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Become A Host/Hostess

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Working As A Host/Hostess

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $22,229

    Average Salary

What Does A Host/Hostess Do

Food and beverage serving and related workers perform a variety of customer service, food preparation, and cleaning duties in restaurants, cafeterias, and other eating and drinking establishments.

Duties

Food and beverage serving and related workers typically do the following:

  • Greet customers and answer their questions about menu items and specials
  • Take food or drink orders from customers
  • Prepare food and drink orders, such as sandwiches, salads, and coffee
  • Relay customers’ orders to other kitchen staff
  • Serve food and drinks to customers at a counter, at a stand, or in a hotel room
  • Clean assigned work areas, dining tables, or serving counters
  • Replenish and stock service stations, cabinets, and tables
  • Set tables or prepare food trays for new customers

Food and beverage serving and related workers are the front line of customer service in restaurants, cafeterias, and other food service establishments. Depending on the establishment, they take customers’ food and drink orders and serve food and beverages.

Most work as part of a team, helping coworkers to improve workflow and customer service. The job titles of food and beverage serving and related workers vary with where they work and what they do.

The following are examples of types of food and beverage serving and related workers: 

Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food, are employed primarily by fast-food restaurants. They take food and beverage orders, prepare or retrieve items when ready, fill cups with beverages, and accept customers’ payments. They also heat food items and make salads and sandwiches.

Counter attendants take orders and serve food over a counter in snack bars, cafeterias, movie theaters, and coffee shops. They fill cups with coffee, soda, and other beverages, and may prepare fountain specialties, such as milkshakes and ice cream sundaes. Counter attendants take carryout orders from diners and wrap or place items in containers. They clean counters, prepare itemized bills, and accept customers’ payments.

Food servers, nonrestaurant, serve food to customers outside of a restaurant environment. Many deliver room service meals in hotels or meals to hospital rooms. Some act as carhops, bringing orders to customers in parked cars.

Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers—sometimes collectively referred to as bus staff—help waiters, waitresses, and bartenders by cleaning and setting tables, removing dirty dishes, and keeping serving areas stocked with supplies. They also may help waiters and waitresses by bringing meals out of the kitchen, distributing dishes to diners, filling water glasses, and delivering condiments. Cafeteria attendants stock serving tables with food trays, dishes, and silverware. They sometimes carry trays to dining tables for customers. Bartender helpers keep bar equipment clean and glasses washed. 

Hosts and hostesses greet customers and manage reservation and waiting lists. They may direct customers to coatrooms, restrooms, or a waiting area until their table is ready. Hosts and hostesses assign guests to tables suitable for the size of their group, escort patrons to their seats, and provide menus. They also take reservations over the phone, arrange parties, and help with other customers’ requests.

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How To Become A Host/Hostess

Most food and beverage service jobs are entry-level jobs and do not require a high school diploma. The majority of workers receive short-term on-the-job training.

Most states require workers, such as nonrestaurant servers, who serve alcoholic beverages to be 18 years of age or older.

Education

There are no formal education requirements for becoming a food and beverage serving worker.

Training

Most workers learn their skills through short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting several weeks. Training includes basic customer service, kitchen safety, safe food-handling procedures, and good sanitation habits.

Some employers, particularly those in fast-food restaurants, teach new workers with the use of self-study programs, online programs, audiovisual presentations, or instructional booklets that explain food preparation and service procedures. However, most food and beverage serving and related workers learn their skills by watching and working with more experienced workers.

Some full-service restaurants provide new dining room employees with classroom training sessions that alternate with periods of on-the-job work experience. The training communicates the operating philosophy of the restaurant, helps new employees establish a personal rapport with other staff, teaches employees formal serving techniques, and instills a desire in the staff to work as a team.

Some nonrestaurant servers and bartender helpers who work in establishments where alcohol is served may need training on state and local laws concerning the sale of alcoholic beverages. Some states, counties, and cities mandate such training, which typically lasts a few hours and can be taken online or in-house.

Advancement

Advancement opportunities are limited to those who remain on the job for a long time. However, some dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers may advance to waiter, waitress, or bartender positions as they learn the basics of serving food or preparing drinks.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Food and beverage serving and related workers must listen carefully to their customers’ orders and relay them correctly to the kitchen staff so that the orders are prepared to the customers’ request.

Customer-service skills. Food service establishments rely on good food and customer service to keep customers and succeed in a competitive industry. As a result, workers should be courteous and be able to attend to customers’ requests.

Physical stamina. Food and beverage serving and related workers spend most of their worktime standing, carrying heavy trays, cleaning work areas, and attending to customers’ needs.

