guy for Restaurants.” International Speaker on Restaurant Marketing. Published contributing author of 4 Marketing Books. Industry expert on Google Searches and Review Sites. Recovering Independent Restaurant Owner and Caterer of over 21 years. And, all-around good guy.