With a less motivated individual at the helm, however, our place comes to a screeching halt. There might be a host who say, doesn't want to run down in her 3-inch heels to reconfigure the floor plan with the busser. And possibly that same person gets annoyed with people for not having a reservation, and will flatly deny them a table or any chance to wait‒as creating a wait list makes things "complicated." And they also don't know how to charm reservations into waiting a few minutes with a free half glass of wine. It is more important to certain people, it seems, to stand pretty and calm at the podium and not lift a finger to drive the night home. The result by 8:30 is a restaurant so quiet, that beyond our muffled (malfunctioning) speaker system you can hear crickets.
I did twice as much in sales last night as I did the previous Friday, when said under-motivated hostess was in charge. We started with 15 fewer reservations on the books too, and I had a crappier station. The hostess' night felt like a retirement community cafeteria. Last night, in contrast, was cranked at full blast, and our place felt like the hot place to be in town.
We're not the most expensive fine-dining restaurant in the area, but what sets us apart, what practically forms our identity, is our extremely lively, packed weekends. "Energy" is key in the restaurant business, as our boss always points out. People might bitch about noise, but really, they want to be where everyone else is, to see and be seen. As a server, this slightly chaotic environment is what makes working at our spot a profitable option vs working in a stuffier, more formal restaurant with higher check averages.
I'm left to ponder the difference between two hosts: one, whose ego is motivated by how awesome the restaurant is, and the other, perhaps more motivated by their own self interest.