Waitress Rant: The Art of Hostessing

Waitress Rant is a blog in which I document the daunting tasks of “walking in a straight line” and “not dropping things” at a semi-offensively-entitled-restaurant.

I would like to start off this week’s post with an excerpt from an artfully crafted poem I wrote about hostessing:

One Hostess

The art of hostessing isn’t hard to master;

so many people seem filled with the intent

to be seated that seating them should not take a master

 

Alright, alright just kidding (...props to Elizabeth Bishop).

Personally, I like to think of hostessing as waitressing’s stupid little sister (this is applicable to both genders..I'm no sexist!).

After weeks of perfecting waitressing skills, at the one and only Cuban Revolution Restaurant and Bar, I’ve been demoted to the role of the little sister. Okay, I’m being dramatic. I told them that I would have to leave at the end of August because I’m suffering from BC Seperation Anxiety, and so they found my replacement. Hence, in order to prevent me from feeling un-loved/rejected…they’ve made use of my highly-coveted hostessing skills.

Truth be told, there’s not that much to tell about my most recent hostessing endeavors. Whilst guiding people to their table, there aren’t that many problems that arise. But, I shall attempt to inform you about the nuances of hostessing.  In attempts to embrace the new “simple-minded” stereotype I’ve created for myself, I’ll break it down for you into two categories: the negatives and the positives.

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Scenic view from the hostess stand.

The Negatives:

1. Your job is to literally stand there: There are many times in your life when you’ve probably been told to do the exact opposite of this. “Well, don’t just stand there!”, they tell you. “Keep yourself busy!”. Well, scratch everything you think you know about the world-- and you understand hostessing. You basically standing there, waiting for someone to enter the restaurant, so you can greet n’ seat ‘em. I’m telling you, in complete seriousness, standing around get’s exhausting.

2. Your job is also to look good: Want to know how my hostessing “training” went? Something like this:

Me: Alright, so my job is basically to stand there and then walk people to the correct table with menus…?

 Manager: Yup. But your real job is basically to attract people to the restaurant. You don’t want to repulse them  when they first walk in, ya wanna lure them in if they aren’t 100 percent sold.  Throw on your less-conservative-Sunday-best.

Yep. If you're having an ugly day, you risk scaring off  or "repulsing" the customers.

3. Most of the time, you can’t do your job: I’m being serious. As a hostess, aside from looking good, you’re supposed to seat people in certain sections of the restaurant so that that every waiter/waitress gets a fairly equal number of tables. I would say about 50 percent of the time, this doesn’t work out. It usually goes like this:

Me: Right this way, sir.

 I guide group of people to perfectly wonderful table.

 Sir: Um, actually…can we sit over there (points to some dreadful table), by the window. We want a view and more privacy.

Me (internally): YOU’RE RUINING MY LIFE AND THERE IS NO VIEW, WE’RE IN PROVIDENCE…AND THERE IS NO PRIVACY CUZ YOU’VE VENTURED INTO PUBLIC!

 Me (actually): Not a problem, sir.

You see, the motto is “The customer is always right.”(not YOLO) so you’re required to seat them wherever they desire. And, consequently, not do your job most of the time.

The Positives:

1. Find your secret texting spot: …Because that’s what you’re going to spend most of your time doing. At Cuban Revolution we have these creepy cameras and their sole purpose it to catch you texting. So, I out-smarted that camera (even though I’m simple-minded), and I secretly text/Facebook and Instagram stalk  in a drawer of the hostessing stand. It’s beautiful. And on slow days, I get paid 8.50/hour to talk to my friends.

2. Free Candy: At our hostessing stand, we have a bowl of candy. I usually spend a good portion of my shift rationing out the candy so that it'll last me 5 hours (Clearly, I'm well-versed in survival techniques). They don’t give me a dinner break so I don’t feel too guilty.

3. Wear pretty clothes: If you’re anything like me, you spent the majority of the summer looking like either a disheveled-fashion-don’t or a complete emo (waitressing requires wearing all black). So, hostessing is your chance to shine. For once you can look like a girl or a handsome dude! I even wore a dress. Sing “ I feel pretty to yourself”.

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