Having been a restaurant host for almost two years now at a popular restaurant in downtown Chicago, it's safe to say that I have seen all types of behavior from all types of different people. On very busy weekend nights, sometimes people's reservations run behind the expected time. With the small restaurant space and overbooking of reservations, it's bound to happen from time to time. While it is my job to get people seated and show them over to their table, it is not my fault that the reservation times are running behind. Not everything is the hosts' fault and here are a few points I feel everyone should know.
The managers are the ones that overbook the restaurant
Yes, believe it or not, the restaurant isn't overbooked because of the host. A lot of the time, managers will allow for more reservations to be made than the restaurant can allot because, at the end of the day, they want the restaurant to make money. When I walk into work for the day and see 400 covers (a cover is one person per reservation), I already know that at some point in the night reservations are going to fall behind. What I also know when I see that many covers is that at least three or four guests are going to rip into me whether it is my fault we are running behind or not. Next time, ask for the manager or find your self-control.
It is not my job to tolerate your rude behavior
Just because I am the first face you see upon entrance into the restaurant, doesn't mean it's okay to blame every issue that happens before you're seated on me. You name it, I've seen it. From people hearing wait times and threatening to write 'bad Yelp reviews' about the restaurant and I, to people telling me–the 19-year-old host– that I will be buying them a drink while they wait past their reservation time, the people that come into our restaurant never cease to amaze me. But one thing is extremely clear, I am not at work to tolerate rude behavior and no, it will not get you seated sooner.
The nicer you are, the more obliged I am to get you seated sooner and send you free food once you're seated
Shocker, right? NOT. As a host, I recognize and take note of which waiting guests have been extremely patient and kind, and which guests have been extremely impatient and blatantly rude. Treating people poorly doesn't get you further in life- especially not at the restaurant I host at. Realize that your reservation is running behind, your rudeness will not change the amount of extra time you have to wait, and if you want more free food than the average guests whose reservation runs behind gets; then be nice, have a drink at the bar, and kindly wait for your name to be called.
On behalf of all hosts everywhere, it is not our fault your reservation is running behind and no, we are not at work to be your punching bag.