How to be a Good Fine Dining Restaurant Male Host or Female Hostess

How to be a Good Fine Dining Restaurant Male Host or Female Hostess

1. Know what is going on at all times. You really have to know the sections, be aware and keep your eyes open so that you can measure the pace, flow and rhythm of the restaurant. The manager will assist you but you are going to have to alert bussers to clear tables or keep an eye out for steps of service finishers like entrees being cleared or checks dropping. This usually means people are leaving.

The quicker tables can be reset the more turnover and more money. You have to be miniature managers and you are the first thing people usually see, so greet and acknowledge everyone casually, and be pro-active in getting information as to how many people are in each guest’s party and try to seat them as soon as possible.

You have to be aware of where tables are in their steps of service in the various sections.

If you see that people are finishing up, suggest the waiter that maybe they’re ready for a table clear. If you see problems before they may be about to occur, throw some info your manager’s way. Give them the heads up so small fires can be put out before any potential large ones.

You really have the ability to quarterback the entire restaurant.

Multi Tasking without Losing Sight is Key to Being a Great Host or Hostess

how to be a great restaurant host or fine dining hostess2. Ability to multi-task while still devoting meaningful contact with each incoming guest.

Keeping the front area as clear or at least as orderly and good vibe-ey as possible. An organized mess where the hosts and hostesses know what’s going on is not a problem.

Suggesting the bar as an option for waiting for their table will increase restaurant and bar sales, while clearing the lobby. Directing people to the patio outside if there is one to wait to be called is another option.

It’s very important to know your software for reservations and seating backwards and forward.

You must greet every guest that walks into the restaurant. Always be the first to say hello. If someone is eating there or eating alone, don’t say “Just you?” when trying to figure out how many people are in their party. It’s very off-putting. Simply ask “how many in your party today?” and if they say “just me” or “1” “by myself” then ask if they have a preference on seating.

Too often hostesses in restaurants have done that to me and I usually never go back to a place like that. And I tip quite well and eat and drink a lot.

3. Ability to (if your restaurant allows it if no one is there to answer phones for making reservations and being the face/switchboard operator for the restaurant) stand outside the restaurant and bring in business, where ever possible from foot traffic and passersby.

The ability to strike up conversations with strangers, make funny comments or just say hello and greet people out of the goodness of your heart and just being alive, trying to have fun- can and will bring people in the door.

People are always looking for a place to eat and drink, they just need an excuse. Even if they say no, you have successfully given them a future option. This means more work and more hours for you, as well as the honing of a very valuable business and life skill.

4. Try not to have favorites or play favorites with servers. Always consider the best option for the guest and the restaurant. Many servers will come over and shmooze and try to talk sweet nothings in your ear to encourage you to give them the big party that’s coming, or double seat them while some servers may not even have a table yet… anyway try to be fair and keep things in mind. Everyone needs to work. Some are better at certain things than others.

5. Don’t be a Host/Hostess forever. In the long run a host/hostess is just a bus boy or food runner that doesn’t have to get their hands dirty. Set your sights on more money constantly. You should be thinking about making a move to waiter or server after some time succeeding as a host/hostess. It can be too easy to just stay a hostess because you’re afraid of dropping drinks or food, or just don’t want to work that much or have more responsibility.

Last Tip for Great Hostesses and Hosts: Just Get Out

 
And if you’re just a really great host/hostess that has zero interest in being around food directly or bartending, then maybe you need to go work at some high end club and wear one of those little things in your ears and wear a fancy suit or blazer. Or maybe you need to get into event planning or direct marketing. Think of any lateral moves you could make to apply your skills as a host/hostess to another career.

video training for making more tips for waiters bartenders and restaurant servers

Or else just move up in your restaurant.

Check out my Waiting Tables Video Masterclass to learn how to be a great waiter, server or bartender and make more money.

How Restaurant GMs and Managers Can Retain Their Best Wait Staff

How to be a great fine dining or upscale casual general manager or ownerAny restaurant manager worth their salt is going to read this and have some pondering to do.

Or not.

If you’re a stellar fine dining or upscale casual general manager or restaurant owner and you’re already doing record sales, have a backlog of return guests, and a super-happy restaurant staff (especially waitstaff), then this is not for you.

The point is, it is a rare thing to have a super-happy restaurant staff where everyone is satisfied with how things are going all the time.

I say this as a waiter of 4 years experience (before retiring for self-employment, crediting a lot of my own business knowledge from working in restaurants) who got to work for several different companies in different cities to include Houston, TX and heavily in Los Angeles, CA.

It is my goal to provide a few tips from the ground level of how restaurant managers can decrease waiter/server/bartender turnover and increase retention of their best employees.

So let’s get started.

Tips to Retain Your Very Best Restaurant Waiters, Servers, and Bartenders

 
1. Don’t play favorites with your wait or bar staff. I know many GMs at restaurants have a tendency to turn a blind eye to all sins committed by their hottest, youngest, and sexiest servers and bartenders.

