Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Restaurant Math
The gloss of moving to LA has eroded to the matte finish of everyday life. I still love it here but I don't wake up in the morning quite as excited about it as I was three weeks ago. I still don't have a permanent resident or a car but I do have a job that requires me to smile and walk a lot. I am a restaurant host. It is a position that most people don't consider very important. You walk into a restaurant and this gal or guy seats you in an available seat. That's it right? Wrong. I have now learned the secrets of restaurant math. Where they seat you matters. Everybody wants to sit in a booth but what if you are in a hurry and the server of that booth was one of the slowest employees in the restaurant? Is the booth still appealing? Speaking of servers, people don't realize that when you seat them, you are trying to even out the rotation so that each server has an equal opportunity to make money. If Server A has a party of 6 in his station, I'm going to seat a couple of parties of two or four in Server B's and Server C's section before I sit someone in Server A's section. You see, I'm not seating you in the back because I hate you. It's restaurant math.

I am also mastering the art of the quote time. Our location has very high volume of customers. A good host knows which tables are leaving soon and you start factoring how you can get a party of 10 into a section built to accommodate 8. Or you try to appease the party of two that is in such a hurry that they couldn't possibly wait 5-10 minutes for a table even though the parties previous to them may have waited 30 minutes. Again, restaurant math. Speaking of restaurant math, here is something that I never considered before working as a host. When you go to a restaurant and finish your meal, you should leave...soon. If you stay and linger. You are costing the server tips they could be making from another party. If you still feel you need to stay and chat or do business, leave a huge tip otherwise you are making my job more difficult (because I can't seat other people in the time I quoted them) and the server (who misses out on more money). Of course, no good restaurant would ask a guest to vacate a table but if your server keeps interrupting you and asking you "are you sure, I can't get you anything else?" their subtext is "get the fuck out, you are costing me money you bastards."

No comments:

Post a Comment