Tuesday, January 24, 2006 by Ospite.

I was recently hired by an Italian restaurant to reorganize the hosting staff. As I sat filling out paperwork with my general manager, Rob, I began to understand why I was there.

A typical Wednesday evening, the floor was bustling with patrons hoping for their slightly better-than-average Italian food fix. Despite the rather inhospitable weather outside, there was a regular groove in which the wait staff found themselves engulfed.

A 3top of 50-60 year old women wander through the door, sauntering to the hostess station where three rather young hostesses are congregating, deeply involved in their private conversation. The 3top stands, patiently covering their annoyance with a conversation of their own. Rob leans to me and says, "Let's see how long it takes the girls to notice they have people to seat." observing his watch. The girls proceed to ignore the patrons, making the dining room as hospitable as the aforementioned weather. Woman In Hat states loudly, "If they are simply that busy, perhaps we should get a drink at the bar." They wander to the bar and not a single hostess looked up.

Rob stands to get the attention of Hostess A and makes a head gesture towards the three at the bar. H:A simply looks confused. "Ooooh, someone came in!" says Hostess B and prances off to the bar asking the women if they would like to sit for a meal or prefer to stay at the bar. Of course a table and a meal is what they wanted so they follow H:B drinks in hand to a table...that is occupied. All four females return to the hostess station.

H:B - "Why don't you ladies have a seat at the bar again and I will find a table for you with an available server."

Woman With Big Black Coat, with heavy sarcasm - "Oh yes, we did enjoy the bar ever so much."

H:B then spent about 4 minutes preparing a table that had been set for four. She took away all four place settings only to immediately return with three place settings and three menus. Wandering back to the bar, she retrieved the 3top and escorted them to the table. H:B did not tell the the specials, nor tell them a waiter would be with them shortly. Simply, "Have a good meal." The hostess conversation resumed immediately back at the station.

Rob - "And THAT is why we need you to help us with the Host Staff."


Anonymous scotti said...

test comment, yo!

8:42 PM  

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At your service, Ospite

I am not in the restaurant business, I am in the people business. I use every opportunity to people watch, because to me, even the most mundane is fascinating.

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