Hours  

Lunch 11-2:30pmMon- Fri

Brunch 10-2:30pm Sat & Sun

2:30-5 Snack Menu

Happy Hour 230-5 ($2 off rails, taps, house wine) Mon-Friday

Dinner 5-10 (4-9 on Sundays)

10-Midnight Limited Menu Available/Late Night Menu (9-11 Sunday)

Kitchen Closes at Midnight (11 on Sunday)

 

ROUGH DAILY TIMELINE

Weekdays:

Lunch ends at 230

Happy Hour goes from 230-5 (6 for drinks)

Our evening show starts @ 10pm, doors at 9pm. Do not seat guests, who are not attending the show, in the mainroom after 730, if possible.

 

Weekends:

Brunch goes from 10am to 230pm on Saturday and Sunday

No Happy Hour Saturday, and 2:30pm- 5pm Happy Hour Sunday

Dinner Starts at 5 (4pm on Sundays for Matinee shows)

Dinner music set goes from 630-930pm

Late Night show starts at 11pm, doors at 10. Do not seat guests in the mainroom after 830, if they are not here for the show.

 

OUR VENUE:

The Icehouse that almost all seasoned Minnesotans recall is the Cedar Lake Ice Company on 2528 Nicollet Avenue. The company began the seven year job of making the warehouse in 1889. The original Cedar Lake had many ups and downs with numerous lawsuits and robberies. In the end Cedar Lake Ice Company harvested an average of 75,000 tons of ice each year. The ice' carving season began on the first day of January and continued through February. This whole process was made possible by over 500 hundred horses that the company owned and took to St. Paul and back each day. However, if you spoke to the people that remember it the most they would probably just recall the ice chunks broken off and thrown to nearby children chasing after the horses to get some ice to cool them off on a hot summer day. 

Everyone feels welcomed at Icehouse!!!  They should be struck by its unique design and the overall cleanliness.  You can be very proud of the environment that is yours to work in and represent at every turn.  Seeing the venue through the guest’s eyes will help ensure that we leave a mark.

Mise en Place…everything in its place…the lighting in its place, the music in its place, the tables and chairs in their place, the wares in their place, the people in their places.  Knowing the importance of being prepared to welcome each guest as our first, everyone is responsible and takes pride in our workplace.  We worked hard to create one of the most aesthetically pleasing spaces in town with some of the best food, drink and music the Twin Cities has to offe

 

 

ON THE PHONE

·       Often times the first interaction with a guest is at this point.  Remember that a smile comes through the phone!!!  Answering within the first 3 rings shows the guest that they are a priority to you and that we care about their business.  Introducing yourself shows that you are proud to be associated with the restaurant. Learn the phone system! How to hold, park and transfer. This is invaluable during busy times.

·       A pleasant greeting may sound like this: Thank you for calling Icehouse, this is {insert your name}.

·       Part of providing an experience for the guest, is knowing what the guest wants us to know.  Gathering information is your contribution to leaving an impression on the guest.  Please inquire to the pertinent information such as last and first name, telephone number, email address and perhaps anything of note that might be helpful to others taking great care of them.

·       When taking messages, get the customers full name, phone number and what they are calling about. Add the message to the call log (Blue and Green Binder), Then before you leave for the night, check in with the MOD about any calls you have received.

·       If a guest calls for Brian, or other Manager, do not tell them if the Manager/Brian is here or not. Take their info and find out what they want. Then tell them you will check. Then find the Manager and see if they are available to take the call. Transfer to VM if needed- no notes. Same goes for people that stop in. Ask if they have an appointment. Ask them to wait at front bar. Drop-ins are not usually okay- ask Matt or Brian before letting people walk to the rear. We can still be helpful, but manage expectations. 

 

AT THE FRONT DOOR

·       Entry into the restaurant is kept clean and tidy, free of clutter or distractions.  Remember that you are on display in the window. The first impression sets the tone for their entire experience. 

·       Clearly understanding the flow of the restaurant and planning for a “win” is in your hands.  Every shift should begin with a review of all reservations; to highlight special menus, celebrations, or anything else of note that would be helpful in creating a mind blowing experience for the guest.  Knowing that each table will turn in the amount of time that you need and that you are prepared for each guest’s arrival will also ensure that they are happy (and your night goes well).  

·       A smile welcomes everyone and is an important part of receiving guests into Icehouse.

·       Friendly questions upon their arrival may include:

·       (Hello, Good afternoon, Good evening, Welcome), ........{something about dining with us or holding a table}

·       Offer to hang their coats. It can get crowded at the table. If they decline, but look uncomfortable at the table, offer again. Be aware of the guests total experience.

·       Escorting everyone to the table is interactive and fun for you and the guest, please include whenever possible casual greetings and stories about our restaurant and its rich history.  Inquire into the frequency of their visits, anything of note that you could share with the server, etc.

