Hiring is a messy process. You spend a lot of time reading through job applications, and interviewing people only to have them take a job somewhere else or worse, someone seems perfect and you hire them – only to fire them a few weeks to months later because you realize they actually suck. Here’s how you can know for sure to fire the host you just hired.
1. They can’t answer a phone.
It’s amazing how articulate someone can be during an interview, but on the job, they just can’t effectively communicate over the phone. Maybe they’re screwing up take-out orders or when they answer the phone, the caller can’t tell if they’ve reached your establishment or the drive-through window at McDonald’s. Either way, if you’ve given them constructive feedback and they still can’t manage the phone…can ‘em.
2. They’re constantly complaining about the schedule.
The first couple weeks of work may have gone by beautifully, but now your newest host is bugging you daily about switching their days around, to accommodate a second job, you’ve only just learned they have. Scheduling is annoying enough without someone constantly requesting special treatment. If your needs aren’t aligned, maybe it’s time you parted ways.
3. They’re a wuss.
The host is a restaurant’s gate-keeper. They have to be able to redirect those who brush past the host stand to seat themselves as well as clearly communicate a wait time. If your host is letting people walk all over them, it’s a clear sign they’re just not going to work out. A good host is polite but firm -- not a doormat.
4. Keeping track of seating is just too much.
Servers are always aware of head counts and will call out unfairness without hesitation. Make sure the host you just hired isn’t giving all the big parties to the server they think is the hottest.
5. They keep asking when they’ll start server training.
You get it; they came on as a host for a chance to make it as a server. Staff needs to prove themselves in the position they’ve been hired for first. If they’re asking about serving after just a month, they’re probably not going to have the patience to wait it out. Ideally, you want a host that’s happy being a host, which we know can be tough to find.
If the latest host you’ve hired is doing any one of these things, it’s definitely a signal that the two of you need to have a talk. Hosts are fairly replaceable, but they’re also the person your guest interacts with first. A good host can introduce your guests to an amazing experience, and the wrong host can sour the reputation of your establishment and brand.