Friday, April 17, 2009

Lobby Etiquette

When customers enter a restaurant, many have tendencies that make it very difficult for the host or hostess to do his or her job. These include talking on cell phones, examining the host or hostess's seating chart, and speaking extremely quietly.

Talking on your cell phone:

It is totally understandable to want to come in from the cold, rain, or heat into a comfortable lobby to finish your phone conversation. However, it is very frustrating for both you and the host or hostess if you attempt to have two conversations at the same time. If you aren't in a major rush, finish your conversation out of the way of traffic in the lobby before approaching the host stand. If you are in a hurry, ask the person you are talking to on the phone to hold on while you get seated. There may be a few questions that you are asked before you can be seated, such as "How many in your party?" "Smoking or non-smoking?" "Are there any children in your party?" and, "Do you need any high chairs or booster seats?"

These questions will vary in amount according to your previous answers, but anticipate answering a few before you can be seated. Until you are asked to follow the host or hostess to your table, do not get back on your phone. When you try to resume resume your conversation between seating questions, both parties involved get very frustrated.

Examining the seating chart:

Unless you are an employee of the restaurant you are in, do not examine the seating chart on the host stand. Staring at it and then walking around the stand to where the host position is will not make you understand what you're looking at, it will only anger or irritate the host or hostess for encroaching on his or her space. When you approach the host stand, stay on your side of the stand and be a customer, don't try to pretend to be a seating rotation chart coordinator. Allow the employees to do their jobs and, basically, don't get in their way.

Speaking in a whisper:

It is hard to seat a customer if her or she refuses to speak loudly enough for the host or hostess to hear shat the customer wants. It is rather inconsiderate to make the host or hostess come out from around the host stand to put his or her ear right by your mouth in order to hear you. It is especially frustrating when a customer is practically whispering when the restaurant is crowded and the host or hostess is having to manage a waiting list and needs to get customer information quickly.

1 comment:

  1. Is it poor etiquette, improper/incorrect, or inappropriate for a lady to be seated on the outside of a booth table while the gentleman seats himself, first, next to a wall..especially if the lady smokes? Quite often, too, ladies like to "freshen up" after being seated.