Who is the customer?
It is important to distinguish between customers and users, as ITIL does. Confusing the two leads to problems.
We often use retail as an analogy for IT, "serving the customers". But retail is quite different; the user is the paying customer. IT is more often like government services: the paying customer is distinct from the user, and has different measures of success of the service.
ITIL is careful to distinguish between customer (who pays) and user (who consumes). This is why restaurant and hotel analogies fail/mislead
I've had this discussion with conference organising committees in the past: the real customers are the sponsors and exhibitors. Attendees are part of the product, the transaction.
I've seen it lately in airports: the real customers are the airlines and franchisees. Passengers are the transaction. Oh sure they need to make the experience pleasant, but why are there so few sitting areas, so unattractive, with no power outlets? Because they want you sitting in restarurants or walking around the shops.
There are plenty of examples in IT where the paying customer cares little about the standard of service to the end user, at least compared to how much the end user cares about the standard of service to the end user. Often we want to do our best for the users but the customer simply isn't paying for it. Even if the users NEED it to perform their roles. Take for example a hospital that refuses to pay for 24x7 IT service desk (I know two).
Overservicing the users is a recipe for going broke. It feels good but it blows the budget. We can only do as much as the customer agrees to fund. When Operations talks to the users every day and seldom to the customers it's easy to forget what the constraints are.
If I see another analogy comparing IT services to a restaurant I'm going to throw up. The only valid analogy would be a Soviet state food hall, where the user isn't paying for the meal. And we can imagine what those meals were like. Explains a lot doesn't it?
So always check: who is the customer? Who pays the piper?