The host position at Club Tengo Hambre is our most important one. The entire CTH experience—one that we’ve become known for far and wide—is in your hands.
While the food we enjoy + places we visit on our outings is an important part of who we are, the social experience of CTH is even more important.
A blogger once described Club Tengo Hambre outings this way: 'It felt like very cool friends were showing us around their town.'
That's what CTH is all about. We are not a food tour. We are a food-focused hospitality brand that aimed to create experiences you could only get with an insider. You, the host, is the insider—the cool friend.
Our trips are small, intimate gatherings. Our aim is to celebrate both the social aspect of food in bringing people together and the vibrant street food scene that makes the cities we operate in among the best places in the world for food.
We want our guests to bring their friends, make new ones, have a blast, then tell everyone about what an amazing experience CTH is.
Because of you, thousands of guests have developed a love for Mexico and its cuisine. The personality, talents, and personal history you’ve brought to CTH and shared with guests have been the reason CTH outings have been such a great experience for guests.
To make sure that the CTH experience is seamless and balanced at all our destinations, we have created this handbook. It’s a way to help strengthen and continue building CTH together, as we have been since 2012.
We ask for you to read and sign. If you need any clarification, please don’t hesitate to ask us.
Host will be responsible for their own group and will only contact the founding/management team under extreme situations. That’s why you are part of the team. We trust your own judgement. The management team may be out juggling different tasks or hosting a trip as well and possibly unavailable. It is your responsibility to call vendors or transportation partners [Baja California] ahead of time to either let them know you will be there little early or late. Have the contact numbers ready in your phone or notebook.
If its an emergency, please contact a member of the founding team immediately.
Our (virtual) doors are always open and will gladly speak when time permits. Chime in if you have a suggestions as well.
CTH hosts are not allowed to work for or with any other similar companies in the realm of what we do—tourism and food—in any capacity, be it as a host, or as consultants. If you have any doubts, please feel free to ask, before you accept any work from other companies.
Please know that once you commit to an outing, the date is yours. You may switch the date and give to another host that is available. However, if none of the hosts show up, it is the host responsibility whose outing was assigned to by CTH. No shows = termination.
Tour will be given on the basis of a willingness to work. If a host repeatedly declines an invitation to work, the outings will be offered to other hosts who don’t.
We ask that you request days off as far as possible in advance to ensure we can work around your schedule. At least a month in advance is advisable. Once the OK is given to a time off request, host are responsible for making travel plans within those days. If your travel plans change after your vacation days were approved [ie flights were only available during days outside the time off period] the host will be responsible for resubmitting a new time off request for the new travel plans
For Full Time Hosts
Full time hosts will have 30 days of vacation requests. Sundays will not count against your vacation days. Time off should be requested 30 days in advance when possible. Since only one host can leave town at a time, the first person who requests time off will receive it. We can’t accommodate two hosts leaving town at the same time for the time being, thought this is subject to changes as we hire more hosts, and we are currently working on this to ensure more flexibility.
Hosts can take as much as 15 days in a row at a time. The remaining days need to be take at other times in the year.
Black out dates
Because we tend to get really busy during US holidays, the following dates are blocked out from taking vacation days. Please do not ask for time off during these periods.
January 12 — January 15
February 16 — February 19
May 24 — May 28
June 29 — July 9
August 29 — September 3
October 5 — October 8
October 26 — November 5
November 9 — November 12
November 19 — November 26
December 27 — December 29
Host compensation is private and is not be discussed with anyone else other than the management team.
CTH’s internal operations are also private and should not be disclosed with guests or persons outside of the management team.
Vendor (street vendors, chefs, transportation services) contact information should only be discussed internally and be used for official CTH business purposes.
Photo submissions for marketing purposes
Content for social media is expected. It's also one of our strong points. Please send images of the group + a dish as soon as the outing is completed. Want to go above and beyond? Send us short clips that we can use for Instagram stories. At the end of every tour, these images and a brief comment about how the tour went should be submitted to CTH via IM or WhatsApp so we can stay informed and post to social media.
The financial reports are due the day of the tour. For tours ending later, like Valle de Guadalupe outings, Mexico City After Dark, or multi day tours, like our Weekender, reports of due the following day.
Reports are how we keep track of your hours. If reports are not submitted by the time the payment period ends, host will forgo being paid the fee on their missing report and during that pay period. Instead, it will be disbursed during the following payment period.
Every details in the report needs to be correct, as we check it against the calendar to make sure every tour is accounted for.
