Hostess Job Description
Hostesses work in restaurants, lounges, coffee shops, and other eating establishments. They are responsible for making reservations, greeting guests as they arrive, and seating guests when their tables are ready.
In some restaurants (particularly diners), hostesses also work as cashiers. When guests are finished with their meals, they bring their checks to the hostess stand and pay for their food.
Hostesses are often the first point of contact that a customer has with an employee when they enter a restaurant, so one of the most important functions of this job is making a great first impression.
Unless you’ve worked in a restaurant, you may not realize how big of a role that hostesses play in keeping the restaurant running smoothly. A good hostess is extremely valuable, particularly in busy restaurants. Making a few bad seating choices can back up a restaurant for hours, and it takes practice and experience to set customers in a way that keeps the restaurant moving.
Work Environment and Schedule
Hostesses work in full service restaurants. Most hostesses work part time, but some restaurants have positions for full time hostesses as well.
Restaurants are typically busiest during nights and weekends, and hostesses are expected to be available during those times. This is a very popular job for high school and college students, since the hours don’t interfere with their academic schedules.
This can be a stressful occupation, particularly during rush hours. Customers often get impatient when they have to wait for a table, and hostesses have to remain calm and friendly even when the customers do not.
You might not think about it when you walk into a restaurant, but working as a hostess can be physically exhausting. In some restaurants, hostesses walk customers to their tables and provide them with menus, silverware, and take care of other basic needs. Standing and walking for an entire shift can be hard, especially when a restaurant is busy.
How to Become a Hostess
In most restaurants, hostess jobs are entry level. There are rarely any educational requirements for this position, and employers are willing to train hostesses on the job.
Though it isn’t normally necessary, having previous experience as a cashier, customer service representative, or waitress can help increase your chances for employment.
With experience, many hostesses move on to work in more advanced positions within a restaurant.
There are currently 330,500 hostesses in the United States, with 24,570 new hostess job openings created each year.
Hostess jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Hostess salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most hostesses make between $17,200 – $21,100 per year, or $8.25 – $10.16 per hour.