Being the first face customers interact with, working long shifts and catering to last minute bookings. They’re just some of the many typical duties you’ll do as front of house to ensure a great customer experience in your role.
We spoke to Kelsey, an enthusiastic student who’s been working as a front of house host in a busy restaurant for some time now. She gave us some insight into her typical day, her job and some tricks and tips for anybody looking to get into the industry.
Waking up and Preparing for a Busy Shift Ahead
Kelsey starts her day by getting up and going to university. She’s recently transitioned from a full-time front of house position to part-time to fit around her studies. But Kelsey said a front of house role could still be a fulfilling full-time career for somebody because there are lots of opportunities to learn, grow and progress.
She reminisced about her very first shift and how her calves burned from the stairs and lack of supportive footwear. Now she is more adjusted to the role, the three words she used to describe it were “busy, hectic but it’s also fun too.'' She enjoys how active her job is because she doesn’t even notice how sore her feet are at times.
Long shifts are the norm in the front of house role and Kelsey thinks they’re one of the most challenging aspects.
Still, there are ways to help make it easier. Kelsey typically prepares for a long shift on her feet by making sure she’s had a good night’s sleep, especially on a Saturday. Open from 8am till midnight, it’s the busiest time in the restaurant.
Another tip from Kelsey to help make those shifts easier? It’s important to have something to eat and drink plenty of water before starting your shift. With the nature of the business being so hectic, you might not know when your next break will be.
So, making sure you’re refreshed and ready to go makes for an easier shift.
When a guest arrives at the restaurant, Kelsey greets them and either takes them to their reserved table or finds them a spot in the busy restaurant. She noted that: “I go the extra mile quite often (for customers), seating people on a table even if we’re not open in that area.”
It's important to put in that extra effort as front of house staff are often the first interaction customers have with a business. Providing good customer service does not come without any challenges however.
Long shifts and aching feet are something that can get in the way of a smooth shift for any busy staff in hospitality.
If she’s constantly moving, she barely notices her achy feet. However, on a slow shift, it can be more noticeable. Kelsey combats this by ensuring she’s wearing the right pair of shoes for work.
“The qualities I look for in a good shoe is sturdy, support and comfort,” she said.
Kelsey’s preferred choice of footwear was the Reese - perfect for a professional front of house member who needs to be moving around the restaurant efficiently.
It has built-in extra cushioning for amazing comfort and support for Kelsey’s weak ankles. The TripGuard feature keeps her moving smoothly, especially because she knows how important it is to “think on your feet” - key advice she’d give to others just starting their careers.
“The qualities I look for in a good shoe are sturdy, support and comfort.”
These features are essential when avoiding potential slip and trip hazards. They're also beneficial for Kelsey as her job can mean “you can be up and down the stairs three times for one table."
The Most Important Part of the Role…
For Kelsey, helping out her colleagues isn’t uncommon and she couldn’t do it without them. She said: “Everybody is always giving each other a hand”, which could consist of clearing tables and helping out at the bar.
“My favourite part about my job is working in a team.”
Although it’s a challenging role, Kelsey’s relationship with her team isn’t limited to seeing them in the restaurant. “The other week we went out for the manager’s birthday, so we do meet up outside of work too!”
When the Shift Ends...
At the end of her shift, Kelsey helps to set up for the next service, takes time to clean and mop the bar and finally clocks out. There might be a few customers trying to get a table at closing time but she still tries to cater to their every need as it’s just part of her first-class service.
Then, the process repeats for her next shift the following day, depending on the rota.
A lot goes into being a front of house host at a busy restaurant. To stay safe and comfortable throughout her shift, one of the steps Kelsey takes is to wear comfortable footwear that gives her the support she needs.
Kelsey’s choice of the Reese is just one of the front of house styles available from Shoes For Crews. To find your perfect style for your next shift, view the full range below.