As a server on the floor, you must be on top of everything - between drink refills and food modifications, you have enough on your plate. To survive the rush, communication with your team members is key.
Bussers bus tables and runners run food, but hosts set the stage; they control the flow of the restaurant from open to close. Perhaps you've been a host once or twice, and you understand the layout of the restaurant like the back of your hand. But when there's miscommunication between hosts and waitstaff, serious problems can occur. Here are some top tips on how servers and hosts can work together to fairly seat guests:
The host should understand the server schedule and anticipate how many sections will be on the floor, who will work best in each section, and how many guests they can expect. Servers, don't be afraid to express preference for a section, most hosts are happy to work with your needs. Ultimately, hosts have the power to make decisions that may or may not rule in a server's favor. When this happens, remember you are a part of a team and everyone must work together with respect.
This element is key for teamwork – hosts and servers need to have a common understanding of section layout and server rotation. Hosts must keep with rotation not only to ensure that guests are served in a timely manner, but also to balance the ratio of servers to tables. The best way to solve any miscommunication among servers and hosts is to talk about it: if a host double seats you when you are busy, let him or her know to not seat you for a rotation. Similarly, hosts should notify servers of seated tables for efficiency. Servers and hosts alike are responsible for communicating with one another for a successful shift.
Once you've established a plan, follow through. Communicate throughout the shift and anticipate each other's needs. Execution will ensure the shift flows smoothly and guests are seated fairly. When team members communicate, it is possible to have your cake and eat it, too!
If you need help remembering section layouts, tack on a custom template to your Waiter Wallet. With sections literally in your back pocket, you won't need to run back and forth to the host stand for a reminder. For more information about our Waiter Wallet features, contact us today.