·       Never let guests walk alone through the restaurant, to the back bar or to find their friends. ALWAYS WALK THEM. Be prepared that their guest hasn’t arrived, and have a table in your mind ready for them just in case. Bring menus.

·       Always tell the server who you are seating when you seat guests in their section. Never tell a WA or anyone else- tell the server directly. Print a chit and make sure to give to server if any notes.

·       Presenting the guest with their final destination is like offering them a seat to their very first concert or performance.  It should be special for them and they should be comfortable before you excuse yourself.  Perhaps dazzle them with your knowledge of the menu and a few of your favorite items that they may enjoy. Tell them what section of the menu we are currently offering.– Water them if needed and let them know (name of server) will be with them shortly. If they are waiting on a guest to join, get their or guests name and make a note so when someone arrives and says- I’m meeting someone here, you can ask if they are (name) and know exactly where to take them.

·       During each trip through the room, gather information that will be helpful in providing the best guest experience.  Knowing about each table will support your initial plan for a win.  It is also important to be mindful of how each of your cast members are handling the way you’re executing that plan.

·       Showing appreciation for each person that enters the restaurant, and expressing that, is critical to the success of Icehouse.  Thank your guest for choosing this restaurant and make sure they know that you will ensure their happiness so long as they are under this roof.

·       On a busy evening, use the Waitlist function to better serve guests and help servers manage traffic. Do not just keep a list in your head, use the list function so the MOD or other hosts can see what is happening as well!

 

Hosting Duties

  • The host position is one of the most important at any restaurant!  You are the first Icehouse employees that guests see, and often also the first or only ones that they will talk to on the phone.  You will be giving guests their first impressions of Icehouse and therefore, as the “traffic cop”, you have got to control the flow of guests and seating so as to help this first impression turn into a lasting GREAT impression.
  • Memorize the Floor Chart.
  • Print chits for servers (notes in OT)  and kitchen (chef's bar & table)
  • It is ok for a guest to wait for a few minutes, even if it may be past their reservation time. This is especially important if a section has gotten double triple sat. Say we have a great table that is almost ready and direct them to the bar for a drink. The bar can transfer the tab to the table as an option.
  • One of the most important tasks for a host is to rotate seating.  This is not only important so that a server doesn’t get overwhelmed but it is also important operationally.  We cannot possibly provide great service if the server isn’t set up to be successful.  There are occasions when you cannot help double or even triple (!) seating someone, but at all times you should be aware of how many covers you give a server at any one time.  
  • Learn the wait list function. Direct them to the front bar.
  • When there are two of you, utilize that second person to not only seat guests but to also make sure that tables are open, clear, and that the server is ready for more covers or if they need help. Make sure a table has been reset before walking guests to the table to avoid them having to wait while it is cleared. Help with clearing and resetting if needed.
  • Fill out Event forms and Check in with the MOD before leaving for the day!
  • If we keep this important duty in mind, then there are a few other notes which become obvious:
    • Remember that, though we try to accommodate our guests’ seating requests, YOU are actually the one in control of where they sit and at what pace
    • Never be afraid to have a guest wait a minute or two while a server takes a moment to catch up (if necessary).  We have a great bar right by the door where guests can congregate and where you can keep an eye on them
    • During warmer months it is completely appropriate to ask whether or not a guest wants to sit outside or not.  It is also entirely appropriate to offer and/or seat guests in booths first (it’s the Minnesota way

HOST INFO FOR GUEST INTERACTIONS

Reservations:

  • Up to 6 people- Use the Reservations button vs Floor in OT. The system has an algorithm for turn times that will show you the best table availability to keep the restaurant flowing smoothly. INITIAL any notes you make whether upon entering. Include date.
  • 6+ ppl – what time & date is the guest hoping for? Ensure the existing reservations for that date are spread out enough to accommodate for a larger party (at least an hour on weekends unless specially approved).

·       For parties of 7 or more- There is a $20/pp no show fee. They must let us know the day of. Entire group must also arrive within 15 min of reservation or we may release tables. More important on the weekends- Manager discretion.

  • Inform them of our party menu which is 2/3rds of our supper list and all of our most popular items – it just ensures guests can all eat together/no one is waiting on their food. Save their name, telephone number, and any additional notes about the reservation in OpenTable. The day of the reservation, check in with the Chef regarding if he would like to use the party menu.
  • When filling out the Events Form, please be clear that the reservation is NOT confirmed until they speak with someone who will get back to them asap.  
  • We do not typically take reservations for the Mezzanine, 20, 9&10, and the Patio. If people request, let them know we will do our best to accommodate, and make a note in OT.
  • Often people are calling multiple places looking to book large parties. If possible, connect with the MOD to speak immediately with the guest who is inquiring. The lack of delay could be the difference in a reservation. If no one is available, let the guest know someone will get back to them ASAP. Do not try to answer questions you are not 100% sure of ie minimums etc.  