Please make sure to fill them out using the correct date_tour code_initials method.
For instance, a Mexico City Street Food Essentials tour on February 28th, 2018 by Jason Fritz, would read: 20180228_ CDMXSFE_JF
Tour codes Mexico City
Mexico City Street Food Essentials: CDMXSFE
Mexico City After Dark: CDMXAFTERDARK
Best of Mexico City: CDMXBOMC
Tour codes Baja California
Tijuana Street Food + Craft Beer: TJSFCB
Ensenada Street Food + Craft Beer: ENSFCB
Valle de Guadalupe: VALLE
Los Angeles Tour codes
Los Angeles Street Food Essentials: LASFE
Being drunk in public and having an open container is illegal in Mexico. Since so many of our guests don’t understand this, and think you can drink anywhere at anytime, we need to let our guests know that they can end up in jail if they drink on the streets in Mexico.
While we encourage our guests to imbibe and unwind [where it is permitted], not so much so that they become problematic. If someone has visibly had too much to drink, and becomes a problem, hosts can ask our partners at the restaurant, winery or brewery to stop serving them, and we can also tactfully ask the guests to refrain from drinking more.
Sometimes, little nuggets of truth like, ‘being drunk in public in Mexico results in jail’ or reminding them that it’s a long ride home from the Valle and there aren’t bathrooms, can go along way.
They will also have to pay steep cleaning fees if they have an episode in the van on the ride back. Use your discretion. If a guest would stop being served in an US bar, we need to stop serving them too.
We will go above and beyond for our guests and will make sure they are 100% satisfied with our trips. If need be, facilitate them with reservations, recommendations, etc. Use your own judgement on the lengths you can go without disrupting the flow of the outing and being fair to the rest of the group.
Hosts should also give guests a brief history + reasons we visit that particular place + why we enjoy a particular dish. Ex: ‘The best pastor in Mexico City’ or ‘Ensenada’s famed fish taco.’
Host should introduce the chefs + proprietors of the stands. Our connections and the friendships we’ve built over many years are important and the reason people choose our outings over other operators in the region. It’s also the reason we often get special treatment. Make guests feel special through our connections and one-of-a-kind access. Talk about special to CTH dishes, or say chef X will host us today.
Guests love getting photos w/ chefs and proprietors at our stands. Let’s facilitate that, within reason, if we can.
All this also makes for great ‘gramortunities,’ giving our guests cool information and cool access to share on their social media.
While we are more about fun than an anthropological exercise in food history in Mexico, we do expect reasonable knowledge to talk about the food we are eating and what’s happening in the food scenes in the respective places we work in, Baja California, Mexico City and Los Angeles.
Our demographic tends to be people who are very connected in the food world, who have dined in the best restaurants in the world. CTH host should know a little about Mexico’s restaurants scene and know about Mexico’s top chefs, especially in the regions you host in. There won’t be a pop quiz, but we hope you enjoy your work enough to read up a little on Mexico’s exploding food scene, from the perspective of both the streets and its restaurants. We also want to talk up how Mexican chefs are making a name for themselves in the US, in places like LA, San Francisco, New York.
Because several different groups of friends can be on one tour, much like a good cocktail party host, it’s the CTH host’s duties to try and encourage + facilitate interactions among the different cliques on our outings. Everyone should be in the same area, or at the same table. Simply saying things like, ‘ok everyone, let’s all gather over here,’ can keep the group together and make for a more positive CTH outing. We don’t want people retreating to the small cliques that they know. Encouraging interaction is important!
Speaking of cocktail parties, cocktail party etiquette should be employed at all times, and conversation should be steered towards positivity, and clear of the danger areas of politics, religion, etc.
While we may be hip to the ways of street food, many of our guests have never partaken in eating on the streets of Mexico. A simple primer of how it works can go a long way.
The host position during visits to our food stands is like working as a server at a restaurant. Hosts should help distribute food items from our vendors to guests. Street eating can be a messy affair, so hosts should distribute napkins to people while they are eating. Hosts should also clear dishes at stands when guests finish so they aren’t standing around wondering what to do with plate in their hands.
We also want to help our stands by gathering up all the used plates and handing them to their staff, and trying to help them keep their stands tidy. We don’t want it to look like a tidal wave hit their places when we pack up and leave.
Hosts are responsible for discreetly excusing themselves to pay the bill outside of the eyes of our guests.
Hosts should subtly + politely keep to the time frame by letting guests know that ‘we will be wrapping up shortly’ so we aren’t late to our next stop.
