Thursday, July 16, 2009
The First 15 Seconds
So to get to the point quickly the first thing about going up to your new table is to put them at ease.
What I do is stop and look at all of them in the eye and smile and say good evening or welcome and ask them how they are all doin? Then I may add what a great day out , eh? I am trying to set up a positive beginning to their experience and open their mind to any suggestion I may have later.
Then I shut up and wait for the answer. From this initial greeting and their response I know what kind of mood they are in , and who will be the asshole of the table if there is one. Also someone may pipe up and say it's his or her birthday then right away you know what they are getting for dessert. You know , that special dessert for someone's birthday that is usually on the house.
If no one answers and the couple is glaring at one another or if they answer and it looks like they are grumpier than heck then you know this table you have to be careful of. They will complain of anything so they can agree on something before leaving. You have to watch and pay special attention until they leave.
You may also get that give us some time which is fine so I do.
I never start off by introducing myself and doing the talking cause that is just being rude. It is all about them and what their feelings and mood are in when they arrive. I never bring up features without listening to them first.
All this in the first 15-20 seconds between the time I greet them and their answer. Then I decide how to proceed from that.
Tomorrow is on how I do the features.
Radio talk show host of "The Hospitality Industry News Network" and author of "You Only Live Once" about his early years traveling around and working on ships and foreign countries Steven blogs about his thoughts on the restaurant industry as he sees it today.
Check out his web site at www.stevennicolle.com for more information.