6 Key Things a Restaurant Host Does for You

6 Key Things a Restaurant Host Does for You

June 14, 2023

In the fast-paced and competitive restaurant industry, creating a memorable dining experience is crucial for success. As a restaurant owner, you understand the importance of providing exceptional customer service. One key element in achieving this is hiring a skilled and capable restaurant host. In this blog post, we will delve into the responsibilities of a restaurant host, highlight the traits that make a great host, discuss the impact they have on your business, and provide insights on the types of restaurants that greatly benefit from having a host.

Responsibilities of a Restaurant Host/Hostess:

  1. Greeting and Seating Guests: As the first point of contact, a host's warm and friendly greeting sets the stage for an enjoyable dining experience. They welcome guests, acknowledge their arrival, and escort them to their tables, ensuring they feel valued and attended to from the moment they enter the restaurant.

  2. Managing Reservations/Waitlists: Hosts play a crucial role in handling reservation bookings and waitlists. They keep track of reservations, confirm them with guests, and allocate tables to accommodate incoming parties. This task requires excellent organization skills and the ability to optimize seating arrangements to maximize efficiency.

  3. Coordinating with Servers: A host acts as a vital link between guests and servers. They communicate guests' needs and preferences to the waitstaff, ensuring a seamless and personalized dining experience. This collaboration ensures that guests receive prompt and attentive service.

  4. Managing the Entryway: A well-maintained entryway sets the stage for a positive dining experience. Hosts keep the entryway clean, organized, and visually appealing. They may also provide coat check services, assist with special requests, and offer general information about the restaurant, contributing to a welcoming atmosphere.

  5. Resolving Guest Concerns: In the event of guest dissatisfaction or complaints, hosts strive to address issues promptly and professionally. They possess excellent communication and problem-solving skills, aiming to resolve concerns on the spot or escalating them to a manager when necessary. By addressing guest concerns effectively, hosts help maintain a positive image for the restaurant.

Average Restaurant Host/Hostess Pay in the US:

The average pay for a restaurant host in the United States varies depending on factors such as location, restaurant type, and experience level. Generally, the average hourly wage for a host/hostess ranges between $10 to $14. The total pay with tips included will vary a lot by restaurant type, with fine-dining on the higher end of earnings from tips.

Average host/hostess pay sources:

Traits of a Good Restaurant Host:

In addition to these top 10 traits of an ideal restaurant employee, below are 5 traits that are especially important for your host/hostess positions.

  1. Friendly and Welcoming: A good host creates a warm and inviting atmosphere by greeting guests with a genuine smile and positive energy. They make guests feel valued and set the tone for an enjoyable dining experience.

  2. Organized and Detail-Oriented: Managing reservations, seating arrangements, and guest preferences requires strong organizational skills. A good host pays attention to details, ensuring that every guest is accommodated seamlessly.

  3. Effective Communication: Clear and concise communication is crucial for a host. They provide accurate wait times, answer guest inquiries, and relay information between guests and servers effectively. Excellent communication skills contribute to a smooth flow of service.

  4. Calm Under Pressure: During busy periods, restaurants can get hectic. A good host remains calm and composed under pressure, efficiently managing waiting lists and resolving guest concerns. Their ability to handle stressful situations with grace ensures a positive experience for guests.

  5. Problem-Solving Abilities: A good host possesses resourcefulness and adaptability when faced with challenges. They find creative solutions to accommodate guests' needs, making them feel valued and enhancing their overall dining experience.

Types of Restaurants that Benefit from a Host:

  • Fine Dining Establishments: Upscale restaurants often rely on hosts to provide a personalized and refined dining experience. Hosts manage reservations, ensure proper seating arrangements, and cater to guests' preferences, contributing to a sophisticated and memorable experience.

  • Popular or Busy Restaurants: Restaurants that experience high customer volumes greatly benefit from hosts who efficiently manage waiting lists, reduce guest wait times, and maintain an organized flow of guests. This allows for smoother operations and ensures that guests are seated in a timely manner.

  • Casual Dining Restaurants: Even in more relaxed dining settings, hosts play a valuable role in creating a welcoming atmosphere. They assist guests with seating, manage reservations during peak hours, and provide a friendly presence that sets a positive tone for the entire dining experience.

  • Large Chain Restaurants: Chain restaurants with multiple locations often require hosts to oversee seating arrangements, manage reservations, and ensure consistent guest experiences across different establishments. Hosts contribute to the brand's image by providing attentive service and maintaining a seamless flow of guests.

Ready to start hiring?

As a restaurant owner, hiring a skilled and personable host is a wise investment in the success of your business. A great host enhances the overall customer experience, contributes to increased efficiency, and builds a positive brand image for your restaurant. With their warm welcome, organizational skills, effective communication, and problem-solving abilities, hosts ensure that your guests leave with lasting memories and become loyal patrons. By understanding the critical role a host plays in creating exceptional dining experiences, you can make an informed decision when it comes to hiring the right person for this key position.

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