A moment of truth is an opportunity whereby a customer forms either a good impression or a bad impression about the restaurant service quality. Millions upon millions of “moments of truth” occur out there in the restaurant customer service world, but the successful businesses register the highest percentage rate of good impressions. It means everything to their image and reputation. This concept must be taught in every restaurant service training program.
The host is such an important part of the “dining room service experience” as he or she is the first person the customer sees and the last person the customer says goodbye. Great first impressions are great lasting impressions.Therefore, the host must dress nicely being neat and clean. The host must always be upbeat, friendly, and helpful to customers. The true purpose of guest seating is to make “every table seem like the best table in the restaurant!”
More concepts that must be taught in every restaurant service training program are as follows:
The telephone must be courteously answered stating the restaurant’s name and asking, “May I help you?” Whenever taking a dining reservation, one must politely ask for the name and the number of people in the party, date and time of the reservation, and the contact telephone number. Also, special requests should be noted, such as birthday guests, high chairs, customer food allergies, or the need to be seated at a specific table or location in the restaurant (for example, far from the window on a cold night; close to the window on a beautiful day). This information must then be recorded in a Reservation Journal that eventually will be transferred onto the Daily Reservation Sheet.
During busy hours, the customers waiting for an open table in the lobby or sitting at the bar can be offered menus to pass the time. In some restaurants, hors d’oeuvres are served to customers who have been waiting a long time for an open table. All ways and means must be exhausted to prevent customers from leaving to dine at another establishment-even if it means offering some complimentary items.
If the host is not busy seating customers, they can purvey the dining room for customers in need of service and relay such information to the waitstaff. This is up to the discretion of the host, for they should never stray too far from the Front Door.
So you see, the host who does the greeting at the front door is extremely important as the reputation and the bottom line are affected by the host’s restaurant customer service performance.