WAITER-HOST

The entrance door opens. Happy, friendly, hungry and thirsty people step inside…

***

I do my job in a business like manner with a “Good evening and welcome!” The next question is, “May I ask for your name…”

WAITER – HOST
Some of my colleagues are truly fortunate. They have a full-time host person who does all the seating and greeting. Where I work, these days, we do not. It is I who seats customers whenever there is no hostess scheduled to work. Nevertheless, a lot is to be said for the first contact, the first impressions.
Take the moment the entrance door opens. Happy, friendly, hungry and thirsty people step inside. I get to greet them. I do my job in a business like manner with a “Good evening and welcome!” The next question “May I ask for your name or the name used for your reservation?” is formal too. It is just another stiff phrase. I give the customers a seating option, either on the heated patio with a fantastic view at Monterey’s night sky or indoors. All these are regular standards of procedure.

Contrary to what I am doing, my thoughts are much more casual. With many of my guests I feel like family, giving them a hug, taking them by the hand, leading them to the best table available in the house would be more appropriate. Sometimes I think my customers feel that I am sincere. I, however keep my feelings under control while I offer to bring them anything their heart desires. But truly I would like to change the greeting at the door to: “Come on in folks. I’m so happy, you are here. You all have a seat and let me show you how much we appreciate you all!”

I do not present myself this way. I am not shy. My behavior is learned, copied from conservative stiff and formal role-models. No I don’t hug and kiss my guests, except sometimes when some ladies say good bye with such actions. I am trained to treat each customer like a celebrity entering the restaurant where I work. And it does not stop there. I feel like a tour guide going with our customers over the menu. When I say “If there is anything I can help you with, don’t hesitate let me know!” I mean what I say!

by helmut schonwalder