Although there is a common misconception that hosts do not do much except for greet people, host do a lot more than just greeting people. The host handles overlooking the front house operations as well as handling any customers’ issues as they arise. After the hosts then comes waiters, who without a doubt are a huge part of a restaurant success as operations and customer satisfaction depends on how your waiters are responding to your customers. Depending on the size, customers, and style of your restaurant, your hosts and waiters’ needs might vary. Are you looking to find out how many hosts and waiters your restaurant needs? Then please read below:
Your Restaurant Size
The number of waiters and hosts you need could vary based on the size of your restaurant. For example, if you are a small-scale restaurant/café then you might need one or two waiters, who can also act as hosts. However, this is for extremely small-scale restaurants. If your restaurant is a large-scale restaurant, then you need to hire waiters based on the customer to waiter ratio or table to waiter ratio, whichever one you want. Do you want one waiter for four tables? Or do you want one waiter for eight tables? In addition to the size of the restaurant, your host and waiter requirements could also vary based on:
Average Number of Customers
The average number of customers you receive will decide the host requirements and waiter requirements. For example, if you have only one host and he/she is greeting one out of four people, you will need more than one host. If one host is managing everything without any disruptions, then one host is enough.
During busy days, even if your pre-decided ratio of waiter to table was one for four tables, that might change and you might need one waiter to even wait six to eight tables. Therefore, when hiring waiters and hosts, you need to keep in mind the kind of customer experience you want to offer and the average number of customers you receive every day, even on the busy days. During holiday season or busy season for your restaurant, you might need to temporarily hire more waiters and hosts for smooth operations.
Type of Restaurant
Your restaurant type could also decide the number of waiters and hosts you need. For example, if your restaurant is a casual diner, then customers might not be expecting a great service, so during rush hours you could have less waiters waiting more tables. Whereas, if you are a fine dining restaurant, customers’ expectation is going to be higher so you will need to hire the staff to ensure that lack of workforce is not an obstacle in delivering great service.
If you are a restaurant offering only a specific service e.g. breakfast and dinner, then you are going to be crowded at that time, so your waiter to table ratio should be high to manage orders effectively. It is effective to keep one waiter for managing 6-8 order tables at a time.
When deciding on hiring support staff i.e. hosts and waiters it is important to keep in mind the type of service you are offering and the type of service you promised your customers. A plan for hiring and market research could help. For example, if you are deciding on how many hosts you should hire, you could go to restaurants like yours and check their waiter to table ratio, how their hosts greet you and how many hosts they have, and depending on your personal experience and market research, you can decide if the same hiring scale could work for you. It is also important to remember that even if your hosts and waiters have the capacity to manage multiple tables (or more tables than expected) you should not overburden them. Happy employees mean satisfied customers and if you are overworking your host and your waiters, they might not be able to work productively.
Once you have hired your host and waiters, you can invest in effective scheduling of their tasks by using a restaurant wait-listing app such as Waitku. Your front house operations are extremely important and your restaurant needs to look organized to your customers. If you use a wait-listing app such as Waitku, you can schedule your employee duties from your tablet or iPad and they can access their tasks from anywhere. So, why not make the process of scheduling and front-end operations hassle free by using Waitku? Hire your hosts and waiters and train them on how to use the app to manage your restaurant operations easily.