Smoking by hosts is not allowed at any time during the duration of our outings, even outside the eyes of our guests. No exceptions.
Phone use is reserved for CTH related social media, coordinating with our vendors, or keeping track of food costs only. Excessive texting and Whatsapping on our outings takes away from the guest experience, which is our priority. No exceptions. Your personal life can wait.
Stuff happens, especially in Mexico. We need to be able to adapt. We think you are a great ambassador to the region, we trust your taste + decision making. If a stand or place on the itinerary is closed, find an alternative, without the guests noticing any interruption in our service. Adapt to certain situations (traffic, late..), and make sure the guest has a seamless experience.
Communicate with guests if a certain locations are taking longer than normal.
Any problem that may arise, apologize (even if it's not our fault or out of our hands, empathize) and direct them to us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Instagram is the most important driver of business for CTH + hosts should encourage guests to tag CTH in their photos when they post. This is also a way to build the sense of community that lets people from the tours then add each other during or after the outing. We want people to make new friends, brag about their trips w/ CTH on social media, and come on our outings again.
We also would love to know where our guests heard about us, so asking about that in informal conversations if very helpful.
Guests will often ask about other recommendations during their trips. Once they are part of Team CTH, we go all out for them. Please offer up CTH-type bar + restaurant recommendations for them during their stay. Also facilitate making reservations at the places we recommend to them if need be.
If a member of media is in attendance, please direct specific questions about CTH to the founding team.
Any issues beyond your control, please direct to the founding team by letting the guest(s) know to write to us at email@example.com.
Punctuality is of the utmost importance. Hosts will arrive 15 minutes before the designated meeting time. Our clientele are the types of people who travel around the world to eat. They dine at restaurants where they have to book reservations half a year in advance, and they lose them if they aren't at the restaurant on time. That's the world CTH operates in. Our guests expect excellence, and we deliver it to them. We also expect it from our team. We aren't a tour company. We are a hospitality brand. Being late is not an option. Excuses will not be accepted.
- The first instance of tardiness will be a write up
- The second will be a warning, your job is in danger
- The third instance will result in termination
Once CTH food costs are handed over to the host, they are fully responsible for the handling of the company money. CTH can not assume the cost of lost or stolen money due to negligence on the part of the host. On the rare occasion where money disappears because of negligence, the host will assume the loss.
Guest + Host Safety
CTH hosts are expected to announce to guests at the beginning of the outings to keep close all personal belongings.
While we don’t want to alarm guests, we can say, ‘as in all cities, please keep close eye on your belongings.’
We should recommend guests wearing backpacks forward and purses in front and be especially mindful of their phones by keeping them in their front pockets or in zipped up purses worn forward.
On our Baja California and Los Angeles outings, nothing of value should be left in the van, either by hosts or guests. This should be announced to guests.
Sexual Harassment Towards Hosts by Guests
The safety of CTH hosts is the most important thing to us. Please know, hosts have every right at anytime to stop a tour if they feel their safety is in jeopardy. Please understand that hosts can leave a tour at any point if there are any inappropriate comments or behavior towards them. No explanations are needed to guests. Just get to a safe space, even if it means leaving a tour. CTH’s cofounders will handle dealing with the offending, inappropriate guests and also explain to the guests who weren’t offensive but were in the unfortunate position to be on an outing with someone who was. We will back you up every time. We will not tolerate any form of harassment.
Sexual Harassment Towards Guests by Guests
Inappropriate comments or inappropriate behavior towards guests from other guests will not be tolerated. Please understand that hosts have every right to ask a guest to leave at any point on a tour if they display inappropriate behavior towards other guests. We will back up you + your judgement every time and CTH’s cofounders will deal with the offending guests. While we understand this might be a difficult thing to do, we would rather isolate a problematic person and ask them to leave than subject hosts or other guests to that sort of behavior.
The people we work with—from our friends at the stands we visit to the chefs we work with and their teams—are an integral part of the CTH experience. Therefore, they should and will be treated with the respect they deserve from our guests. CTH will not tolerate obnoxious towards them.
Offending guests will be warned + asked to leave if this type of behavior is displayed.
It goes without saying, that racist, sexist, classist, or homophobic behavior will not be tolerated in any form at CTH. Offending guests will be asked to leave if this type of behavior is displayed. CTH cofounders will deal with the situation after they are asked to leave by contacting them directly to explain. If this situation should occur, please alert a cofounder immediately of the problem.