I recently had the chance to visit the great state of Hawai’i for my darling wife’s birthday (I did bring my wife this time). We had a fabulous time and managed to eat out at a few ‘fancy’ restaurants.
It can be a challenge mentally going from no-sales tax Portland, to over-priced resort world, but we managed somehow. We ate at one of the nicest restaurants on the south shore of Kauai, on the recommendation of a few friends, and ended up having a fabulous time.
When I decide to go out, or on a vacation, the last thing I look at is the cost of such an adventure. However, I do have to admit, that I tend to develop a heightened sense of expectation when I am paying over two hundred dollars for a party of two who aren’t having a bottle of wine, and having just one drink each.
That being said, we still thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Uh-oh, now the BUT. When we arrived, I walked up to the front desk to announce our arrival, and let them know of our reservation. The lady in charge at the front door could not be bothered. She was too busy managing the waiters’ various forms of payment for their customers.
You can’t just look up?
Okay, here comes our learning outcome (that’s what I am supposed to call it, now that I am an instructor): I think it is a bad idea to have the same person who is handling the reservation sheet, and therefore the customers’ first impression, also be given the responsibility of manning the register. Both need complete, absolute attention.
Yes, I know I have revisited this theme a few times, but the more I teach, the more I eat out, the more I realize that this is just about the most important thing: You need to have friendly people at your front door. You need to have people who are devoted to giving all of their attention to each and every customer who walks into the joint. Don’t have them distracted by anything else–especially not by the evening’s take. That also requires complete attention.
And don’t have them at the front
Knowing where to put that credit card machine can be a challenge for many restaurants. However, confusing your guests by having that station at the front door is not the answer. Save that precious spot for your precious customers. Don’t make the customer guess. It is our job in this business to make things easy for the customer, not to have them figure stuff out.