Greeting customers

A friendly smile and warm pleasant greeting when customers arrive will create a good atmosphere and make them feel welcome and make for a good meal experience. Remember to treat others as you would like to be treated.

Never leave customers waiting without an explanation, an apology, or an offer to help.



waiting customers that they will be dealt with soon, name the person who will do so and apologise for the delay.



give waiting customers a smile or other friendly gesture to indicate that you have seen them if you are busy and cannot deal with them immediately

  • Try and greet customers as soon as they enter, if they are not greeted straight away some customers will make their own way to a table. This can create problems if that table is reserved for someone else or hasn't been cleared yet.

Customers expect you to know what the dishes are on the menu and be able to answer their questions

In restaurants where tables can be reserved

After greeting customers, ask them if they have reserved a table:

YES, ask for the name and check with the reservations/bookings record for the table number, size of the party, and any special requirements.

NO, check if a table is available see below

Customers who are known by name, for large parties and VIPs taking them straight to their table without referring to the reservations/bookings record gives a good impression and a personal touch.

Customers without a reservation (A.K.A. Chance or Walk -In)

When tables are or might be available, confirm the number of people. You need to do this because you may be dealing with the advance party, while others are parking a car or finishing drinks. But thinkabout the customer or customers before you decide how to word your question:

  • a couple will almost certainly want a table for two - 'I have a table for two by the window, or do you would prefer to sit in the non-smoking area?' - this gives the customers a chance to confirm if anyone else is joining them
  • a family that arrives together is unlikely to be waiting for anyone else - 'I have a table for six free' this gives a chance to say if another person is joining them
  • a single person will probably wants a table for one but may be asking on behalf of others in the bar or outside - 'I have a good table over there if you are dining on your own….' Thgis gives the chance to say that a bigger table is needed.

When Customers have to wait for a table:

If no tables are available, give an estimated waiting time. Provided this is not too long, the customers will usually welcome suggestions that they have a drink at the bar:' I'll bring the menu and we can take your order at the bar, if you like.'

Keep in contact with customers waiting for tables: tell them of any change to the estimated delay