A 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 hostess has many duties and responsibilities.
One of the most important responsibilities of a hostess is to dress appropriately so as to make a good impression on guests. While some restaurants may require a hostess to where a uniform, other, more elegant or fine-dining restaurants won’t have this requirement. Instead, the restaurants have a dress code and allow hostesses to wear their own clothes. A hostess must have a clean and neat appearance, and should not wear too much jewelry or perfume.
Before dinner service starts, a hostess does preparatory work -- for instance, wiping menus to make sure they are free of stains. She also takes phone reservations and plans seating arrangements. The hostess also works with the restaurant manager to assist with private 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 also answers any questions guests have about the restaurant, dinner specials 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 assigned to the table. 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 good time and says goodbye to them. She also may help servers with their after-dinner tallies.