By Aoife McGinley, Career Advancement Program Ambassador Scholar

Ibis opened a brand new clubhouse this September. Within the clubhouse they opened three new restaurant outlets: The Atrium, which is a buffet/A la Carte restaurant, The Pub, and Panache, a fine dining restaurant. It is a privilege to be part of the first group of international interns to open the new Club at Ibis. The restaurant in which I work is called the Atrium; it is a buffet for lunch and dinner with a la carte options, it proves very popular with the members who play golf. The Atrium is seen as a quick lunch in between a round of golf, and is strategically positioned beside the golf course. The restaurant typically seats many large groups of golfing teams at a time, meaning lunchtime is a very busy part of the day.

My shift starts at 10 a.m. so I catch the 9:15 bus to work. When I arrive it is my duty as hostess of the Atrium to get the floor plan from a manager and make a sufficient amount of copies for the hostess stand, the managers, and the side stations for the servers and bar backs. I then communicate with both chefs of the hot and cold buffet, in order to find out what today’s specials are, which includes the carving station, soups, small plates and salads. Once I have this information I label all items on the different buffet stations. Other tasks carried out in the morning are ensuring that the lunch table tents are set out on each table and attending pre-meal. Pre-meal is a meeting with the managers and floor staff to go through the daily menu. Once pre-meal is over I ensure that I have everything I need for the lunch rush. I ensure that all my fellow hostesses are up to date on the floor plan and inform them of the specials of the day, so that they can communicate them to members with confidence.

Dinner is a different set-up; unlike lunch we have reservations for dinner that we collect through the concierge. It is imperative that you pay close attention to the reservations while making the floor plan. For dinner I also have to change menus and help set up the tables with the dinner setting, again following the process of speaking to the chefs and labeling the stations. When a member arrives I ask for their member number which allows me to print off a chart through the computer, which gives the server the member’s name, number, and information about any special requirements or preferences. This helps the server anticipate the member’s needs before they ask. Once dinner is over I must clean all the menus and the hostess stand, remove the buffet labels, and report the total number of members we seated that day to a manager.

My role as hostess means that we are in charge of the floor plan; a hostess must seat you. Also, in my role I build a relationship with the members and carry out one of the main Ibis goals—name recognition. Members appreciate when you make an effort to remember them and their families. Being a hostess is not only about greeting and seating the members; it is abut teamwork and organization. In order for the restaurant to run smoothly we must keep our eyes on tables to ensure that members are not waiting a long time to be seated. I am hands-on in my job, you will often see me working on the floor clearing tables, resetting, or making sure that members have everything they need. Recently, because of the new season many new members have just joined Ibis, therefore I do whatever it takes to ensure they feel welcome in the Atrium as well as talking them through the process of the restaurant, for example food options and billing.

Interested in interning or training in the United States? Learn more about the J-1 Intern/Trainee visa and the Career Advancement Program by visiting our page.