How to Get a Job as Restaurant Host or Hostess

Are You The Restaurant Host With The Most?

One of the most important front of the house jobs in a restaurant is that of the host or hostess. They are usually a guests first impression of the staff and of the restaurant itself.

What is a Host and What Does He Do?

If you think a host’s job is just directing people to their table in a restaurant,  think again. While that is big part of the job, that’s not all a host is responsible for, and that part’s not as easy as it looks either.

A good host has to be personable and friendly. They are after all, the first person a customer meets when they walk in the door. If a host is unfriendly and rude, a guest immediately has the impression that the restaurant isn’t going to live up to their expectations, and that can be hard to overcome, especially with hard to please customers. A pleasant phone voice is important too, as the host may be responsible for answering the phones and taking reservations.

For these same reasons, good grooming skills and personal hygiene are important as well. If a customer walks in the door and the hostess is unkempt, they will assume the restaurant is as well. Not a good first impression to have, even if it’s untrue.

A host also has to be organized. The job of bringing patrons to their tables does not just mean they take them to the first available table they see. A hostess has to work with the waitstaff to make sure that each server doesn’t get overloaded with tables while others have none. Having good communication skills is a must. In a sense, the host’s job is to make sure that the service runs smoothly and efficiently while finding the right balance for the waitstaff.

In addition, if the restaurant is not busy, a host might have other duties, such as walking around checking on customers and refilling drinks, to rolling silverware or making sure tables are properly stocked with condiments and such. They must do all of these things while keeping their eyes on the door to make sure guests don’t wait too long to be seated.

How Can I Become A Host or Hostess at a Restaurant?

If you think you have what it takes to be a host, getting a job is as easy as applying. Most moderate family chain restaurants don’t have a lot of requirements for a host job and will provide on the job training. You’ll probably make an hourly wage and possibly tips.

Jobs in five-star restaurants will require some experience, and can be quite productive. In high end restaurants the job title is Maitre d’ and generally pays more, but comes with more responsibilities, such as handling complaints or even managing the front of the house staff. This job is more of a career than a temporary job such as that of a host, but the job duties are similar.

Many people take host jobs just to work their way in the door or to start a career in food service, and quickly move from host to other positions throughout the restaurant. If you want a well rounded restaurant career, these are good skills to have, as you never know when you may need to fill in somewhere.

If you are personable, and want to break your way into the restaurant industry without expensive training or years of experience, becoming a host or hostess is a great way to get your career off the ground, meet people and possibly have a rewarding career ahead of you.

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