The Front-of-House is the only part of your restaurant that your guests interact with. From the greeting of the host/hostess to the server, FOH will influence their impression of your restaurant and set the tone for the visit. A smooth running FOH results in happier servers, hosts/hostesses with more time to better engage with your guests and, of course, more people in the seats. All of this leads to a better guest experience and, most importantly, an improved bottom line.
Finding the best solution to assist you with your FOH can be daunting and time consuming - there are several solutions on the market. All have a place. All have their upsides. Choosing the right solution is crucial to the overall success of your restaurant. Buying features alone can be a mistake. Considering a myriad of other issues is just as critical; technology, cost, training, and, not to forget....the company you're buying from.
Paul Katsch at Guest Innovations says, "I can talk to 200 different restaurants in a week and while they all have common challenges - each of them will have their own unique challenge that, to them, is imperative to their success". He adds, "Our philosophy is simple: a restaurant provides the BOH staff with the proper tools to successfully do their jobs, it is equally as important to give the FOH staff the right tools to do their jobs."
Improved FOH efficiency that reduces your vacant seating time and increases that head count can be optimized with a system that can be tailored to your needs.
Here are the Top 10 questions to ask when choosing a FOH/reservation system. The first seven are questions about your restaurant. The last three questions are about the vendor(s).
- Are you already a busy restaurant?
- Do you have a lot of regulars or repeat guests?
- How many first timers or non-local visitors do you get?
- Do you have a famous chef or owner?
- Are you part of a recognizable and/or popular brand?
- Have you earned a lot of recognition or been showcased by the media? (awards, stars, magazines, TV networks/shows)
- What is your budget?
- How good is the technology?
- How flexible is the system?
- How good/responsive is the customer service?
In future posts we will discuss these questions in more depth.