Whether it’s a male general manager ogling that hot blond with big boobs whose cleavage gives the Grand Canyon a run for its money, to the female manager who cannot seem to stop being smitten by the jerk bartender with biceps and a dickhead attitude- you’re going to have to think with the upstairs head when making scheduling and disciplinary decisions.

Action Step: Have set criteria on how people get rewarded and punished. Don’t overlook your less flashy staff because they may very well be your most reliable and dependable, and least likely to lose your restaurant money during crunch time. Also look for cliques that develop among your staff and keep an eye out on if they are up to no good either individually or as a small group. These toxic employees may very well be encouraging your best staff to leave if they get away with their nonsense long enough.

2. Schedule the personnel who consistently make the highest sales and sales volume on a consistent basis. Creating an environment in which positive performance is regularly rewarded and acknowledged will make all servers and bartenders feel not only that their success lies in their own hands, but that upward mobility within the restaurant is a possibility.

That does not mean it has to be cutthroat, but give more focus on results and guest satisfaction when it comes to counting up the till at the end of the night than just how you feel about certain servers.

Action Step: Encourage servers to spend more time spieling the features and looking for opportunities to sell that 2nd glass of wine, while regularly reminding servers that the best sections and shifts will go to the top sales performers. Regularly hold contests where the sales winners receive Amazon Gift Cards. Give out a free bottle of the featured wine to the server who sells the most in a night or even a month.

3. Make personal care and human happiness a long-term goal for your staff, and prove it to them. Many-time championship winning NBA coach Phil Jackson once brought in a Yogi to have the entire Chicago Bulls professional basketball team sit around and meditate. Meditation is good for lowering blood pressure (the NBA and restaurant work are stressful) and increasing well-being.

Action Step: For a restaurant manager, it is a drop in the bucket to bring in a meditation expert to lead a 10 – 15 minute meditation session during the pre-shift meeting. If a server or waiter makes fun of the process, send them out of the room or send them home. If someone raises religious objections, tell them it’s ok to pray to God as well.

Conclusion on How Restaurant GMs and Owners Can Keep Their Best Employees

 
Before I left the service industry and hospitality space, I worked in every concept of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group which is now a publicly traded company on the stock exchange, and got to practically open one of their Del Frisco’s Grills at the heart of the Santa Monica Pier in West LA.

I have seen it all. Unexpected restaurant closings (McCormick and Schmicks, Burbank CA). Restaurant declines (Zengo, Santa Monica CA). Top examples of great restaurants with the most professional and exceptional waitstaff (Del Friscos Double Eagle at the Galleria in Houston, TX). Getting fired from a Gordon Ramsay restaurant which later closed down in a class-action suit for not paying its employees (The Fat Cow, The Grove in Los Angeles, CA).

But I’m sure you’ve seen even more than me as a restaurant manager. That’s why this blog post is not meant to be definitive, but rather just to offer up some more ideas to make your life, and the life of your wait and bar staff, easier.

Good luck out there 🙂

-Patrick

creator of the Waiting Tables Video Masterclass, an excellent resource for servers, bartenders, and restaurant managers alike
 

How Waiters, Servers and Bartenders Can Get Better Shifts + Great Side Hustles for Hospitality Workers

How Can Waiters and Servers Get Better Shifts?

 

1. Understand your managers’ personalities, moods, attitudes, NEEDS and history. #1 Concern should be how much are you selling. Make being a sales leader one of your goals as a server and constantly look for ways to sell more and higher priced items on the menu.

How to Get More Shifts, a Better Schedule and Great Side Jobs for Waiters and BartendersThis is why spieling the features is important to get guests in the food mood. As for your managers… Get to know them if they will let you. Pretend they are your friend and treat them as one.

2. Offer to take other people’s worst shifts if you really need the money, but ideally shoot for shifts that are still some type of good deal for you. Then you can ask to take one of their weekend shifts later and make it sound like you’re doing them a favor giving them a weekend night off. Also, you could later ask for them to switch a weekend night shift for one of your day shifts or lesser earning shifts.

3. Be a team player at work during the busiest times. People will remember you helping them unconsciously, and then you can start advertising that you will pick up some of their weekend night shifts (or better shifts) to give them a break to let them enjoy the weekend.

4. Know your customers’ drink orders when they come in (repeat guests). Your guest will eventually start talking about you with your manager when your manager comes around. Being in demand and making guests comfortable is how restaurants get people drunk, and that’s where they make their money.

5. Maximize the value of your time.

a. If you are in a terrible situation, no amount of politicking will advance your interests. Sometimes it’s best to move on and find a new restaurant. Knowing the location and typical customer influx during certain hours and days will provide you with the information how and why the money flows through the restaurant, and will help you weigh your pros and cons before making a jump to another job.

b. Come up with a side hustle during the day.

We hope you enjoyed:

How Waiters, Servers and Bartenders Can Get More Shifts, a Better Schedule and Side Gigs for More Money

Tips for Making More Tips Waiting, Serving or Bartending – SE Asia Edition

Today’s Make More Cash Money Tips Key to Victory:

 

* The guest’s space is sacred like the air space over an airport.

make more tips serving or bartending

7 Great Ideas for Waiters and Bartenders to Make More Tips

 

—–> Do not place things down on the table and push or bump into the guest, food, plates, or say excuse me if you absolutely have to

—–> Never set something down near your guest with your elbow facing your guest, you should always set things down with your arm curving/bending away from them.

