Reading your Guests


Reading your Guests

Reading your Guests

There are usually two types of restaurant diners: ones who want to relax and take their time, and ones who require a quick turnaround. The ability to judge how long a guest wishes to stay is an important skill to master, as it will enable your staff to tailor their food service accordingly. With this in mind, here are some tips on how to read your guests:


Asking guests if they have any plans after their meal can help you gauge how much time they wish to spend in your restaurant. If, for instance, they tell you that they have tickets to a film screening in an hour, you'll know that they expect a speedy turnaround.


While we're not suggesting that you should eavesdrop or linger around tables, conversations between guests are a good indicator of how long they want to stay with you. Listen carefully when you serve drinks and courses.

Visual clues

Clothing and items your guests are carrying are both major giveaways. If two men enter during lunch service wearing business suits, for example, you might assume they are on their breaks and want to grab a quick bite. On the other hand, if someone enters for brunch with a newspaper in hand, there's a good chance they'll want to relax while they eat.

Order choices

What are your guests ordering? If they've asked for breads and olives while they choose their courses, or have ordered a bottle of wine, there's a good chance they want to take things at a leisurely pace.

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