Walk the length of Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey, and chances are you will hear plenty of invitations to enter the restaurants serving seafood (and other fare) that line both sides of the wharf. In the past, the people who tried to charm you into their establishment were called barkers. Nowadays, they prefer to be called greeters.
“Try the chowder folks, come and taste the difference,” is what you will hear when you approach Crab Louie’s Bistro when Lauren Libera is working. It is her job to entice customers into the restaurant with free samples of chowder, smiles and friendly conversation. Libera has been a greeter for Crab Louie’s Bistro for five years, and for her it is all about understanding who it is that she is approaching.
Weekly: Were you nervous your first day as a greeter?
Libera: Like any first day at any job, it was hard. But here, I had to learn how to talk to people walking by and what would work to get them inside.
How do you get people to come to your restaurant?
I observe the people and entice them with my chowder and my great people skills. I also offer our most popular dish, which is the stuffed sea bass.
Who are your best targets?
Women and children and seniors. The women are interested in getting a chance to put the kids down and rest, and kids are interested in the mac-n-cheese and the corn dogs. The older folks love to chat, and now I love to listen to them. They make some of my favorite customers.
Do you have to make a quota?
No, I don’t have a quota, but I get tips for the people I bring in, so the more the better.
What do you do on your day off?
I get one day off, so I clean – and sleep.