Now everyone has an opinion about hostesses, and these opinions should come from observations they’ve made for a number of different reasons.
- They’re experience with hostesses in the past at different restaurants.
- Whether they’ve worked in a restaurant before as a hostess or just a server.
- Whether they’re nice people, or just *ssholes.
With those reasons in mind, let’s dissect the six perceptions about hostesses.
- What society thinks I do: the picture shows a girl who looks like she works for Hooters or a club that has a pool. Or a strip club (probably the latter). No decent hostess would wear something like that, so this particular perception is a tad confusing. Most restaurants all have a dress code that requires a hostess to wear something that covers the shoulders, midriff, and does not reveal too much decollete. Honestly, not much to say on that one.
- What my parents think I do: that picture reveals a nicely dressed girl with menus. That is kind of accurate. She looks professional, and is holding menus like a shield in front of her. When you’re dealing with a confrontational customer, those are like a barrier between yourself and the jagoff. If the restaurant is nice and upscale, the hostess would look like that, instead of sorry dump and dressed in jeans. But, as the first person the customer sees, it is her job to look professional.
- What customers think I do: it shoes a pictures of some guy double flipping somebody off. Now, that one depends on who you are. If you come off as demanding and a bastard or a b*tch, then yes the hostess will do that the moment your back is turned. There have been many people that I basically do it to once I’m done dealing with them. Why? Because it’s easier for me to do that behind your back than say it to your face. And I’m less likely to get fired.
- What my coworkers think I do: this one kind of made me smile. It shows somebody laying down on a recliner, just chilling. Okay, let me set the record straight: some restaurants (most) do not have a place for their hostess to sit. She or he has to stand for the entirety of their shift. That’s not moving around as much as a server, but your feet and your lower back definitely don’t like it. So, we definitely don’t sit around. A good hostess never sits around.
- What I think I do: is the closest to the truth than any other picture shown. In a way, we do hold back the mindless rabble. We try to make sure that everything is done in a systematic and organized fashion, so that the servers don’t want to commit suicide. We are the first defense against the zombies that come in demanding brains- I mean! Food! I just wish I could have a gun that way if somebody didn’t want to sit where I wanted to put them, I could just make them.
- What I actually do: you would not believe how many times people ask you where the bathroom is, you tell them, and they still go to the wrong place. It’s amusing to watch. They’ll walk into our lounge, which is full of people, and walk out a second later like a dog with their tails between their legs. It is said that any place that actually has a sign to indicate where a restroom is, it makes the place seem less ‘classy’. That’s what I heard. But, if having the sign up saves me the hassle of constantly telling people where the bathroom is, I’ll take some points off in our ‘classy’ department.
And there you have it! Those are the six perceptions of hostesses. For those of you out there who have worked in a restaurant before, are these perceptions accurate? And for those of you who haven’t worked in a restaurant, pay attention the next time you go to one. It could be the factor that saves you from getting a stigma.
And on that note, it’s been real!
Business seems to have picked up with the arrival of the colder weather and the start of the season where every company decides to have their Christmas Party around the same time. It is at times like this when I plan the perfect restaurant: basically the restaurant where every customer does exactly what I saw, sits where I put them, and keeps their mouth shut. Here is my perfect restaurant…
- Force field – this force field would surround my little area, and nobody can leave that force field without me escorting them. This force field would prevent people from walking to a table and seating themselves when I’m not there.
- Electrified seats – electrified seats would be in place in case people moved from the bar to a table without seeing me, or moved from one table to another because the first table ‘wasn’t quite right’.
- Sign-triggered door – the sign-triggered door is where the door will not open until the people see the sign in the atrium that says ‘Please wait to be seated.’ Once it acknowledges that they’ve read it, the door will open.
Thinking about things like this helps me cope with the fact that the bulk of humans who walk into my restaurant are incredibly stupid, but then they have the audacity to look at me like I made the mistake. One of my favorites is when people walk in and just stare at me after we greet each other. You know what they’re waiting for? They’re waiting for me to magically read their minds to gauge how many are in their party.
I took an extra shift at work on Wednesday night, and I had some funny encounters that had my coworkers chuckling to themselves. First, I had a woman about my height come in and I sat her at our higher half booth, half tables. Now, I’m petite, so I’m about 5ft 5″ in height. A few minutes later, she came up to me and said, “Can we move to another table? My friend and I are short, and that’s not comfortable.” I sighed (inwardly), sat her at a lower table and went to tell the server.