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Host/Hostess Demographics

Gender

Female

80.1%

Male

17.3%

Unknown

2.6%
Ethnicity

White

58.5%

Hispanic or Latino

19.6%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

5.8%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

58.6%

French

10.3%

Italian

6.9%

Portuguese

3.4%

Chinese

3.4%

Vietnamese

3.4%

German

3.4%

Mandarin

3.4%

Hindi

3.4%

Hmong

3.4%
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Host/Hostess Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.3%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

12.5%

Valencia College

7.1%

Troy University

5.4%

Mt San Antonio College

5.4%

Montgomery College

5.4%

Eastern Michigan University

3.6%

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

3.6%

Northern Arizona University

3.6%

Johnson & Wales University

3.6%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.6%

Keiser University

3.6%

University of Central Florida

3.6%

Central Piedmont Community College

3.6%

Sierra College

3.6%

College of Southern Nevada

3.6%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

3.6%

Texas State University

3.6%

Fullerton College

3.6%

Wake Technical Community College

3.6%
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Majors

Business

15.8%

Nursing

9.5%

Criminal Justice

9.5%

Psychology

8.9%

General Studies

7.9%

Health Care Administration

5.3%

Culinary Arts

4.2%

Cosmetology

4.2%

Elementary Education

4.2%

Medical Assisting Services

4.2%

Kinesiology

3.7%

Communication

3.7%

Education

3.2%

Human Services

3.2%

Anthropology

2.1%

Pharmacy

2.1%

English

2.1%

Physical Therapy

2.1%

Computer Information Systems

2.1%

Medical Technician

2.1%
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Degrees

Other

44.0%

Bachelors

26.1%

Associate

17.0%

Diploma

4.4%

Certificate

4.1%

Masters

3.8%

License

0.3%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Real Host/Hostess Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant, Lounge, and Coffee Shop Quiznos Classic Subs Houston, TX Jun 14, 2013 $65,219
Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant, Lounge, and Coffee Shop JP Doyle Restaurant and Public House, Inc. Sleepy Hollow, NY Jul 16, 2014 $43,827
Host/Hostess Thaitanic Inc. Washington, DC Apr 29, 2011 $43,534
Host/Hostess Thaitanic Inc. Washington, DC Mar 10, 2011 $43,534
Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant, Lounge and Coffee Shop Food for Junior's Inc. New York, NY Jul 01, 2011 $30,222
Host/Hostess, Restaurant Ricochez, Inc. DBA The Left Bank CO Jun 20, 2011 $30,074
Host/Hostess, Restaurant Daniel's Foods, Inc. DBA Mirabelle Restaurant CO Jun 20, 2011 $30,074
Host and Hostess, Restaurant, Lounge & Coffee Shop L & J Brazil Restaurant New York, NY Jan 30, 2012 $29,765
Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant, Lounge, and Coffee Shop Veselka Enterprises, Ltd New York, NY Oct 01, 2008 $28,246
Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant, Lounge, and Coffee Shop Upstairs On The Square Cambridge, MA Dec 12, 2013 $28,142
Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant, Lounge, and Coffee Shop ATV Food Mart, Inc. D/B/A Five Star Banquet & Rest Islandia, NY May 09, 2014 $27,820
Host & Hostesses Pelican Bay Foundation, Inc. Naples, FL Oct 10, 2016 $25,837
Host/Hostess 525 Riverside Ave. Liquors, LLC Lyndhurst, NJ Jul 16, 2012 $25,771
Hosts and Hostesses Pelican Bay Foundation, Inc. Naples, FL Oct 01, 2015 $25,107
Host/Hostess Cafe Mozart Inc. Washington, DC Oct 27, 2010 $22,942
Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurnat Lounge, and Coffee Shop Tokuaki Fujita Hillburn, NY Apr 17, 2009 $22,790
Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant, Lounge, and Coffee Shop International Palace Inc. D/B/A/El Pastor Newark, NJ Mar 21, 2013 $22,464
Host/Hostess The Polo Club of Boca Raton, Inc. FL Oct 01, 2014 $22,394
Host/Hostess Boca West Country Club, Inc. FL Oct 01, 2014 $22,394
Host/Hostess The Club at Admirals Cove, Inc. FL Oct 01, 2014 $22,394
Host or Hostess Daniel's Foods, Inc. Avon, CO Dec 01, 2014 $22,247
Host/Hostess Thaiphoon Restaurant Arlington, VA Sep 08, 2010 $22,143
Host Hostess General Hotel Work McBird LLC Centennial, WY Dec 15, 2016 $20,661
Host/Hostess Tara Thai Richmond, VA Oct 26, 2010 $20,508
Host/Hostess Tara Thai Richmond, VA Oct 25, 2010 $20,508
Host/Hostess Tara Thai Richmond, VA Aug 26, 2011 $20,508
Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant Sapho, Inc. DBA The Fours Boston, MA Oct 15, 2007 $20,348
Host/Hostess Thai Farm Inc. Rockville, MD Jun 29, 2010 $20,265
Host/Hostess Tara Thai of Gaithersburg Gaithersburg, MD Nov 26, 2008 $20,265
Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant, Lounge, and Coffee Shop Prosci Corp Elizabeth, NJ Jun 22, 2010 $20,223

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Top Skills for A Host/Hostess

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  1. Customer Service
  2. Server Station
  3. To-Go Orders
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided guests with excellent customer service and great hospitality.
  • Answered phones and accurately processed/assembled to-go orders.
  • Answered telephone calls, responded to inquiries, and scheduled reservations.
  • Meet & Greet Customers, Seat Customers.
  • Speak with patrons to ensure satisfaction with food and service, to respond to complaints, or to make conversation.

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Top 10 Best States for Host/Hostesses

  1. Hawaii
  2. Nevada
  3. Vermont
  4. Arizona
  5. Florida
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Washington
  9. District of Columbia
  10. Minnesota
  • (24 jobs)
  • (73 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)
  • (128 jobs)
  • (388 jobs)
  • (71 jobs)
  • (15 jobs)
  • (98 jobs)
  • (17 jobs)
  • (89 jobs)

Top Host/Hostess Employers

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