A restaurant hostess or host is the first person your customer interacts with when they visit your restaurant. A restaurant hostess or host at a busy restaurant is extremely important to help record customer reservations and manage the flow of guests into the dining room. There are an estimates 342,000 restaurant hostesses and hosts were roles being filled in 2019, according to industry data.
If you plan to fill a hostess role soon, I have a job description template you can download and edit here. But I also recommend reading through this guide so you’ll know the different parts of the job description template, why each section is necessary, and the salary expectations for the role.
- Hostess Job Description Summary
- Primary Responsibilities of a Hostess
- Desired Skills / Role Requirements for a Hostess
- Download Now: Sample Job Description Template
- Questions to Ask During a Hostess Interview
- Hostess Average Salary Job Statistics
As you already know, a hostess greets customers once they enter the restaurant. Coming from the word host, this role is in charge of making sure the customers are guided to their table fast, feel valued, and have positive experience. They’re the first team member customers interact with when they enter the restaurant and usually also the last person the customer will see since the hostess will be the ones to thank them for dining at your establishment before they leave.
It’s important that a hostess be friendly, have excellent communication skills in addition to an ability to multi-task and solve problems quickly. In fast paced restaurants, it’s not uncommon to be answering a phone while communicating with customers face to face. Being able to juggle different client facing situations while keeping everyone happy is what makes a talented host or hostess.
Hostesses or hosts also function as a receptionist wherein they enter reservations on the restaurant’s schedule. They’ll also take incoming calls to answer customers inquiries, book catering gigs or book reservations. They then coordinate with the restaurant manager, how many walk-ins can they accommodate. A hostess is strategically positioned inside or outside restaurant entrance or lobby.
You may have noticed in many restaurants that hostesses are younger in age. This is largely due to the fact that more experienced staff will move into roles like management, chef, or server (where you can earn tips). Often, the hostess is a first job for someone that wants to gain some experience in the restaurant industry.
Hostess Job Description Summary
Every formal job description starts off with a summary that briefly describes the available position. Job descriptions don’t need to be lengthy. They’re informative, simple, and concise.
Below is an example of a hostess job description summary:
The Green Gardens is a restaurant and café beloved by many for its home-cooked meals and award-winning service. We are known for our healthy selections made with organic and locally sourced ingredients.
We are looking for a restaurant hostess to help provide the best dining experience for our customers. The hostess must have a charming personality, be able to multi-task, and understand how to organize and schedule appointments. Most of all, we are looking for someone passionate about giving exceptional customer service at The Green Gardens.
Does this sound like you? Read our instructions to apply below.
After reading this job description, your applicant will know what kind of restaurant you operate, the standards you uphold, and the tasks they’ll need to perform.
Primary Responsibilities of a Hostess
Though it already might be obvious as to what a restaurant hostess is, it’s best to be specific about it so your applicant will know what you expect of them if they land the job. So in this section, list all the responsibilities your restaurant hostess will have. I suggest writing these it down in bulleted list is because it makes the requirements easier to scan.
Here are primary responsibilities expected of a restaurant hostess:
- Answer calls and inquiries from customers.
- Jot down reservations and bookings and coordinate with the restaurant manager and kitchen staff.
- Greet customers politely once they arrive and check their reservations.
- Show guests to their assigned seats.
- Answer guest questions in a professional and friendly tone.
- Monitor the activity inside the restaurant to help gauge how busy you will be.
Writing down responsibilities in a checklist like for your future applicants on whether or not they qualify for the position.
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Desired Skills / Role Requirements
Now we move on to role requirements or the skills necessary for your restaurant hostess to have. These include your applicant’s experience on the job required of them to do. Keep in mind that with an entry-level position like this, many of the applicants may not have any prior work experience. Expect to offer detailed training to any applicant that is hired.
Here are some skills and requirements you should look for:
- Has a high school diploma.
- Prior experience working in a hotel or restaurant is preferred.
- Knows phone etiquette and has good communication skills.
- Has a courteous, positive, and professional work attitude.
- Knows how to organize, multi-task, and plot schedules.
- Can be productive without supervision.
- Willingness to help wait staff and managers as needed.
These are the basic skills and role requirements look like for a restaurant hostess. You may add more in case your food establishment requires any special experience.
Sample Job Description Template for a Hostess
Combine everything you’ve learned from above and put it all together. Below is a sample job description template for a restaurant hostess you can copy and paste. Just be sure to edit out some of the details and always proofread your work before submitting to an employment website or ad agency.
The Green Gardens Restaurant – Restaurant Hostess Position
The Green Gardens is a restaurant and café beloved by many for its sumptuous meals and excellent service. We are known for our healthy selections made with organic and locally sourced ingredients.
