Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Things the restaurant host(ess) doesn’t tell you, but are good to know

with one comment

Mike Reis provides some very interesting pointers at Serious Eats:

Restaurant hosting is a difficult job. As members of the League of Underappreciated Workers, they join audio engineers, bus drivers, and registered nurses as those who are only acknowledged on the rare occasions that they screw things up. It’s a rough go, and hosts and hostesses are expected to do it all with a smile on their face lest they publicly suffer the wrath of the dreaded Yelper.

What’s going on behind those smiles at the host stand? Service with a smile is the name of the game, but find out what the hosts are really thinking. I spoke with several hosts at restaurants all over the country to get inside their heads. They all wished to remain anonymous, but here’s what they want to tell you:

1. On OpenTable

OpenTable is more than an online reservation-making service—all restaurants you see on the website are required to use the company’s proprietary floor management system, which means leasing hardware and using OpenTable-specific software. What the service offers, beyond the obvious ease-of-use benefits to restaurant-goers, is a solid platform within which the host or hostess does most of their work.

And while the conveniences of OpenTable are helpful on both sides of the host stand, there’s a big secret most restaurants are afraid to tell you: they’d rather you not use it. Reservations made through OpenTable cost the restaurant a dollar per guest, which stacks up quickly over the course of a night that might see several hundred guests coming through the doors. Further, not all available reservations can be seen on the site; restaurants often hold tables back from the site when they suspect they can fill them with phone reservations, saving them from OT’s service fees.

In short, always try first to call in your reservations.

2. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

14 January 2013 at 11:06 am

Posted in Business, Daily life, Food

One Response

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  1. My experience is that the OpenTable system is buggy. The advice to always call in reservations is well taken.

    Tbone

    15 January 2013 at 11:51 am


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