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National Restaurant Association - Find the right host for your restaurant

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Find the right host for your restaurant



Selecting the right host is important for every restaurant.

The host is the first person customers meet and the last person they’ll cross paths with before leaving. Hosts play a major role in establishing a friendly atmosphere at your restaurant —  one that will entice the customer to return repeatedly.

Here are seven qualities you should look for in potential hosts:

1. Willingness to go above and beyond for guests. Part of a host’s responsibility is to make life easier for each guest. In addition to meeting standard needs, hosts should consider special requests as opportunities to make lasting impressions.

For example, a guest drove to Villa Christina in Atlanta from St. Petersburg, Florida, to surprise his mom for Mother’s Day. He arrived before the rest of his family, realized that he forgot to purchase a Mother's Day card and asked where the nearest store was. The host asked him to wait a minute, went to the sales office and scanned a drawer full of thank-you, birthday, wedding and anniversary cards before finding a Mother's Day card. The host presented the card to the guest, who was incredibly appreciative.

2. Genuinely care about the success of the restaurant. Hosts generally are salaried. They must be motivated to act in the best interest of the restaurant, even though their pay won’t necessarily be affected.

3. Ability to always be polite to guests, no matter what. The guest is always right. Regardless of how a customer treats the host, hosts must stay calm and try to please the customer.

4. Outgoing personality. Upbeat, friendly hosts set the tone for a positive dining experience. Naturally shy people may find this difficult.

5. Strong organizational skills. Because they often have several concurrent responsibilities, such as taking reservations, maintaining wait lists, assigning seating and scheduling employee duties, innate time-management abilities are critical.

6. Team player.  Hosts must have a sense of table progression. To do so, he or she should communicate constantly with wait staff to know which guests are on dessert, which have paid their checks and which are still eating their meals. Everyone on staff plays for the same team.

7. Professional appearance. Appearance is important when greeting customers, so hosts' attire should be appropriate for the restaurant setting. Pressed, clean clothes convey a polished, professional environment.

This content was provided by CareerBuilder.

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