What does a Hostess do?
A Hostess works within cafes, restaurants and other drinking and eating establishments. They create a friendly and hospitable environment for customers. They are a part of the front of house (FOH) team and work closely with waitstaff or bar staff to ensure that patrons not only feel welcome, but also receive excellent customer service. They coordinate with other team members to ensure that customers find their seat and are presented with menus and specials.
Hostess skills and qualifications
A successful Hostess candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications to perform their job effectively. These include:
- Ability to deal with customer requests in a timely and positive manner
- Self-motivation and positivity to greet guests warmly regardless of the time of day
- Teamwork skills to help take on tasks outside of their specific job description and to help other team members with service
- Excellent knowledge of food and beverages, including wine pairings or in-house or regional specialities
- Practical front of the house and waiting skills, such as carrying multiple plates and pouring drinks
- Ability to stay on their feet for long periods of time, both early in the morning and night late at night
- Knowledge of restaurant management systems and point of sales systems
- Arithmetic skills to assist with taking money or cashing up
Hostess experience requirements
A Hostess needs at least one year of experience working in a hospitality setting. A candidate’s experience needs to be in the same setting as the role they are applying for. For example, a Hostess in a family restaurant must have experience working as front of house staff in a busy restaurant. A Hostess in a bar must likewise have experience working in a busy bar environment. Experience working in other customer-facing roles outside the hospitality industry, such as retail can be useful too.
Hostess education and training requirements
A successful Hostess needs to have experience working in a a busy restaurant, as this is more essential than formal education. A Hostess will often work their way up from other front of house roles, such as waitstaff or bar staff. However, candidates do need to demonstrate that they have good results in maths and English at the GCSE level to demonstrate key communication skills. Practical college courses or apprenticeships can prove useful too. Such courses can include a Level 1 Award in Introduction to Employment in the Hospitality Industry or a Level 1 Award in Food and Beverage Service.
Hostess salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Hostess in the UK, is £9.17 per hour. Salary may be dependent on experience, location and company.
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