What does a restaurant host do?
Restaurant hosts greet and welcome guests to a variety of food service establishments. They are responsible for answering telephones, taking reservations, and creating waiting lists. They assign customers to tables that are suitable for the size and needs of their group, escort them to their tables, and provide menus, silverware, and other needed items. They also direct customers to restrooms, waiting rooms, and other necessary areas. Restaurant hosts also assist with special requests and act as cashiers in some establishments. They often answer guest questions, handle complaints, and keep an eye on the flow of the restaurant. Sometimes restaurants hosts provide assistance to servers and other staff members.
What kind of training does a restaurant host need?
There are no formal educational requirements for restaurant hosts, but many employers prefer applicants with at least a high school diploma. Restaurant hosts typically learn their skills through on the job training provided by their employer. New restaurant hosts typically shadow experienced workers to learn the required skills and expectations. They often begin by performing simple tasks and move on to more advanced duties once they gain experience. Some employers provide some classroom training. Restaurant hosts employed by more upscale restaurants may need some vocational training or previous work experience. Many restaurant hosts complete additional training as needed throughout their careers.
What are the prospects for a career as a restaurant host?
Employment of restaurant hosts is expected to grow more slowly than average for all professions, increasing 6% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The change in dining habits and increase in take-out food will contribute to the slow job growth.
Job prospects should be good especially for restaurant hosts with extensive experience. Keen competition is expected for positions at high-end upscale restaurants. Many job openings will stem from the need to replace restaurant hosts that leave the occupation.
How much do restaurant hosts make?
As of February 2010, restaurant hosts with less than 1 year experience earn average hourly rates between $7.17 and $8.88. Those with 1 to 4 years experience earn average hourly rates between $7.44 and $9.52 (2).
A career as a restaurant host is a great choice for people with a strong interest in food service and greeting and welcoming a variety of guests at food service establishments. Restaurant hosts must have a solid understanding of the procedures and expectations of their employer. They must have a neat appearance and be friendly, outgoing, patient, and able to handle stress and pressure during busy times. They must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Restaurant hosts must also be able to work as part of a team.