How to Speak with a Host

Hi, how are you?  Oh, you don’t have time to speak with me, that’s ok, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt, imagine you have fifty things going on (like a cancellation over the phone, a customer just yelled at you for something that happened at their table, three groups of guests are eyeballing you because no one is getting up/their server is too busy to run their check, and the manager or a runner has not come to give an update in fifteen minutes, you have literally, no idea what’s going on in the dining room), so hi, how are you?

The host is damn difficult job.  I empathize with every host out there.  So what can the guest do to alleviate some of that tension for the host?

1.       Be patient

This should be common sense, but it’s not.  You’re hungry.  You have a reservation.  Believe me.  The host wants to get you out of their face as soon as possible.  But there are things that are out of the host’s control (as per mentioned above). 

2.       Follow directions

If the host asked you to sit or stand within a specific area, don’t go wandering around the restaurant.  If the host told you a server will be with you to take your drink order while waiting, don’t push your way to the bartender assuming they’re taking orders.  Some restaurants don’t do that.  While we’re on the topic, don’t stand in the drink well.  It’s that place that’s usually always open on a bar, and it’s for the bartender (that usually doesn’t take orders from guests and only from tickets for tables) places the drinks to be run by servers or runners.  If you stand there, you’re in everyone’s way. 

3.       Show up on time

A restaurant should and will usually allow for parties running late.  If you can’t make it on time, shoot the restaurant a call and notify them.  The host doesn’t just stand there and greet people as they walk in and aimlessly point to a table for you to go to.  If there is a later reservation already at the restaurant, this gives the host an opportunity to grab them, get them seated, and switch the late party to their reservation.

4.       Don’t push the host around

This should be obvious.  Don’t assume every host accepts bribes, or likes people more than others.  They don’t.  They’re just trying to follow the rules and get seats filled as quickly as possible. 

5.       Say thank you as you leave

Hosts love it.  It’s easy to do.  It makes them feel like they’re part of the team.  Which they certainly are, but sometimes they can feel lost up in the front.  And they usually don’t get paid as much as everyone else, and also probably gets the most crap out of anyone in the restaurant.  Remember that!


So thank you hosts!  It’s a tough job : )

Thanks to: Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash for the cover photo!