Music/Shows:

  • Reference our ‘Events’ section online for specific show questions.
  • Advance tickets are available online through BrownPaper Tickets.
  • If a guest is making a reservation specifically for the show (and not for supper), that must be noted to ensure their seating.
  • In the event of a cover, guests may utilize the backroom & Chef’s bar if they do not wish to pay the cover/attend the show.
  • Open seating begins each night at 10PM along with the cover (if applicable).

Chef’s Bar

·       The Chef’s bar is available everyday after 5- (confirm with Chef)

·       Due to demand on Friday and Saturday there are two seating times to guide the guest to. Offer a 5 or 530pm seating or a 730 seating. This will help the kitchen organize the tastings and better serve the guest. If they ask for a 630 seating, explain we offer two seating times and would either the 530 or the 730 work best for them. If they take the 5:30, let them know there will be a reservation at 7:30.

·       On weekdays we can generally accommodate staggered seating times at the guests' discretion. Check with MOD on duty for any questions. Latest is 8pm for a 10 course.

·       5 course/ $25, 10 course/ $40 and this includes dessert and intermezzo- we prefer everyone in the reservation have either the 5 or 10 course to control the flow

·       $5 cocktail or wine pairings avail for each course

·       For guest that want to split a 5 course or 10 course tasting, let them know that we are able to accommodate but will have a surcharge. The reason for this surcharge is due to the fact that they will ultimately be receiving more food. Check in with the MOD/Chef with any course splitting questions.

o   5 Course Tasting surcharge $10

o   10 Course Tasting surcharge $15

·       at Chefs Bar only- no special requests- this includes dietary restrictions. What is ok: 5 or 10 course Vegetarian, or 5 course Gluten Free. Make notes and get the okay from Chef first.

·       Any requests MUST be ok'd by Chef. If they have a lot of restrictions, explain that it is a daily menu that utilizes the freshest ingredients and is customized by the day. We could better accommodate them at a regular table if they’d like so they receive the BEST EXPERIENCE.  

Chef’s Table:

  • Our Chef’s table is available for Chef’s tasting reservations for dinner service every night of the week (only ONE Chef’s table reservation per night). It seats 6-8. Please request any known guest allergies, food aversions, or desired themes/celebrations. The tasting takes about 2.5 hours.
  • If a guest calls for a reservation, please fill out the event form completely. Include Allergies and dietary restrictions. Adding to OT is ok. Please mark in notes as a hold.
  • Guests making reservations for the Chef’s Table with a groupon should provide their email address to receive their options for course selections if they cannot provide their selections at the time the reservation is made. (See separate sheet for course options). Groupon covers up to 8ppl for 6 courses (4 guest selected) with wine pairings for each course. Each course should be the same for every guest unless Chef has approved of an accommodation for allergies/food aversions. Additional guests (over 8ppl) are an additional charge of $100/person
  • Leave menus on every table after 10PM

Music:

  • If a guest calls about booking a show, email is the only format we have for them to pass along their information. No voicemail, no notes, no phone calls, just email. Guests can either fill out the contact form online at icehousempls.com or email events@icehousempls.com.
  • WE NEVER RELEASE ICEHOUSE EMPLOYEE NAMES TO INDIVIDUALS LOOKING TO BOOK SHOWS.

Events:

  • Parties of 20+ppl are typically subject to a food & beverage minimum. Please fill out the event form completely for each guest. Grab a manager to enter the reservation into Open Table if possible.
  • Exceptions are made on the food & beverage minimum especially on weeknights.
  • Do not give a specific Manager’s Name to a guest!

 

Daytime Host Stand Checklist

  • Ensure bar has proper menus
  • Sort/organize lost & found- check the log and match up
  • Clean windows and doors- including by 20. The windows along Nicollet are often the first impression.
  • Fill out the chalkboard for the nightly show
  • Inform MOD if menus need to be printed- toss out soiled ones and organize what is in the file. Remember- guests can see the menus through the window as they arrive. First impressions.
  • Call to confirm all reservations for the evening- include special notes (here for show, anniversary etc)
  • Sweep entryway & sidewalk for cigarette butts
  • Empty trash on sidewalk and under host stand.
  • Ticket hangers for coat check (seasonal task)
  • Check TP and paper towel levels in cabinet by bathroom.

Evening Host Stand Checklist

  • Check for large parties, alert the server and arrange the tables. Lay menus on table, whether regular or party menu and drink menu. Avoid seating people in the 60’s if you need those tables for a later reservation. Be mindful of turn times. 
  • Print chits for Expo for Chef's Bar and Table
  • Empty trash can at host stand
  • Leave menus on every table after 10PM/ make sure bar has menu
  • Re-Stock bathroom and clean throughout night
  • Clean stand of all used glassware & unnecessary items
  • Check in with the MOD about any event forms that you have filled out for the day
  • *Keep in mind- if there is a sound check, let guests know when they walk in. Pull the curtain around the Chef’s Table and between the spaces to buffer the back room. Also avoid seating people directly around the stage if there will be musician load-in in the evening.