Japanese Greetings and Callbacks2.September.2011
For the Miku team, it is more than just keeping the tradition alive — it is our way of communication — it is our way of life! Without this system, we simply could not maintain our level of service. Not only does this help us run from an operational standpoint, it helps to build our team spirit. It is a deep understanding of how each and everyone of our team members is working. It holds people accountable. It is about respect. General Manager, Tony Albertson describes it as ‘a gift we give to our guests, showing that we are ready to go above and beyond to take care of them.’ Here are the four most common types of greeting we use during service:
irasshaimase (e-rah-shahy-mah-seh) – This is used when a guest has arrived at the restaurant. Guest Services will project this to the entire room and the rest of the staff will respond back with the same greeting in confirmation. This gives us an idea of how many guests are coming in and gives us the opportunity to adjust our speed to accommodate the influx. Most importantly, this greeting is used to show that we are aware of your arrival. It is our way to greet you with compassion, and to let you know we are welcoming you not only into our restaurant but into our hearts.
onegaishimasu (oh-neh-gai-shee-mah-su) – Like many phrases in Japanese, Onegaishimasu (literally translating to “please” ) holds a much deeper meaning. When putting in orders the server will call out this phrase to ensure the kitchen or bar is aware of a new order. By doing so, the server is not only conveying please and thank you, but is showing respect to the person who is putting their heart and soul into the food. Onegaishimasu is also used by the chefs when an item is ready to be brought to the table; it ensures that the front of house is aware that food is ready for the guests.
hai (high) – This is the response to onegaishimasu meaning “yes I hear and I understand.” Once the server has rung in the order, the kitchen will respond with “hai.” The vigor of the chefs reply is to show awareness and confidence to prepare the order. When the chefs put up their food on the pass and say onegaishimasu, the front of house staff will respond clearly with hai. This is to acknowledge the passion and dedication that the chefs have put into each and every dish. In doing so, hai, helps to unify and build positive communication between the front and back of house.
arigato gozaimashita (ah-ree-gah-toh goh-zai-mah-shee-tah) – This phrase is vocalized to guests upon exiting the restaurant. The ringing of arigato gozaimashita around the restaurant informs every staff member on the floor of how the flow of guests is progressing. This readies the staff for next wave of guests. It literally means thank you very much, and is used to show our deep appreciation for each guest.
How do we prepare ourselves vocally and mentally for service? By performing this group chant every morning at 11:30. Watch General Manager, Tony Albertson lead the Miku family in this video!
These phrases are our livelihood. Without them, Miku wouldn’t be where it is today. We want our guests to understand that every time we use these greetings and call backs, it is coming from our heart. Next time you dine at Miku, we encourage you to join in to gain a better understanding of your dining experience as a whole. Arigato Gozaimashita!