Restaurant Hostess Job Description
Restaurant Hostesses are responsible for handling many of the front-end details of the dining experience. They are the first people patrons see when they walk into the restaurant, so quality customer service is a huge part of this position. As the name of the position suggests, Restaurant Hostesses are employed by the restaurant industry. The work environment depends on whether a restaurant is a casual eatery or fine dining establishment. Restaurant Hostesses spend their entire shift on their feet and interacting with customers. And the often work nights and weekends.
Restaurant Hostess Duties and Responsibilities
We researched Restaurant Hostess job descriptions to put together the following list of Restaurant Hostess duties and responsibilities:
Greet and Seat Patrons
First and foremost, the Restaurant Hostess is responsible for greeting patrons as they arrive and guiding them to their tables. This requires the ability to maintain an upbeat attitude all day. This responsibility also requires Restaurant Hostesses to maintain knowledge of daily specials to convey them to patrons.
Assign Wait Staff Tables
Resturant Hostesses are responsible for quickly assigning a waiter or waitress to patrons after they have been seated. This involves maintaining and consulting a seating chart.
Keep Track of and Facilitate Wait Staff Workflow
In addition to assigning tables to wait staff, Restaurant Hostesses always have to be aware of each person’s table load. It is their job to coordinate support when a waiter or waitress gets overloaded, and to ensure everyone is receiving service promptly.
Field Customer Complaints and Inquires
Restaurant Hostesses are the face of the restaurant. They are the person a patron approaches if they have a question or complaint. This duty takes conflict resolution skills and the patience to deal with upset customers.
Perform Opening and Closing Duties
This is a responsibility of Restaurant Hostesses that includes a bunch of little tasks. It involves opening and closing registers, paying out tips to wait staff, ensuring their workstation is clean and helping the bus staff prepare the dining area for the next day.
Restaurant Hostess Skills
Restaurant Hostesses rely mostly on soft skills to perform all of the duties necessary to keep the front end of a restaurant running smoothly. There are also certain character traits one must possess to succeed in this position. First off, Restaurant Hostesses have to take pride in their appearance. They are the first person patrons interact with, so they must look their best to create a good first impression. Additionally, creating a good first impression requires the ability to maintain a positive, upbeat attitude. Restaurant Hostesses have to be highly organized to be able to keep track of open tables and assign wait staff strategically. In addition to these character traits, Restaurant Hostesses need the following skills to get hired.
- Greeting and establishing rapport with patrons using interpersonal communication skills
- Using seating chart software to keep track of available and occupied tables
- Coordinating the bus staff to get tables cleaned and ready for the next patrons
- Organizing and facilitating the wait staff workflow
- Defusing customer complaints using conflict resolution skills
Restaurant Hostess Education and Training
The role of Restaurant Hostess does not require a college education. One can find employment at this position with just a high school diploma. All of the education required is learned through on-the-job training. It includes learning how to use the point of sale system and the seating chart software used by their employer.
Restaurant Hostess Salary
According to Payscale, the national average salary for Restaurant Hostesses is $22,511. Those at the bottom of the scale make $15,000, while those at the top of the scale make $29,000.
Restaurant Hostess Resources
The role of Restaurant Hostess is often used by people as an entry point to eventually run or own their own restaurant. The following resources are geared towards Restaurant Hostesses with this mindset.
National Restaurant Association – The National Restaurant Association is the predominant trade organization for the restaurant industry. Their mission is to help members find, train and retain the best talent for their restaurants. They believe a great restaurant depends on a great staff, so they provide many resources on their website geared towards talent acquisition and development. In addition to this workforce engagement information, their website contains a career development section that discusses all kinds of restaurant jobs in detail. It is a good resource for Restaurant Hostesses looking to grow in the industry.
Grub Street – Grub Street is one of the most notable food blogs in the blogosphere. Their site is updated on a regular basis with articles covering things like the latest food trends and worker’s rights issues relating to restaurant workers. It also covers reviews of the best places to eat in major cities.
The Infatuation – The Infatuation is one of the most trusted restaurant review sites in the industry. They use a revolutionary rating methodology that they explain in full detail on their website. They currently conduct reviews in several major cities around the world. These reviews and guides are good resources for Restaurant Hostesses to see how the best restaurants provide an excellent dining experience.
Front of the House: Restaurant Manners, Misbehaviors, and Secrets by Jeff Benjamin and Robert Neubecker – Jeff Benjamin is one of the most accomplished restaurant owners in the industry, and this book shares his secrets for what it takes to provide excellent restaurant service.
Lessons in Service from Charlie Trotter by Edmund Lawlor – Charlie Trotter runs what is considered one of the nation’s top restaurants, and this book is the second in a series of books written to help other people in the industry ascend to their level of excellence.
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