Every restaurant has that one person that makes sure that all customers get the best dining experience. As she is the first person that guests see upon arrival, being a hostess is an important responsibility. Aside from making sure that guests are comfortably seated, the hostess makes sure that restaurant operations are going as smoothly as possible. Whether you are a hostess at a renowned restaurant or at a newly opened one, it is essential for you to know how to be a good hostess.
12 Golden Tips for Hostesses in a Restaurant
If you want to know how to be a good hostess, you have to understand that it is important to look sharp and be presentable. Nothing impresses a customer more than a hostess who looks intelligent. Looking sharp means wearing appropriate clothes and looking neat and fresh. It also helps to put makeup on and tie your hair as it shows the quality of service that the restaurant can provide its customers.
A good hostess encourages interactions with customers through a welcoming demeanor and a friendly greeting. When customers arrive at the restaurant, they expect you to have their tables ready and lead them to their seats. For walk-in customers, they would appreciate it too if you immediately attend to their needs and make sure that they are still having a nice experience even if they are waiting. Your demeanor should not let your customers be hesitant when approaching you.
Customers like it when the hostess of a restaurant goes out of her way to greet and help them. This may mean saying “Good evening” upon a customer’s arrival or “Thank you” after every interaction. As for gestures, remember to open the door for your customers or help them sit comfortably. Being courteous makes the customer feel valued and encourages the customer to go back again to the restaurant.
Remember your customers
There is nothing more impressive than a hostess who remembers the names of regular customers. The beauty of remembering your customers is that you already have an idea of their preferences. This then helps you anticipate their requests and prepare for their dining experience. If some regulars like to be seated at a particular place, you can heed to their requests easily. Remembering your customers makes them feel valued.
Put the customers first
If you are wondering how to be a good hostess, you have to know how to put the customers first. The needs of your customers must always come first and you have to make sure that your staff is attending to them. Even when there seems to be a lot of things happening at the same time in the restaurant, attend first to the concerns of your customers.
A restaurant will naturally have a lot of customers. This means that there are different personalities in play at a given time and that they may all have different concerns and questions. Part of being a good hostess is being patient. There are some customers who will ask you persistently about their food or their request for an extra plate or napkin. As such, patience is something that you have to practice and embody during these situations.
Customers will notice when you are anxious and unsure of the operations of the restaurant. They may notice it through your posture or through your gestures, especially when you are hunching and fidgety. These things send the wrong idea on your customers and may give them the impression that the restaurant does not give a good customer service.
Stay composed and relaxed
If you want to know how to be a good hostess, you have to master how to be composed and relaxed. There will be busy nights when your restaurant would be full of customers. During these nights, you will experience different things that will test your composure. There will be decisions that you have to make under pressure. You have to make sure that despite being under a lot of pressure, what is important is that you still have yourself together and are still focused on making your guests’ dining experience a good one.
Have great wit
Guests like it when a restaurant’s hostess shows great wit and knows how to play a little humor. They are drawn to the intelligence and the personality of the hostess and this helps in making their dining experience more enjoyable and comfortable. However, make sure that you do not introduce a lot of humor as your guests may find it off-putting and may get embarrassed or offended.
While it is important to display a little humor and great wit to your customers, you have to remember to stay professional when necessary. Joking around while your customers are asking for a particular request is a no-no. Also, even if one of your customers is a regular and you have shared some good times, remember that he is still a customer in your restaurant and is paying for great food and service. Know how to draw the line between being friendly and being professional.
Always have the initiative
If you want to know how to be a good hostess, you have to have the initiative in everything. As you may have known now, a hostess makes sure that the restaurant’s operations go smoothly. If you saw that some customers are waiting to be served, be the one to attend to their needs. It would help if you go around and make sure that everyone is being taken care of.
The most important power of being a good hostess is smiling. Upon the arrival of your guests or every time you are interacting with them, smile and make them feel that you are delighted to be helping them with their needs. Smiling encourages a positive atmosphere, thus making your guests’ dining experience an enjoyable one.