Having worked front of house for much of my career, I’ve noticed how much less direct contact we have with clients these days. With the rise & rise of online booking platforms I do find it refreshing to speak to actual people when I can! I can connect with them & start them off on a positive footing for their future dining experience. There are however a few requests that do challenge me to keep smiling down the phone. The request for the ‘nice’ table for me is one of the worst.
It’s date night, it’s a birthday party, it’s a bestie mate catch up, it’s a family brunch, can I please book a nice table? A nice table? A nice table?! No no, sorry madam but we don’t have any ‘nice’ tables, may I offer you a splintered wobbly bench directly under the vents from the men’s toilets? Or perhaps the table by the front door where you’ll be blasted by dirty exhaust fumes & clipped round the head with oversized handbags every time someone enters the building? No? Well I sincerely apologise for the inconvenience but we do not offer ‘nice tables’. We have tables. We have window tables, round tables, large tables, quiet tables, intimate tables, chef’s tables, private dining tables, bar tables, high tables, booth tables, long tables, coffee tables, poseur tables. And chairs. Lots of chairs. Those we can supply for free. Because we’re nice.
Before you utter the most insipid of adjectives to the person who can potentially make or break your evening, take a moment to think about what you’re really asking for. What is the occasion, what is the purpose of booking the table in the first place? What do you want to achieve? What we think is a lovely romantic corner table might also be seen being pushed aside, cramped & dingy to others. I prefer to be facing away from the kitchen passé yet one of my favourite dining buddies likes to watch the theatre of it. It’s all very subjective.
Tell us what it is that you need. If you’ve been to the venue before try to describe the table or area you’d prefer. We know our floorplans, we know what works & will do our very best to make sure it’s the right spot for you.
Because we’re nice.
By Pollie Hall, FOH Legend