Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Handling guest expectations from the host stand

The internet is full of lists. "7 ways to..." or "Top 10 Reasons to...". Among them are plenty of lists pertaining to restaurants, often with complaints or a negative slant. By handling common issues in an efficient manner right from the host stand, a restaurant can provide exceptional service to guests.

Accurate quote times

A key to a successful waitlist, one where guests won't turn away or give up waiting, is to be able to quote accurate wait times. This is where pen and paper are no match against software. A proper FOH software system will be able to calculate wait times based on table size, turn times, pacing, how long parties have been seated, and the number of people already on the waitlist. 

Once all this data is entered into the Guest Innovation products (Rezku Prime, Rezku Tablet, Waitku), you can more accurately quote wait times to customers. If a customer comes in and asks how long the wait is for a party of 4, you can then give a good estimate based on all the calculations that have been factored in. 

Seating preferences

A restaurant can improve both service and efficiency if they know the guest's needs up front. Some of the questions can be handled at the host stand. A common question is whether a guest has a seating preference, particularly inside or outside.

Rezku can be customized to reflect seating preferences. Color coding can be added to indicate inside versus outside seating or specific rooms, making it easy to note by a glance where a guest is requesting to be sat. 

Guest notes

Guest notes are extremely helpful to restaurants that often have repeat or regular guests. Keeping notes of such things as birthdays, anniversaries, family members, dietary restrictions, likes/dislikes, etc. can not only help staff to do their jobs efficiently, but also makes a guest feel special. Some restaurants use chit printers to print off the guest notes for the servers. 

Rezku  and Waitku keep not only these specific guest notes, but also complete histories of guests' visits — how many times they've dined, what meals, party size, cancels/no shows. Rezku Prime has the ability to print chits to hand to the server with all the guest notes, so they are properly prepared for their guest. 

"Camping" parties

The term "camping" is sometimes used for parties that linger at tables. Often they have paid their bill and yet they remain at the table for an extended period of time. This can create problems if there are parties that are waiting or have reserved that table. 

FOH software can help to mitigate the problems caused by campers. Rezku  and Waitku both have the ability to adjust times on seated tables. If the table was supposed to turn in an hour and it looks like they are going to be another 30 minutes, you can easily add time to the table, allowing the rest of the system to adjust seating and wait times appropriately.

By having the proper tools in place, hostesses can make guests' visits more comfortable with proper expectations and care. 

Presented by Guest Innovations. Be sure to check out our affordable hospitality products RezkuWaitkuSendku, and Dinnerwire.

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