The Front Door Chapter 4 Highlights
First Impressions/Moment of Truth • The Parking Lot • The Front Door • Warm and Welcome Relationship with Guest starts with: • how the reservation is taken • initial greeting at the door • manner in which they are seated • how staff accommodates special requests
Reservations • May be the first contact with the restaurant • Are not always taken at the host stand • Ritz Carlton example • Could be taken on the Internet/Fax
Phone Etiquette • Proper Manners are critical • May vs. Can • Demeanor is important • Smile when talking on the phone • 3 ring rule • Standardized Greeting • time of day • name of establishment • name of person answering the phone
Phone Etiquette • Properly Putting Guests on Hold • Ask first then wait for reply • Offer to return call if long period of time is expected • When a caller asks to speak to someone at the establishment ask who may you say is calling. • Use guests’ names where possible
Keep a “Black Book” • Tracking Repeat Customers habits will make them want to return more often. • “Regulars” get the best tables when possible.
Why Reservations Are Useful • They help with forecasting of: • staffing • purchasing • menu planning • cost estimates • Reservations allow the dining room to be filled to capacity staggering guests to accommodate the dining room staff and kitchen.
Why Reservations Are Useful • When guests travel long distances to get there, they want to be sure there is a table • Having an estimated cover count in advance helps with planning of logistics
Reservations for Efficiency • Count chairs as well as tables when considering reservations • Deuce big enough for three people? • Goal is to accommodate as much business as the staff can handle • Write the time and the number of “covers” in advance. • 5:30 2-3 Smith 685-2255 Tbl. 23
Reservations for Efficiency • Write reservations (name and time) on to floor plan before service • Helps see “incremental flow” of dining room • Traffic Chart for Kitchen helps them plan for rushes
Timing in the Dining Room • “Average Residence Time” • menu • number of covers • style of service • type of credit • time of day • ambiance of restaurant • Note: Large parties take longer
Reservation Systems • Use pencil • Mark cancellations • Have a copy of server station layout • Host should look confident • Always consider number in party and time of reservation together
Reservation Concerns • Overbooking • Too big a risk • Want to maximize capacity of dining room without turning people away • Special Request • Honor when you can • To promise is dangerous • Special Table Request • surcharge, if available
Reservation Concerns • Birthdays and Anniversaries • Always note occasion in Reservation book • Cakes should come with contracts • Writing on plate in chocolate is more flexible • Special Request • Honor when you can • To promise is dangerous • Special Table Request • surcharge, if available
Group Reservation Concerns • Group Reservations • Large Group equals 10 to 20 % of seating capacity • Book early or late • Set menu • Pre-select wines • printed menus • gratuity plan • deposits and guarantees
Reservation Concerns • No Shows • Reconfirm the day before or day of event • Change in initial request might increase chance of no-show • Call the day after to make sure reservation was recorded properly • Deposits • Amex Reservation Program • Contracts