When Celebrities Come To Dine

Occasionally, you might have a few surprise guests at your restaurant.

If this isn’t a regular occurrence, and it catches you off guard, you might not be sure how to act when they show up at your place of business.

Should you roll out the red carpet? Should you comp their meal? Should you make a big deal out of their sudden appearance, or should you treat them just like you would anyone else? Would you miss out on any opportunities by not offering special treatment?

Even as all these thoughts begin to run through your head, you soon realize one of your servers must greet them at their table, or they’re going to start thinking your restaurant has bad service. And you haven’t even decided what to do yet!

So, what’s the best course of action? Here are a few tips worth considering.

Act Normally

Celebrities are people too. They like to dine, browse, shop, and visit tourist spots, just like anyone else.

There might be a reason why they’ve come to visit your restaurant (such as your reputation for delectable pasta), but it could also be that they were hungry, needed a break, and spontaneously decided to drop in.

Certainly, you might feel somewhat nervous serving them, but acting out of the ordinary could make them feel unwelcome or uneasy themselves. If you treat them like any other customer (i.e. well), there’s a good chance they’ll enjoy their dining experience more.

Sometimes, famous people want an escape from the spotlight for a while, especially since their work requires that they be the center of attention. If you don’t make a big deal out of their presence, they will likely appreciate that fact.

If you haven’t received any special instructions in advance, and they showed up unexpectedly, then your best course of action is to just help them have a good time, and not freak out unnecessarily.

Follow Instructions

Let’s say the celebrity’s visit is not spontaneous, and their manager calls in advance to let you know of their arrival. There’s a good chance they’re going to have certain requirements and instructions for you to follow.

The best course of action in a situation like this is to follow the instructions you’re given. Prepare for the celebrity’s arrival, and fulfill their requirements.

It sounds simple enough, and it should be if your staff aren’t already overwhelmed. If your restaurant is busy, you’ll need to triage and prioritize tasks best you can in anticipation of the celebrity walking through your front door.

A celebrity’s requirements might include a private table, room temperature water, food prepared in a specific way, and so on. There’s no need to anticipate these needs before you even know what they’re going to be, but once you’ve received that call, get ready as soon as you can.

Follow Instructions

Let’s say the celebrity’s visit is not spontaneous, and their manager calls in advance to let you know of their arrival. There’s a good chance they’re going to have certain requirements and instructions for you to follow.

The best course of action in a situation like this is to follow the instructions you’re given. Prepare for the celebrity’s arrival, and fulfill their requirements.

It sounds simple enough, and it should be if your staff aren’t already overwhelmed. If your restaurant is busy, you’ll need to triage and prioritize tasks best you can in anticipation of the celebrity walking through your front door.

A celebrity’s requirements might include a private table, room temperature water, food prepared in a specific way, and so on. There’s no need to anticipate these needs before you even know what they’re going to be, but once you’ve received that call, get ready as soon as you can.

Read The Situation

Sometimes, the only thing you can do is read the situation and act accordingly. This might help or hurt the situation, and you don’t necessarily have complete control over that, but if you aren’t given any indication as to what their expectations are, the only thing you can do is observe what they do and say, and respond in the most professional manner possible.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, even if you feel like you did your best, there may be times when a celebrity leaves your business in a huff. For whatever reason, their expectations may not have matched up with the service you offered, despite your best judgement. There are some famous people that want special treatment, even if they don’t openly admit it.

There’s no reason to believe this will turn into negative press for your business, unless you go out of your way to upset them. Simply do your best, and avoid putting pressure on photo ops, signed goods, or endorsements. If a celebrity enjoys their dining experience, they might promote your business all on their own, but don’t push for it without precedent.