Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Hostess Career Explained
A host/hostess is as much the lifeblood to a restaurant as the bartender and kitchen staff, according to Food and Beverage Underground. A hostess is the face of the restaurant, the first person to come in contact with guests. So a restaurant hostess has many duties and responsibilities to ensure that guests have an amazing restaurant experience.
Hostess Attire & Communication Skills
One of the most important hostess responsibilities is to dress appropriately so as to make a good impression when greeting guests. Most restaurants will require a hostess to wear some kind of uniform or certain colors of clothing. Most importantly, a hostess must have a clean and neat appearance and excellent customer service skills, including a positive attitude, interpersonal skills, and excellent communication skills.
Before dinner service starts, hostess duties include doing preparatory work - for instance, cleaning the dining room, bar areas, and the front desk area. She also takes phone reservations and plans seating arrangements. She may also assist with taking phone calls for to-go orders later in her shift. The hostess also works with the restaurant manager to assist with large parties scheduled to dine in the restaurant.
During dinner service, a hostess greets patrons as they enter the restaurant and either shows them to their tables or to a waiting area. She needs to have good organizational skills, as she will plan where guests will sit, calculate accurate wait times, seat customers when their table moves off the waiting list, and take care of any and all guest needs. Other job duties include answering any questions guests have about the restaurant, menu items, or prices. She directs patrons to areas such as the restroom or coatroom. Once patrons are seated at their tables, she provides them with menus and informs them of the name of the waiter or waitress who was assigned to the table. Sometimes if the restaurant is very busy, she can also help out the servers by getting drink orders for them. A hostess also listens to any complaints guests have and tries to remedy them.
At the end of dinner service, a hostess makes sure patrons had a pleasant dining experience and says goodbye to them. She also may help other restaurant staff, like bussers, with their after-dinner responsibilities. Helping fellow employees out is very common in the food service and hospitality industries and a hostess will spend her entire shift checking on the other staff members to ensure they are having successful shifts.
I'm a junior at the University of Missouri studying strategic communications! In my free time I love to play soccer, cook, and read!
Mattia Pelizzari/iStock/Getty Images