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HomeBlogUnderstanding the Role of a Hostess: Key Responsibilities and Duties

Understanding the Role of a Hostess: Key Responsibilities and Duties

As a hostess, your face is the first face people see when they enter a restaurant or cafe. You make the first impression of this institution and its service.

That’s why it’s important to welcome guests with a friendly face and stay professional, no matter the mood of your customers. Working as a hostess requires a lot of work with people, and the environment they work in is usually fast paced.

But you get to meet a lot of people and work in some beautiful places. Sounds pretty fun, right? That’s why today we will go over the duties and responsibilities of a hostess and the skills you need to possess if you want to get this job.

Stay tuned and learn more about the hostess job description. Let’s get into it.

Source: Pexels

The Key Responsibilities of a Hostess

Some responsibilities of a hostess are:

Welcoming Guests

The way a hostess greets and welcomes guests sets the tone for their entire dining experience. That’s why it’s important to be friendly, warm, and professional.

Create a welcoming atmosphere so that the guests can relax and have a nice time. Also, sometimes you may need to help guests with coats, bags, or other items.

Managing Reservations

Handling reservations is crucial for a restaurant. If you want this job, you will need to take reservations over the phone, online, or in person. Also, you may need to confirm reservations (especially the bigger ones).

The tricky part is managing last-minute changes or cancellations.

Seating Guests

The most important role of a hostess is that she makes sure every guest is seated and comfortable. They need to have a seating chart and know which tables are available and which are reserved.

Some guests may want more privacy, while others may want to get a table in a specific area they like. It’s your job as a hostess to make sure they get what they want, whenever it’s possible.

Providing Information

As a hostess, you need to provide information to the guests and answer any questions they may have. You have to be familiar with the menu, how the food is prepared, and what ingredients the chefs are using.

You also need to inform guests of how long they will be waiting for a table. You may need to direct them to restrooms, coat checks, or anything they are searching for.

Communicating with the Staff

Hostesses need to keep the kitchen and serving staff informed about how many guests are arriving and how long they are waiting for their tables.

They also have to communicate any special requests or seating preferences. During busy periods, they may need to help out with setting tables or cleaning.

Source: Pexels

Handling Difficult Situations

If you want to work as a hostess, you will constantly be working with people, so difficult situations are bound to come up. The customers often have complaints, and overbookings will happen. In these scenarios, you have to keep your cool and handle everything professionally.

Also, there are times when involving a manager is necessary.

Keeping Everything Clean and Organized

As a hostess, you need to make sure the entrance and waiting areas are clean and welcoming.

Sometimes, you need to help with decorations and menus to make sure the ambiance is beautiful, and everything is functional and organized.

Administrative Tasks

A hostess may also be responsible for handling emails and calls, keeping the reservation system and guest records up to date, and helping manage special events.

Having a Positive Attitude

In hospitality, a good attitude is everything. People go out to relax and let loose after a stressful day at work or their everyday problems. That’s why a hostess needs to stay positive and professional, even when things get busy or difficult.

Of course, everyone can have a bad day, but if you are interested in this line of work, it’s important to work on your mindset.

Source: Pexels

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Hostess?

Here are some skills this job requires:

  • Communication skills: Good communication is at theheart of a hostess’s job. You need to be a bit of a social butterfly, being open and friendly with guests, really listening to what they want, and making it happen.
  • Interpersonal skills: Interpersonal skills are vital in this line of work. You need to be able to handle conflict well and create a harmonious work environment.
  • Customer service skills: You have to be friendly and approachable as a hostess. Always stay calm and try to resolve any issues or complaints.
  • Organizational skills: A hostess needs to be well-organized. They need to be able to handle more tasks at once. And they have to stay focused. The reservations need to be accurate, and they have to do their best to follow through with special requests.
  • Professionalism: Hostesses need to always arrive on time, follow the dress code, and keep a professional attitude.
  • Problem-solving skills: A hostess often needs to think on her feet. In this occupation, many unexpected situations can happen. 

They often have to find the balance between guest satisfaction and what’s achievable at the moment. And they have to come up with solutions on the spot.

  • Flexibility: A hostess must be able to adapt to different situations, adjust to last-minute changes, and make decisions under pressure.

What Are the Job Requirements?

If you want to land this job, some requirements are:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Physical strength (you need to stand for a long time)
  • Experience with digital reservation platforms (this is often a plus)
  • Basic computer skills
  • Experience is preferred (but not always necessary)
  • Food safety or hygiene certifications are also a plus (but some establishments require them)

Where to Look for a Job?

If you want to become a hostess and get some experience, you can search for jobs on:

  • Indeed
  • Glassdoor
  • LinkedIn
  • Websites of restaurants or cafes you would like to work for.
  • Join Facebook groups or follow places you like on Instagram. You could see some job openings there.
  • Ask around- maybe your friends, family members, relatives, or acquaintances know someone who could be hiring.
  • Visit restaurants you would like to work for and ask if they need new workers.

Source: Pexels

The Bottom Line

So, there you have it. Being a good hostess is all about making guests feel welcome and truly listening to what they want. It can be a stressful job, but if you like to spend a lot of time around people, this might be a good fit for you.

You need to be able to think on your feet and reassure customers who can’t get everything they imagined they would. People skills are valued in this position but remember you do spend a lot of time standing, which is a bit harder than it sounds.

You do need to stay respectable and professional in different situations, so think about if you are the type of person who would be good at that. If you do decide to try to take on this role, remember to be confident and stay positive. You’ll get that job in no time.



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