The first impression your guests receive is when they walk in and are greeted by your host. That initial connection is the basis for the rest of their dining experience.
That’s why it’s so important for your host to make your guests feel welcome. Not just with the initial greeting, but as the guests’ dining experience continues.
This guide presents 10 tips for your hosts and how they can make sure guests feel welcomed into your restaurant.
1. Friendly Communication
As soon as a guest enters, the host should greet them warmly with a smile. This is the initial rapport that is built with your customer. The host must be polite, asking about the diner’s needs and showing genuine concern.
Hosts should seat guests based on their preferences, if available. Also, assist elderly or disabled guests with care.
Read More: Choosing a Restaurant Business Structure
2. Direct Guests to Amenities
Make sure guests know how to find the bathroom, outdoor patio areas, the bar and any other landmarks in the restaurant. This will ensure that guests can get where they need to go without getting lost.
3. Help Clearing Tables
When hosts are not directly interacting with guests they should help prepare tables for the next guests who arrive. Having clean tables ready for guests reduces the sense of urgency in the restaurant and provides a more relaxed dining experience for guests.
4. Keep a Positive Attitude
No matter what happens, if you keep calm even the worst situation can improve. A host’s job is to ensure the best experience for guests. If food is made incorrectly or a guest has a complaint a calm and positive attitude from the host can make all the difference in customer service.
5. Quote Accurate Wait Times
To avoid guest frustration it’s important that the host quotes accurate wait times. Although long wait times can increase the chance of guest abandonment, so can quoting inaccurately short wait times. Guests depend on your host to be honest.
To help shorten wait times and provide more accurate quotes use a host stand management app like Rezku Waitlist The advanced AI algorithm calculates wait times and seats guests in the most optimal order.
6. Assign Seating Strategically
To reduce wait times and ensure that every guest’s reservation is honored the host must plan out the seating arrangements for the dining room ahead of time.
For help managing reservations, waitlist and planning guest seating strategically ahead of service, use Rezku Reservations for iPad.
7. Rotate Server Sections
Load balancing the servers is an important role of the host. When servers’ sections are properly rotated guests receive better service and more attention. Keeping track of it all in your head is hard, however.
To improve the effectiveness of your host’s server rotations use a robust host stand management platform like Rezku Prime. Add servers to sections and easily see how many guests each server is currently serving. Manually or automatically rotate parties between sections.
8. Distribute Menus
When seating guests the host should also supply menus. This gives your diners something productive to do while the server prepares to greet the guests. Hosts can also take drink orders at this time in case diners come in thirsty.
Read More: Choosing a Restaurant Business Structure
9. Refill Drinks When Necessary
Sometimes servers can’t get to everything when it’s busy. A good host will walk the dining room when there are not guests at the front and provide drink refills to guests.
Anticipate ahead of time the needs of guests and get what they need—be it extra napkins or additional condiments. This extra level of service will ensure diners feel well cared for.
10. Respond Kindly Even if you are Busy
The hardest time to respond promptly to a guest is when you are juggling multiple responsibilities. However, it is at this time that it is most important to respond promptly to guests.
It’s possible that they have been neglected by their busy server and have been waiting patiently before they flag you down. To keep guest service levels high be sure to always acknowledge your guests and respond kindly, even if it’s busy.
he demands placed on hosts are high, but it’s crucial that hosts maintain a high level of service and rapport with customers. Start with a warm greeting. Direct customers to the amenities so they don’t get lost in the restaurant.
Help clear tables to expedite seating when necessary. Keep a positive attitude despite the challenges and guests will appreciate it.
Quote accurate wait times to keep guests from becoming frustrated. Plan ahead and map out service by pre-assigning seating when possible. Keep server sections load-balanced to ensure that each guest receives adequate attention.
Help move service along by supplying guests with menus, drinks and refills when you can. And always respond with kindness and attention when a guest beckons you, even if it’s busy.
This guide to the top 10 tips for how hosts should welcome guests is part of the free restaurant management resource library provided by Rezku. Check out the entire library for more great tips.
To try out the advanced restaurant management apps mentioned in this article, contact Rezku today. Receive a free personal consultation with training and start your no obligation trial.