Do you have great people skills and enjoy helping others? If so, a career as a hostess may be perfect for you. This post will give you all the details on the hostess job description as well as other information about this career. Hostessing is a job that is ideal for people who enjoy interacting with other people. The rate of growth for this profession is quite good. This job is great for people who are in school and want to work part time, but it can also serve as a full-time career for others. You can work in a variety of different restaurants as a hostess. Once you have work experience, it is easy to get a job at another restaurant. Read on to learn all about how to become a hostess.
Hostess Job Description
A hostessing job at a restaurant can be a fun and exciting job, especially for individuals who enjoy socializing and interacting with other people. Typically, a hostess seats customers at a restaurant and gives them their menus. They may also answer questions about the menu. Hostesses typically wait at the front of the restaurant by the front doors. They greet customers as they enter the restaurant, they also take phone calls, and they take reservations. Hostesses spend a large portion of their time greeting customers, so they must have excellent people skills.
A typical hostess job description contains the following tasks:
- Greet customers as they arrive at the restaurant
- Answer the phone and take reservations
- Take customers’ carry-out orders over the phone
- Seat customers
- Answer questions about the restaurant and menu options
- Clean dining areas after customers finish their meals
- Set dining tables
- Assist other restaurant employees as needed
As was previously mentioned, hostesses should have excellent people skills. They must be welcoming and friendly, as they are typically the first faces customers see upon entering a restaurant. Hostesses should be hospitable and helpful to guests in the restaurant. Although the hostesses’ main job is to greet and seat customers, they may have other job responsibilities as well. When the restaurant gets busy, they may be asked to help other employees. For example, they may be asked to help serve food to a large party. It is not uncommon for hostesses to set tables, and they may need to clean off or reset the tables after guests leave. They may also be responsible for restocking storage cabinets and supply closets. Hostesses may also coordinate events and parties that customers want to schedule at the restaurant.
Most hostesses work in sit-down restaurants. However, in some instances they may be employed by restaurants that allow customers to seat themselves. Hostesses may need to work late hours as many restaurants stay open late into the evening. They may also need to work in the early morning, on the weekends, and on some holidays as many restaurants are open on national holidays. As of 2014, there were approximately 376,400 hostesses employed in the United States.
Hostesses must be able to deal with people who are annoyed or angry as occasionally people may be upset if they have to wait to be seated in a busy restaurant. For that reason, hostesses must give honest estimates about how long a wait for seats at the restaurant will take on a busy day or evening.
Hostess Education Requirements and Training
The hostess education requirements are quite simple: there are none! You do not have to have a degree of any sort to be a hostess. In fact, some restaurants will hire individuals to be hostesses as soon as they are legally allowed to be employed. For some states, this begins at age 16. A hostessing job is ideal because hours can be flexible which allows individuals to go to school and work. When a host or hostess is hired, they typically receive some basic on-the-job training. This training explains how the restaurant is run, what their job responsibilities are, policies, and protocols for the restaurant. Training typically lasts a maximum of 4 to 6 weeks. The topics covered may include customer service, cleaning and sanitation, food safety, and even kitchen safety. Hostesses may be trained by managers or other hostesses who have worked at the restaurant for a while. Other training may be done through self-study manuals, online training programs, and more.
While hostesses are in the training period, they are typically expected to work and gain experience. Some training is done through direct observation of current employees. As hostesses gain experience, they may be offered other job opportunities such as a position as a server or bartender (if they are the legal age to be a bartender).
As a hostess, communication skills are extremely important. They must be able to cheerfully welcome customers, take phone calls and answer questions, and relay information to other employees at the restaurant. They must have excellent people skills as a larger portion of this job involves interacting with others and making them feel welcome at the restaurant. Customer service skills are also very important. If the customers are not satisfied, they will not return. Hostesses must take care of customers’ needs promptly and effectively. Hosts and hostesses should also have relatively good physical stamina. In some restaurants, hostesses are expected to stand at a counter or desk near the front of the restaurant. They may be expected to stand for their entire shift. They also need to lead customers to their tables and they may need to add or remove chairs from the table in order to accommodate their customers.
According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics (BLS), the median hostess salary for all hostesses employed in the United States as of 2014 was $9.00 per hour or $18,720 per year. This is lower than the average median annual salary for all professions in the United States which was $34,750 per year as of May 2012. The median value is different from the value of the average salary. However, in some instances the two numbers can be close. The median value is the middle value of all registered salaries. This means that half of all hostesses and hosts earned more than $18,720 per year and about half earned less. Some hostesses earn under $16,000 per year, and some earned as much as nearly $26,000 per year. The lowest earning hostesses earn somewhere around $15,000 annually. The highest earning hosts and hostesses earn over $25,000 each year. Salaries largely vary based on the popularity and success of the restaurant, how many years of experience the individual has, how long they have worked for the restaurant, and the geographic location of the restaurant. A hostess who works in a restaurant in a metropolitan area would likely be paid more per hour than a hostess who works in a restaurant in a rural setting.
Hosts and hostesses typically work full time, but some opt to work part time especially if they are hostessing while they are in school. A full-time work week is typically 40 hours, but occasional overtime work may be requested and compensated. As many restaurants have later hours, many hostesses may work early in the morning or late in the evening. They may also need to work over the weekends or on holidays since many restaurants remain open on the holidays.
Hostess Job Outlook
The hostess job outlook is projected to be around the average in the coming years. The BLS projects a hostessing positions growth rate of 10% between 2014 and 2024 for the profession. The rate of growth for this profession is faster than the average for all other professions in the United States combined. A large portion of the American population likes to dine out or order out of restaurants rather than cook from home. This has already led to the establishment of many restaurants throughout the United States. In the future, there will continue to be a high demand for hostesses at sit-down style restaurants. There will continue to be an increasingly large number of hostessing positions available each year as more restaurants open up and require the services of a hostess or hostesses.