10 Things Restaurant Hosts Wish You’d Stop Doing
Here's how you might be making your host's job harder.
Don’t take it out on the host
A trip to your favorite restaurant is supposed to be a fun, relaxing experience. The tables are set, glasses are polished, and the kitchen is humming—all at your request. However, some customers neglect to treat the staff with courtesy and respect. And the host is often the first person to take the heat. Follow along to learn which bad habits irk hosts the most. Next time you eat out, you’ll also want to keep in mind these 7 foods chefs never order in restaurants.
If you forget to make a reservation during the restaurant’s busy hours, it’s often the host’s duty to ask you to wait. No amount of foot tapping will change the fact that sometimes you’ll have to wait more than half an hour for a table. (And remember, hosts are only able to estimate when the diners seated before you will leave.) When you’re feeling frustrated, remember that honey catches more flies than vinegar. If you can take a chill pill during the times when the joint is clearly slammed, the host may reward you with the table with the view instead of one right next to a kid’s birthday party. Make sure you know the gross things restaurants do to save money.
Throwing money at the problem
When a host tells you there are no tables, slipping them some cash isn’t going to help. A few extra bucks won’t create more seating space in the restaurant. Moreover, many establishments forbid hosts from accepting bribes, err, tips! Here are 13 things that definitely annoy your server.
Not offering a greeting
When your host greets you, it would be nice if you would respond in kind, restaurant hostess Corey writes on her blog, A Not-So-Simple Life. If they say “hello,” say “hello” back. Even a smile goes a long way toward making for a smooth interaction. What you don’t want to do is ignore the host or let your first words be “Two. Corner booth.” That’s rude in any setting.
Being on your phone while addressing the host
“Stand aside until you’ve finished your call and then you can come and ask me for a table,” writes Corey, who notes that you would probably find it rude if she tried to seat you while she was talking on her cell phone. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Don’t miss these other etiquette rules for when you’re dining at a restaurant.
Attempting to seat yourself
“I am here for a reason,” Corey reminds us. If you see a host stand, don’t walk past it. “If for some reason I am not at the front door when you arrive, do not assume that means you can seat yourself.” When you attempt to seat yourself, you’re not only disregarding the host as a person, but you’re also making their job that much harder. Don’t miss these sneaky menu tricks restaurants use to influence your order.
Not knowing how many are in your party
Seems simple enough, right? But it happens all too often that when Corey asks “how many are in your party?” the person just stands there. Make your journey from door to table a smooth one by knowing how many people you’re dining with!
Bringing extra bodies
Don’t make a reservation for six and then show up with eight. Hosts plan table configurations ahead with the evening’s reservations in mind, and it’s no easy task to turn a six-top into an eight, or an eight into a ten. And when an alternate table isn’t available, squeezing extra chairs and place settings into an already cramped space is challenging enough for the host, but let’s not forget the server. Don’t miss these 12 ways you can score free food from your favorite restaurants.
Showing up with only half your party
Many restaurants have a policy that your table won’t be seated without at least half your party being present, and having six people standing around waiting for the other six to arrive causes crowding at the restaurant’s entrance. That’s not just annoying to the host—it’s annoying to the other guests who are arriving, which is not good for the host either.
Complaining about the restaurant
When the menu changes, or the dining room gets redecorated, who’s to blame? It’s not always clear, but one thing that is clear is that the host has virtually no say in any of it. So complaining to the host is not only a waste of your time but also a burden on the employee, who is busy trying to get you and everyone else seated. Find out the 24 things restaurant owners wish you knew.
Being picky about your table
Restaurant hostess-blogger Kimberly Deanna knows there are many valid reasons customers ask for a different table, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t cause a problem when the restaurant is busy. Hosts generally seat guests in some orderly fashion intended to spread out the work amongst the servers. When you disrupt that order, you’re probably going to be making the servers’ jobs harder. And who else’s job does that make more difficult? If you guessed the host, you’re catching on! Next, don’t miss these secrets your restaurant waiter isn’t telling you.