Your Table is Ready

I love to sit outside to eat.  In the Pacific Northwest, the days when we can comfortably do so are limited but on those days, I’m on the lookout for patio seating.  Often I see tables but there are not yet guests there and the tables are not set with serving ware or salt/pepper.  As a result, I’m not really sure they are serving on the patio.  Rather than park and go in to ask, or worse, ask to sit there only to find there is no server assigned to that area – I will often pass.

On the other hand, seeing tables set and ready for me is like a flashing neon welcome sign.  Case in point, on a recent trip to Beverly Hills, my husband, John Murphy and I were walking to a recommended restaurant for breakfast when we spied this patio at Parq “dressed and ready to go”.  We quickly detoured and enjoyed a very nice – and very pricey – breakfast at the Montage.

Looking open and ready for business is the first step to getting business.    When tables are already set up with settings, customers are more likely to take that as an invitation and choose to join you.
If you are concerned about wind or foot traffic costing you stemware, you might try the clever solution used by Asia Blue in the Blue Palace Resort on Crete.  They lay the glasses down on the placemats using the slats of the wooden tables to keep them from moving.  When they seat a guest, they simply stand up the glassware and they are ready to go.

As business people we need to do everything we can to entice and invite customers to our door…or tables.   Do you look open and ready for business from the moment you arrive until the time you close? Many businesses do internal tasks first and then turn on the open sign, put out the sandwich board or make up the outdoor table.

Make the outward signs and signals your first priority each and every day, remind your staff to do the same. The customer is your focus, the e-mail and paperwork can wait!


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