How to Write a Host/Hostess Job Description (Responsibilities, Salary and Job Description Template)

How to Write a Host/Hostess Job Description (Responsibilities, Salary and Job Description Template)

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What is a Host/Hostess?

A host or hostess at a restaurant is the first point of contact for guests, playing a crucial role in setting the tone for the dining experience. The host/hostess position is essential in ensuring that guests receive a warm welcome and are attended to throughout their visit.

The core responsibilities of a restaurant host or hostess include greeting guests as they arrive, managing dining reservations, and guiding guests to their tables. They are also in charge of maintaining a waitlist during busy periods, coordinating with the wait staff to ensure tables are prepared promptly, and adjusting seating arrangements as needed to optimize the flow of service.

By providing a friendly and attentive service from the moment guests enter the restaurant, hosts and hostesses help create a welcoming and organized dining experience, showcasing their skills in communication, multitasking, and hospitality management.

hostess at restaurant

Host or Hostess Job Description

In the bustling environment of a restaurant, a host or hostess’s job description is both dynamic and essential. This position not only involves interacting directly with guests but also requires a keen ability to manage the flow of the dining area efficiently. Below, we delve into the specific responsibilities and skills that define the job of a host or hostess, highlighting what makes this role critical to the success of any restaurant.

What are the Duties of a Host/Hostess?

The primary duties of a restaurant host or hostess include greeting guests, managing reservations, and seating customers. Hosts or hostesses are also responsible for organizing the restaurant's seating chart, monitoring the flow of guests, and coordinating with the kitchen and wait staff to ensure that guests receive prompt and efficient service.

Hosts or hostesses may also manage the front desk by taking reservations over the phone or online, welcoming guests as they enter, and providing them with menus and daily specials. They might also oversee the waiting area, keeping guests informed about wait times and managing any delays. Additionally, they play a crucial role in maintaining a clean and inviting entrance area.

What Skills Does a Host/Hostess Need?

Essential skills for a host or hostess include strong communication, organizational abilities, and customer service expertise. A host or hostess must be adept at managing stress, multitasking, and resolving conflicts gracefully.

Expanding on these skills, effective communication is vital for interacting with both guests and staff to ensure that operations run smoothly. Organizational skills help in efficiently managing seating charts, reservation books, and waitlists, especially during peak dining hours. Customer service skills are crucial as hosts or hostesses often handle complaints and must maintain a polite and accommodating demeanour under pressure. Additionally, being able to work as part of a team and having a friendly, outgoing personality are important for creating a welcoming atmosphere and contributing positively to the dining experience.

Below you’ll find a template for a host/hostess job description to get you started.

Host/Hostess Job Description Template

Job Title: Host/Hostess

Reports To: Restaurant Manager

Job Overview: As a host/hostess at [Restaurant Name], you are the first point of contact for our guests and play a vital role in ensuring a welcoming, efficient, and memorable dining experience. You will manage reservations, coordinate seating, and communicate guest needs to staff, contributing significantly to the smooth operation of our restaurant.

Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Greet guests warmly as they enter the restaurant and thank them as they leave.
  • Manage the restaurant’s reservation book, handle phone calls and maintain a waitlist during peak hours.
  • Show guests to their tables, provide menus, and inform them about specials or menu changes.
  • Coordinate with the wait staff and kitchen to ensure timely seating and food service.
  • Adjust seating arrangements based on guest preferences and special needs.
  • Monitor and manage the flow of guests to optimize seating capacity and dining experience.
  • Handle initial guest concerns and inform the manager of any major issues or complaints.
  • Maintain a clean and organized front area and ensure the entryway is inviting.
  • Assist in planning and organizing reservations for large groups or special events.


  • Previous experience as a host/hostess or in a customer service role is preferred but not required.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to organize, multitask, and manage time effectively.
  • High energy and resilience, with the ability to stay calm under pressure.
  • Professional demeanor with a customer-focused orientation.
  • Ability to stand for extended periods and move through the dining and kitchen areas as needed.


  • [specify schedule]
  • Flexibility to work evenings, weekends, and holidays is required.


  • Salary: $/hour [specify range if applicable]
  • Tip Income: [if applicable]
  • Benefits: [if applicable, include things like health insurance, employee discounts, etc.]

Host/Hostess Salaries

Salaries for hosts and hostesses can vary significantly based on several factors, including the establishment’s location, the individual's experience, and the overall tipping culture of the venue. 

How Much Does a Host/Hostess Make?

The average hourly wage for a hostess in the United States is $14.17. This figure can fluctuate significantly based on location, experience, and the specific restaurant.

The range of hourly wages for host/hostess roles varies widely. According to recent data, wages can go as low as $7.21 to as high as $19.47. Most host/hostess roles earn between $11.54 and $16.11 per hour, depending on factors such as skill level and years of experience. 

Does a Host/Hostess Get Tips?

Yes, hosts and hostesses often receive tips, although this can depend on the restaurant’s tipping policy and culture. In many establishments, tips are shared among staff, with hosts receiving a portion of the collective tip pool.

empty restaurant dining room

Host/Hostess FAQs

What Qualities Make a Good Hostess?

A good hostess possesses excellent communication skills, a friendly and welcoming demeanour, and the ability to multitask effectively under pressure. They should also be highly organized, attentive to details, and capable of managing guest flow to ensure a smooth dining experience.

What is the Difference Between a Host and a Hostess?

The terms "host" and "hostess" generally refer to the same job role within a restaurant, with the primary difference being the gender implication of the terms. "Host" is often used as a gender-neutral option. Both roles involve greeting guests, managing reservations, and overseeing the dining area's flow.

What is the Difference Between a Host/Hostess and a Server?

A host/hostess manages the front of the house by greeting guests, handling reservations, and assigning tables, setting the tone for the guest's experience. A server, on the other hand, directly interacts with seated guests by taking orders, serving food and drinks, and addressing any needs or issues during the meal.

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