What does a hostess do at a restaurant? Duties And Responsibilities

While kitchen staff represent the heart and soul of a restaurant, the hostess working in it functions like the face. Potential customers get to hear the voice of the hostess first when they make a phone call to reserve a table. As guests enter the dining area, their first point of contact is likely to be the restaurant hostess. So, what does a hostess do at a restaurant? Let us now know about her duties and responsibilities in detail.  

Hostesses at a restaurant are responsible for meeting, greeting and seating restaurant guests. They assist guests in getting everything that they need and ensure that customers leave with the good memories of an enjoyable dining experience. A hostess at a restaurant manages reservations, sets tables, takes note of drink orders, keeps children engaged by providing them items like crayons, coloring books, snacks, etc. 

Restaurant hostess is a role that involves interacting with customers and ensuring great customer satisfaction. They are responsible for welcoming guests, escorting them to their respective tables and ensuring everything goes smoothly resulting in a pleasant overall dining experience.  

Since a guest’s first point of contact is most often with the restaurant hostess, this person must have a friendly countenance, an outgoing personality, immaculate communication skills and the ability to handle several tasks at the same time. They must have a great presence of mind to handle customer complaints or issues in a professional and timely manner. While settling issues, they must ensure that they do not hamper the brand image and that such situations do not recur. 

This is an entry-level position for which one needs to possess a high school diploma or equivalent. While recruiters prefer experience in the hospitality industry, it is not mandatory though.  

If you are a restaurant owner seeking help in writing a job description for restaurant hostess, here is a sample. 

[Restaurant Name] is looking for a smart restaurant hostess with a promising personality and great aptitude in customer service. The ideal candidate should be friendly and outgoing. We prefer female candidates, preferably with prior experience in the hospitality industry. As a hostess, you will greet and welcome guests upon their arrival, manage table reservations, guide guests to their tables and ensure that every need of the guests is fulfilled. Once on the job, you must maintain a clean and organized reception area and assist with all kinds of guest inquiries (both on the phone and in person). Get in touch if you possess the above-mentioned skills. 

Here is a quick glimpse of the duties and responsibilities of a restaurant hostess which will not only help restaurateurs look for these qualities in the candidates during the selection process but job seekers as well.  

  1. Greet guests as soon as they step into the restaurant 
  2. Escort guests to their respective table 
  3. Answer all phone calls regarding reservations and other enquiries 
  4. Manage table reservations 
  5. Make relevant recommendations to guests from the menu 
  6. Engage in conversations providing information about the restaurant 
  7. Coordinate with various departments of the restaurant 
  8. Ensure smooth service by waiters, bussers and kitchen staff 
  9. Address guest complaints and engage in redressal in a swift manner 
  10. Maintain a clean and organized space in the reception, stand and lobby area 
  11. Assist with auxiliary tasks like noting down takeaway orders  
  12. Processing all kinds of payments 

What Are The Qualifications To Become A Restaurant Hostess?

  1. Be a multitasker with the ability to work in a fast-paced environment 
  2. Have a pleasing demeanor 
  3. Have excellent communication and interpersonal skills 
  4. Robust organizational skills 
  5. Stay calm and composed even under pressure 
  6. Flexibility in working long hours, weekends, and holidays 
  7. Basic computer operation skills and knowledge of reservation systems 
  8. Have a high school diploma or equivalent 
  9. Prior experience in customer service or hospitality industry is preferred 
  10. Good stamina to stand and walk for long durations 
  11. Capability to work efficiently as a team in a challenging environment 
  12. Fluent in English and the native language 

As a recruiter or restaurant owner, this is how your job description for restaurant hostess should look like.

The Job Description should begin with an intro paragraph that has a concise overview of the position and a brief description of the characteristics you are looking for in the candidate. This summary will guide you in focusing on the most important qualities that you seek in the ideal candidate.

[Restaurant Name], [Place] is seeking a hostess to join our exemplary hospitality team. Candidates with previous hospitality or restaurant experience will be given first preference. You must possess an undeterred passion for helping customers throughout their stay at the restaurant, ensuring an enjoyable dining experience.

About Us – In this section, you must explain what makes your workplace special. The hostess belongs to the front-of-house category of employees in a restaurant. You must tell them whether you are a small upscale restaurant or an elite fine dining restaurant. Ask the candidates who apply to write two to three sentences that describe what they have done so far regarding customer service and how they can fill the vacancy appropriately.

When the communication in the job description is free of ambiguity, the nature of your workplace will stand out and attract more eligible candidates, making your recruitment process speedy and error-free.

With the demand for restaurant hostess being projected to grow nearly 5%, it is essential to recruit the best talent from the industry so that the business reaps the benefits and enjoys profits. A well-trained and skilled restaurant hostess can attract repeat customers and help the restaurant capitalize on America’s growing appetite for dining out and its relentless search for great destination of hospitality.

Hope this blog served as a good piece of valuable information about a restaurant hostess, their duties and responsibilities. For more assistance with restaurant website building and digital marketing strategies, get in touch.