A Hostess' Job Duties

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A Hostess' Job Duties
A hostess must be familiar with most aspects of the restaurant she works in, including the menu. (menu image by christine terkouche from Fotolia.com)

A hostess is often the first person customers meet when visiting a restaurant and the last person they see before leaving. Known as the face of the restaurant, the hostess oversees the operations of the dining room and kitchen. Responsible for a wide variety of tasks, the hostess makes sure guests experience exceptional service.

Scheduling Reservations

A hostess answers telephone calls, scheduling reservations and arranging for private parties in advance. She decides where customers will sit and accommodates any special requests, such as services for disabled patrons. She must be familiar with the restaurant’s reservation policies and be able to seat customers at a steady pace so that the kitchen and wait staff are not overwhelmed.

Handling Customers

A hostess usually stands at a hostess stand at the front of the restaurant. He greets customers using a pleasant and polite tone. After checking for the customers' reservations, the hostess escorts them to their table, delivering a menu to each person. After the customers have eaten, the hostess asks them about the quality of their meal and service, recording any complaints.


The hostess makes sure menus are clean with no visible stains or spots, wiping them off if necessary. She checks the restaurant’s entrance, ensuring that doors are unobstructed. During service, the hostess keeps an eye on the dining area, bathrooms and entrance, ensuring that all areas are well-maintained.

Financial Responsibilities

In small dining facilities, such as coffee shops and lounges, the hostess operates cash registers, processing payments for food and drinks. She also prepares cash receipts after the facility’s hours of operation, depositing funds at the bank.


The hostess interacts with kitchen staff, servers and management to make sure customers’ concerns are taken seriously. In smaller restaurants or cafes, the hostess also collaborates with staff on menus and specials. She confers with servers to create work schedules that accommodate everyone as best as possible. In some facilities, the hostess also assists in the hiring, training and supervision of service staff.


The hostess represents the restaurant he works for and must dress and behave accordingly. A hostess working in formal or informal dining facilities must adhere to a dress code. Depending on the restaurant, he may have to wear a uniform or similar attire as the wait staff. The hostess should be charismatic, courteous and remember to make eye contact with guests. Behaving as a professional also implies that the hostess knows how to handle difficult customers or staff.

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