How to be a restaurant host or hostess
Ah, the joy of the food service industry. The annoying customers, the whiny waitstaff, the hovering manager...the crap that hosts & hostesses deal with on a daily basis should make them eligible for an award or something. This will hopefully help you to get through your hosting job alive.
Things You'll Need:
- Personality (you are dealing with the public...an angry host = angry customers)
- A decent memory (which server was sat last? you must be able to remember certain details)
- Ability to deal with problems that may suddenly arrive (ie : large parties, slow busboys, etc)
- 1You must be personable and inviting. It is your job to welcome/say goodbye to customers. You are the first and last person they will see, and you must leave them with a good impression. When a customer walks in, greet them cheerily with something along the lines of "Hello! Good afternoon and welcome to ___________. How many in your party?" Seat them as soon as possible (waiting makes them angry).
- 2Know your table rotation. The tables in the restaurant are numbered, and each server has his/her designated "section" of tables. It is your job to "rotate" through each server.
Rules of Table Rotations:
1. You should not seat the same server twice in a row. I can almost guarantee that another server will get on your case about this...not good.
2. If you give one server a 5,6,7+ top table then be sure to compensate the other servers by giving them several 2,3,4 top tables. **1 top tables do not count because they don't bring in a lot of tips for the waitstaff...do not count them in your table count.
3. If possible, keep track of how many table each server has received. This will help to minimize the number of seating mistakes.
4. Avoid asking customers where they would like to sit...they almost always choose a table that screws up the rotation.
- 3Dealing with co-workers:
1. Your manager- I have 3 different managers. 2 of them are understanding and flexible, and one is a complete a** My best advice is to avoid stirring up trouble with any of your managers. If they ask you to sweep the floor, then sweep the floor. If the ask you to bus, then bus. End of story.
2. The waitstaff- Bottom line...waiters and waitresses are petty and whiny. They will complain about the number of tables they get and they will constantly compare themselves to the other waiters. I suggest trying to befriend as many waiters as possible to avoid seating complaints. If they get on your case, listen to what they're griping about and try to be understanding to them...they deal with the same annoying customers as you. Say something non-confrontational like "You do your job and I'll do mine. I'll get you more tables if I can..." If they really get on your case, talk to your manager.
3. Busboys- Busboys are slow...they never clean the tables well...they always leave crumbs. My best advice is to keep a wet rag at the host stand so that you can wipe off any excess crumbs left by them before seating a party.
Tips & Warnings
- You should expect to be hit on. People often come into restaurants (especially ones with bars) to pick up dates. If you do get hit on, smile, laugh and brush it off with a professional questions like "Is there anything I can help you with?"
- Be ready for anything. Plan beforehand where you can seat large parties/noisy children/etc
- Keep your host stand supplied with: children's menus, crayons, toothpicks, mints, etc
- If you have any questions feel free to ask a server, another host, a busboy, or your manager...someone is bound to know the answer!
- 9/10 times customers will want a booth...seat them there for maximum happiness :]]
- Do not gossip about your co-workers! I made the mistake of doing this and caught hell from my manager