When I found her, I said, “Sorry I double sat you; but apparently both her and her friend are hobbits.” It took the server two seconds to get the reference and she started laughing. After that, I had a man walk in when all my tables were occupied. I told him it would be a little bit of a wait, and watched to see when a table would get up. A little while later, his wife and son arrived and he told them what I had said. Immediately, his wife started looking around to see if there was something open. Two tables had just gotten up at that time, and I was cleaning one of them off. A server told the lady to wait for me, but she either didn’t hear her or chose to ignore her. You see me cleaning a table, right? Patience is a virtue! After that, I had three really young men walk in and seat themselves at a table instead of waiting for me. One of the bartenders and a couple of the servers all laughed when they saw me sigh and roll my eyes dramatically. Needless to say, I went back to my post and did not get them menus. Ah ha! The hostess strikes again! Never assume that a hostess is evil. Merely assume that she is tired of having people try to (indirectly) tell her how to do her job. Speaking from experience, it gets very frustrating.
And on that note, it’s been real!
Yay! It’s Friday! Whoo hoo! Friday is a whole other kind of fun day for those of us who work in the restaurant business. Some people work only one 8:00-5:00 jobs then they come to bars and restaurants and have a grand old time. I’m the person who works 7:00-3:00, then comes into take care of those regular people. I don’t mind it so much. I love my coworkers and they love me. Most of them are funny and make me feel good about myself. I return the favor as often as I can and I even try to help them with their tables.
We ask each other if we’re okay, and try our best to not snap or be mean. It’s one of the healthier restaurant environments I’ve worked in. So, when I do get angry, it’s the fault of the customers, not my coworkers. Now, most recently, the weekends have been okay; nothing crazy or mind boggling. But two particular work days stick in my mind: St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo. The two days everyone is conveniently Irish or Spanish. Now, I’m of legal drinking age, but I don’t see the purpose of getting drunk; and let me tell you! I saw so many people under the boozy influence, it was hysterical!
However, on both those nights, I got on a wait because everyone wanted to eat there and everyone was taking their sweet ol’ time at their tables. Several times, people got up at the same time and I was running around, trying to clean tables as fast as I could. But, as I like to say, “Never underestimate the stupidity of humanity.” On more than one occasion, people would ignore me and the wait list and seat themselves at dirty table. Now, I have a retaliation obligation: I ignore them. I don’t bring them menus, I don’t clean the table, and I don’t tell the server.
If the server sees them at a dirty table without menus, they come to me and say, “They ignored you.” I nod. The servers know better than to challenge me after that. But! As of right now, no craziness has happened at work, thank God! I think I might pull out my imaginary weapon (named Blucher [Young Frankenstein]) and shoot them all!
And on that note, it’s been real!
Fridays are the one of the best days of the week! It’s the beginning of the weekend and everyone has plans, and all those plans begin (and usually end) with going to a bar. I wish I could have that luxury in the sense that I can go to a bar, sit down, order a drink, and kick back after a day at the dentist.
I do go to a bar, in a restaurant, after I’m done working at the dentist. However, I’m the lovely lady who stands in the front and seats the customers as they arrive. Ta da! I’m the hostess of my restaurant! The only hostess at my restaurant. It was a recently created position, as we did not have somebody at the door all the time to greet people and seat them. Makes me wonder what they were doing before I came along. My one manager remembered that I was a hostess for four years at another restaurant, and asked me to start being the hostess there, and to create a system. The system has been made and implemented well the last several months I’ve been at the front.
Occasionally, I leave (sickness, vacation, etc.), and somebody else has to do my job. I once heard the manager did my job, and got so confused, he said, “I wonder how she does it.” With respect. He normally pokes fun at me, so I was rather pleased when I found out. I knew he would never say it to my face.
Tonight, I will sit behind my little table with my seating chart, reservation/wait list, and my menus. I will smile at people who will ask to bounce from one table to another; I will see almost everyone do something stupid, and I will laugh at it. All in all, it’s not so bad. Just tiring and some times emotionally exhausting. And when it’s all said and done, I get my drink at the bar after a VERY long day at work.
And on that note, it’s been real!