How to Deal with a Hostess in a Hip Restaurant

The first day of a new job somebody told me “You are going to see things here that you never thought you’d see in your life”. And he was definitively right. I have seen couples that come in together and leave separately with different partners, strangers having sex in a corner of the bar, fights because a woman was hitting on another woman’s boyfriend (but we have all seen that), undercover bodyguards and bathrooms that exceed the ‘one person’ limit. I have been offered compromising invitations, from Indecent Proposals style approaches, weekends in St. Bart’s, tickets to every concert and party you can imagine, and even fifty chocolate-covered strawberries. And no, I was neither a stripper nor a prostitute; my work was totally decent and legal… I simply controlled the door at an “impossible to get into” restaurant/lounge.

I must confess that being the hostess of one of an exclusive spot gives you certain power; a status that instantly transforms you into `somebody’ that everyone wants to know. Suddenly, doors are opened in the most unexpected places and some even roll out the red carpet for you, provided that you do not make them wait in line for two hours.

My experience has taught me that there are a lot of professional bullshitters and a host has to be ready to listen to every plea and lie in the book: “My friend is inside”. “I am the cousin, brother, neighbor, brother-in-law, etc…. of xxxxxx” and they even make little jokes to see if they get lucky. There are others with bigger egos and attitudes, and their comments make you long for the stupid jokes of the insolent ‘comedian’. “Who you think you are?” “Perhaps you don’t know who I am ” Or the ever famous, “Get me the manager”. You can moan all you want, but let me tell you that usually in these places, you have to deal with the girl standing in the door. And then there are the others ones, the really good ones. They are a different, sophisticated species, sometimes very cocky, that will give you $20, $50 or even $100 so that they can be your VIP friend.

Be your attitude toward a host what it may, considers that niceness and humility do work, that knowing somebody doesn’t necessarily guarantee you an entrance, and that there are times that you simply must accept that you are going to have to wait or go somewhere else.

Visualize this…

You are ready to got out. You went shopping yesterday and bought the perfect outfit. You drank a glass of wine while you got ready and listened to that song that always turns you on. You know that EVERYBODY is going to be there. You are ready to take a break from the routine, have a few drinks and perhaps even meet that man (or woman) that you have been eyeing for the last few weeks. The night looks promising…

Everything is perfect until you arrive at the door and you see the x!#&^ (inserts the most degrading insult you can imagine here), that always makes you wait. And then… What to do? Since your outfit doesn’t deserve to wait, here are a few tips:

1. Be N-I-C-E. You will always have better chance that the host takes care of you if you are nice, but don’t overdo it.

2. Call ahead of time to places that you know get packed. Although this does not necessarily guarantee that you will not have to wait, restaurants usually give priority seating to those that call beforehand.

3. Don’t arrive hungry. Hunger makes you irritable and you neither want to be rude to the host because of the hunger, nor get ridiculously drunk with the two drinks you had while you waited.

4. Ask how much time the wait will be, leave your cell number and go somewhere else to wait. Ask for the restaurant’s phone number and call to make sure that they have not forgotten you.

5. Please don’t wait standing next to the door; only passersby will feel sympathy for you. Trust me, the hostess doesn’t care that you’re posing like a Greek statue besides her.

6. And if you don’t really want to wait… asks if you can tip. Many places accept gratuities to shorten waiting time, but don’t think $5 will do the trick. The acceptable amount depends on the host, but it’s likely that less than $20 won’t help you much.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

seven + 4 =