Host Training: More Than Just Greet and Seat


An effective restaurant training program includes all the cycles of service, from the time a guest pulls into your parking lot to the time they drive away. Good service starts with solid host training.

A standard host greeting goes something like this: “Two for lunch?” Guests nod, follow the host, take the menu, and forget about it. This is an expected level of service. But what if that changed? What if your host truly greeted and not just seated customers? How could that change the impression guests form of their entire experience at your restaurant? Use your host training sessions to encourage your team members to consider that and brainstorm ways they can improve service during this first step in the guest experience.

Restaurant Host Training Tips

Here are some ideas to get started:

  • Open the door for guests. Forget the podium… plant the host by the door and make sure they make eye contact, smile and make a personal greeting.
  • Use names. If a guest is required to wait and give a name to hold her place, there’s absolutely no excuse for a host to not use it later. It’s as easy to say, “Please follow me, Mrs. Smith,” as it is “Right this way.”
  • Sell the wait. How often do you hear, “There is a twenty-minute wait tonight”? Instead, train hosts to say, “There is a short twenty-minute wait, but if you’d like to have a seat at the bar I’ll come get you the minute your table is ready. The bartender can set you up with one of our great appetizers or specialty drinks!” What would convince you to wait?
  • Teach everyone to greet guests. If the host is not at the door, teach everyone who works in the front-of-the-house to welcome guests and let them know the host is coming.

Cycle of Service Restaurant Service Training

With every guest who walks through the door, your staff should be striving to not only meet expectations, but exceed them. Our restaurant service training follows the Service That Sells! Cycle of Service, breaks down a guest’s visit into separate steps from the moment guests pull into the parking lot until that final moment when they walk out the door. Click here for a preview of our Sales & Service Restaurant Training program.

Share this article:

Do you need better training?

Streamline your training process and keep your employees performing at their best.

Get a Demo

Related Articles