A Guide to Managing Your Door Effectively, Part 2 : The Power of Communication
Ineffective communication is damaging to any type of relationship, and the ones you’re trying to build at your restaurant are no different. Frequent and honest communications, with both your guests and your team, are essential in order for things to run smoothly at your door.
Below, in Part Two of a series of learnings on managing your door more effectively (Read Part 1 - Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen here), Reserve’s industry vets provide tips for managers, hostesses, and reservationists on cultivating open communication in your restaurant.
Be proactive, not reactive, in your guest communication.
“Don’t wait for a table that you quoted 30 minutes to come to you at 40 minutes. Instead, at 25 minutes, update them with a glass of champagne. If a guest is initiating something, you’re behind. Always be ahead and proactive.” — Peter Esmond, former General Manager of Per Se in New York and current VP of Customer Success at Reserve
“Don’t ignore people who are waiting. It may be tough to keep going back and saying table isn’t ready, but it’s better than ignoring them and hoping the problem will fix itself.” — Katie Nielsen, former Operations Manager at Motze in San Francisco and current Implementation and Support Specialist - West Coast at Reserve
Honesty is the best policy.
“If the hosts communicate to the guests about what’s happening, and if you’re honest and not giving false quotes, guests will stay.” — Ben Fileccia, former DOO of Sbraga Dining in Philadelphia and current Restaurant Partnerships Manager - Mid-Atlantic at Reserve
“There’s a tendency to avoid confrontation which exacerbates the situation. Don’t be afraid to admit to an error and be up front and honest with a guest. And then you can resolve the issue for them in a way that’s memorable” — Chandre Geis, former General Manager of Uchi Restaurant and La Condesa in Austin and current Restaurant Success Manager at Reserve
Share what you know with others.
“Be sure to communicate what you’ve noticed about angry or irritated guests across your restaurant so the rest of your team can manage that guest properly throughout the night.” — Brad Zanoni, former Service Manager at Spiaggia in Chicago and current Restaurant Success Manager at Reserve
“Constantly communicate to your team what’s happening so that collectively you’re dealing with issues, instead of one person on an island handling things. You’ll never be successful that way.” — Peter Esmond, former General Manager of Per Se in New York and current VP of Customer Success at Reserve