Lesson 1 of 7
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Welcome to the Restaurant!

Welcome to the Restaurant

The Role of the Host

We start our course with a lesson about the role of the host (or hostess) at a restaurant. This role is vital as the first point of contact for customers. Not every restaurant has a dedicated host, as many restaurants opt to instead split the role among servers. Some even forgo the role entirely by using online wait lists and other automated services. Nonetheless, it benefits a restaurant to have a dedicated host to welcome guests, take orders, and handle wait lists.

 

Lesson objectives:

  1. How to welcome guests. With different atmospheres and demographics, your approach will vary. Sometimes you may deal with a family with many children. Other times, it might be an elderly couple out on their anniversary date. The people and setting change how the server should react to guests.
  2. Waitlists and seating. Seating guests is not always as straightforward as picking a random table and walking the party there. It would help if you considered who is assigned to the table and, which tables are public-facing. You also need to demonstrate a high level of customer service when handling the waitlist.
  3. Special circumstances. You sometimes need special circumstances when handling large parties or parties with members who may need special arrangements. In some cases, you may need to carefully reserve some tables for special parties well in advance to accommodate everyone.
  4. Call-in and Delivery. Most employees will need to know how to answer phones and prepare take-out dishes. Some small details, like security seals, can ensure the safety of the customers and their food. 
  5. How to turn away misbehaving customers. A tricky scenario arises when someone deals with a belligerent or drunk patron. Sending them home or alerting the authorities requires a little patience, but we provide some tips on handling these scenarios.