We are looking for a restaurant hostess to help us out in providing the best dining experience for our customers. The hostess must have a charming personality, able to multi-task, and knows how to organize and schedule appointments. Most of all, we are looking for someone passionate about giving exceptional customer service at The Green Gardens.
Fine Dining Server Job Responsibilities:
- Answer calls and inquiries from customers
- Jot down reservations and bookings and coordinate with the restaurant manager and kitchen staff on how many people to accommodate on certain days
- Greet customers politely once they arrive and check their reservations
- Organize and monitor the waitlist should customers decide to walk in
- Show them to their seats
- Answer their questions should they have any
- Monitors the activity inside the restaurant to be able to provide the best dining experience
- Be familiar with the menu to answer all the organic and healthy food questions the customers might have
- Help customers with their requests such as a change of seat, change of utensils, etc.
- Thank them for their patronage once they leave the restaurant
Skills and Experiences:
- Has a high school diploma
- Prior experience working in a hotel or restaurant is preferred
- Knows phone etiquette
- Has good communication skills
- Has a courteous and positive personality
- Has a professional work attitude
- Knows how to organize, multi-task, and plot schedules
- Able to lift trays to assist customers if need be
- Can work while unsupervised and under pressure
Job Type: Full Time
Schedule: Tuesdays to Sundays; 6 am to 2 pm
Salary rate: $12 per hour
Supplemental Pay: Tips
- Employee discount
- Health insurance
- Paid time off after a 1-year service (Details will be disclosed once hired)
- 401 K
Contact information: (insert both your email and number)
Join us and be a part of The Green Gardens family. Send us your resume in the email provided above with the subject line “Ready To Go Green!” We’re looking forward to hearing from you.
Questions to Ask During a Hostess Interview
Interviewing applicants is the next step after sifting through the promising resumes and applications. Below are a few questions you can ask to help determine if the applicant is good fit for the hostess role.
- Why did you leave your previous job?
- Tell us about your past jobs and what your responsibilities were.
- Would you be able to work on holidays?
- Tell us an experience you had at work that was stressful and how you were able to overcome it.
- In your opinion, what is a hospitable restaurant environment for you?
- How do you deal with rude customers?
- What do you enjoy about being in the foodservice business?
- What are your long-term goals and how long do you plan on staying with us?
- Would you be willing to switch your morning shift to a night shift?
- Do you speak other languages?
Questions like these during an interview will help you analyze your applicant’s personality better. Interviews can also be nerve-wracking on the applicant’s part so by inviting them to one, you can see how well they respond to impromptu questions. This is a good test to understand how applicants would respond to a customer’s inquiry on the spot.
You may also ask questions that are already mentioned in their resume just to double-check and verify background information. You don’t want to hire someone with fake information on their resume.
Average Salary Job Statistics for a Hostess
Salary negotiations for a hostess isn’t really a thing. Hostess’s make around $10 – $12 an hour on average according to Bureau of Labor data. If you’re up-front about the wage information in your job listing there shouldn’t be any surprises for applicants. So before facing your applicants, do a little background check on the average job salary a restaurant hostess. Learn more about the restaurant industry. I’ve included key statistics so you know what the industry averages look like when hiring for this role.
- A hostess in the United States makes an hourly average wage of $10 but this can also be adjusted to $12 depending on the tasks your establishment needs them to do.
- According to the Bureau of Labor, restaurant hostesses roles and responsibilities are:
- To welcome patrons into the establishment
- To show them to their seats or accommodate them at the lounge
- To help keep and maintain the quality of the facility and the service provided
- The estimated job growth for hostesses and hosts in restaurants, lounges, and coffee shops is at 6.92%.
- The average age of restaurant hostesses and hosts in the industry is 24.9 years old.
- A study by Zippia showed that over 76.8% of this job position are women. Only 18.2% in this position are men.
- 32% of restaurant hosts and hostesses carry a high school diploma
- Popular places where hosts and hostesses work are in New York and Orlando, Florida
- It is expected that by 2028 there will be 1.6 million new restaurant jobs.
- The restaurant industry’s profits are expected to increase to 15% in 2021 when the dining restrictions brought on by the pandemic are lifted.
- Having a polite customer service representative is believed by 68% of customers to be the key to exceptional customer service. This is why it’s important to hire a restaurant hostess that has a pleasing personality and can address your customers’ needs when they need it.
When hiring for this position, keep in mind that a hostess of an entry point into the restaurant business. If you mention in your job description that there’s the opportunity for advancement into positions like prep cook or server, you could help attract more ambitious people with a growth mindset.
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With this job description template, you’re well on your way to hiring the right hostess for your restaurant. Just edit out the necessary details in this template and add your own. You’ll be ready to post it up on employment websites and distribute it to hiring agencies. Best of luck on your next hire!