A Guide to Managing Your Door Effectively, Part 3: If You Fail to Prepare, You Prepare to Fail
We understand that every shift of service is different and unexpected things pop up regularly. While you can’t predict which guests will be late and which employees will call in sick (among the other hundred things that are also unpredictable), you can put yourself in the best position to deal with those everyday surprises by preparing for what you can expect.
Below, in Part Three of a series of learnings on managing your door more effectively (Read Part 2 - The Power of Communication here), Reserve’s industry vets share easy ways for managers, hostesses, and reservationists to prepare for what’s to come at the door.
Prepare for everything you can prepare for.
“Role play with your staff during training. Go through the actions in real context. You have the opportunity to bring hospitality to another level when you’re not thinking about the tactical or task oriented elements of the job.” — Eli Feldman, former DOO at Barbara Lynch Gruppo in Boston and current Restaurant Success Manager at Reserve
“Be prepared for what you think is going to happen. Of course, once the door opens, you have no idea what’s going to happen and you have to be ready to deal with it no matter what comes. But the more prepared you are, the better equipped you'll be to deal with those situations as they come up.” — Peter Esmond, former General Manager of Per Se in New York and current VP of Customer Success at Reserve
“Have specific policies and a system down pat for waits and special situations. Don’t just let your waitlist accumulate and not know what to do. Create specific policies in advance about managing your waitlist.” — Brad Zanoni, former Service Manager at Spiaggia in Chicago and current Restaurant Success Manager at Reserve
“If you know, anticipate, or expect people are going to wait, you need to design a place for people to do it. It doesn't have to be huge — it can be two chairs sitting next to the front door or drink rails — but try to design for that. If you have crappy corners, two bev mats can turn a crappy corner into a place designed for guests to wait.” — Eli Feldman, former DOO at Barbara Lynch Gruppo in Boston and current Restaurant Success Manager at Reserve