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Host or Hostess Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Hostess, or Host, works in the food and beverage industry welcoming guests to an establishment. Their duties include greeting customers upon their arrival, ushering these patrons to designated tables, and introducing them to their Server.

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Host duties and responsibilities

In order to be successful as a Host, candidates will have a variety of duties to complete. Their main responsibility will be greeting customers at the door as they arrive, but other duties to note include:

  • Let patrons know of wait times and contact them as a table becomes available
  • Take reservations over the phone, online platforms, or in-person
  • Maintain a clean, tidy, and welcoming front-of-house experience
  • Provide novelty gifts to children as they leave the restaurant, if included in the establishment’s operation
  • Seat guests at designated tables and take drink orders, if necessary
  • Answer questions about the food and beverage menu, as needed
  • Understand the needs of wait staff to ensure sections are not overcrowded
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Hostess Job Description Examples:

What does a Host do?

Hosts are the friendly faces customers see as they enter the restaurant and must set a good first impression for the venue. A Host works closely with the wait staff and other members of the establishment to choose where guests are seated. They keep track of which tables need to be cleaned and cleared, and how much space is left in the restaurant for customers to dine.

Host skills and qualifications

In order to be a successful Host, candidates will have a variety of hard and soft skills. Some of these may include:

  • Flexible schedule for working weekends and evenings
  • Customer service skills
  • Organization skills for scheduling and booking reservations and tables
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent problem-solving abilities
  • Knowledge of food and beverage health and safety initiatives
  • Teamwork and collaboration skills

Host experience requirements

Many candidates may not have direct Host experience, as it is an entry-level food and beverage role. However, some experience in customer service or the food and beverage industry is considered an asset. Some candidates may have previous Host experience from another restaurant, or may have another type of food and beverage customer service experience such as working at a fast food chain. Others may have been employed in a different industry such as retail or marketing in a similar role.

Host education and training requirements

There typically are no formal education requirements associated with Host roles, though a very basic familiarity with the industry may help. All candidates should be knowledgeable on basic computer software programs used in the establishment’s premises.

Host salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Host in Canada is $14.86 per hour. Wages will vary based on provincial regulations. It will also depend on the location of the restaurant, how upscale the dining experience is, and the experience of the candidate.

Job description samples for similar positions

If a Host job description sample is not what you are looking for, some other job description samples to review include:

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Host job description FAQs

What is the difference between a Host and a Food Server?

A good Host will be kind, friendly, and able to handle unexpected situations. Some customers may be displeased with wait times or a full restaurant, and a Host will have to be comfortable communicating with these customers. It is important Hosts are able to work well with others while always having the best interests of their team members in mind.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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