—–> During order taking, do not stand and hover over the guest. Drop menus, advise guest on “specials” (features), either bring water or ask if they’d like something to drink to start out with, and then go stand away from them, occasionally glancing to see when they are ready to order.

—–> When it’s time to pay, drop the check or bill and step back a few feet, don’t wait for them to put the money into the check presenter. When you drop the check back off with change, always leave an amount of change (if cash) that has easily tippable amounts, not a large bill and a few ones.

—–> Depending on your restaurant’s procedures, bring all the food out at once, and not plate by plate. The kitchen should be cooking things all at once anyway.

—–> Try not to directly hand the guest anything. If you have to hand the guest something, make sure you hand things to them respectfully. No creepy hover hands left behind. No handing things to people at eye level coming straight in at their face. Gently and respectfully, if at all.

Also read: positive nonverbal communication techniques

—–> Always be the first to say hello and thank you as the guest is leaving. Always simulate thinking “what does the guest need right now” without asking them. Drink refills without having to be asked goes a long way when it’s tip time.

Serving and Bartending Tips Learned in South East Asia, of All Places

 

For a complete video course on how to make more tips for restaurant servers, bartenders, or anyone with a tip jar, check out the video masterclass for serving and making tips on this site.

Great Day Jobs for Waiters, Servers and Bartenders

waiters can make more money by walking dogsOne of the most common problems waiters and bartenders face and are often vocal about, is the fact they aren’t getting enough hours at work. Every single restaurant and catering job I ever worked brought on an onslaught of gossip and everyday chit chat where employees complained that they weren’t getting enough good shifts at work, or weren’t getting enough shifts at all.

It’s hard to blame the restaurant or your manager for this. It’s much easier to blame random circumstance or the economy for lack of revenue in restaurants, and these days, the average middle class consumer which the typical server/bartender depends upon for tip revenue and therefore their paycheck, is as tapped out financially as the waiter hoping and praying they’ll walk through their establishment’s door and sit in their section.

How to Make More Money as a Server or Bartender

Sure, you could attempt to go get another restaurant gig, or an office job (boring!!!!) like I did when I was actively serving in the restaurant business, or “the industry”, as many like to refer to it. Then, you’ll have 2 similar jobs with likely similar schedules competing for your time- a great way to stress yourself out and make you under-perform at all your jobs collectively.

Instead of spreading yourself thin, you could use the fact that as a waiter, server or bartender, you have a somewhat “odd” schedule, meaning that while most people are getting off of their 9-to-5 job, you’re just now going into work.

This means taking advantage of the fact that you have free time during the weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm, and helping people who are at work, by walking their dog.

How Much Money a Dog Walker Can Make

Many dog walkers can charge between $20 and $30 per walk for a 30 minute – 1 hr session. Now imagine you can pull off 2 – 3 dog walks a day, 3 days a week. That could amount to an extra $180/week for you. That means an extra $720/month!

What that could mean for many of you reading this is being able to buy a new car, or finally pay your rent without having to hold your breath for the last week of the month hoping for a miracle.

Why Else Restaurant Servers Make Great Dog Walkers

As a restaurant server, you have a 6th sense for customer service. By the time you’ve waited tables for even 3 months, you have more customer service experience than 99% of the planet. You already know how to talk to people, and your empathy for dealing with humanity is on an entirely different level than the average person holding down a job.

You can apply this 6th sense to getting dog walking customers, but it’s also going to pay off if you already like dogs too. Dogs listen and respond very well to me personally. This is because I truly enjoy and respect dogs and cats. I understand that while we’re different, we still have sophisticated intelligence and feelings. We are more similar than we think. And just like a guest in your restaurant or bar looking at you as a leader because you know how to anticipate their needs and make them feel special, dogs are the exact same way.

Help! I have no idea where to start with this whole dog walking gig!

One thing many restaurant servers and bartenders can have a hard time with is finding business on their own. No problem, because this is a new skill just like serving guests at one time was for you. But while you develop your own way to get leads for scooping up extra money in your off-time from the restaurant from potential dog walking customers, you can get your feet wet by simply signing up for a service like Rover.com or Wag! which are kind of like the Uber of dog walking/sitting.

Move Over, Rover!Read my Rover.com review here

Of course, you won’t want to be completely reliant on Rover or Wag! for your business, just like you don’t want to be completely reliant on your restaurant/bar for your entire income, especially not these days. And that’s why I created this special guide called “Move Over, Rover!” that shows you how to sign up and get business immediately from Rover and Wag! while creating your own independent dog walking or dog sitting business that attracts customers outside of the online dog walking/sitting apps that most dog sitters and walkers lazily become reliant upon, and then complain about not being able to get enough customers!

Get out there and make more money!

🙂

More Free Restaurant Server Training Videos

Don’t have 20 bucks to rapidly advance your server career? No problem, here’s some free videos. Enjoy!