Restaurant hostesses greet and welcome patrons, seat them in lounges or at tables and help ensure the quality of service. They also provide guests with menus, inspect dining and serving areas to ensure proper setup and cleanliness, operate cash registers to accept payment for food and beverages, prepare cash receipts after restaurants close and make bank deposits.
The duties of a restaurant hostess include supervising and coordinating dining room activities, receiving and recording patron dining reservations, directing patrons to coat rooms and waiting areas, and ordering supplies and equipment for tables and serving stations. They are also responsible for planning menus, balancing the cash register, resolving patron complaints, and maintaining contact with kitchen staff, serving staff, management and customers to make sure that dining details are handled properly and customer concerns are addressed.
The skills required to become a restaurant hostess include active listening skills, speaking skills, speech clarity and oral comprehension skills. Active listening skills are useful for understanding customer requests and taking orders. Speaking skills are useful for conveying information effectively, such as explaining menu items. Speech clarity is useful for conveying information verbally to customers in an efficient manner. Oral comprehension skills are helpful for understanding oral communications from customers and other staff. It is also helpful to have service orientation skills, oral expression skills, problem sensitivity skills and instructing skills.
Restaurant hostesses have to stand on their feet most of the work day and have to carry heavy food trays, glassware and dishes. When the restaurant is busy, there is a lot of pressure on hostesses to serve quickly and efficiently. Hostesses must take caution to avoid slips, falls and burns. Most hostess' work part time and hours per day, usually vary. Most hostess' work longer than the standard eight-hour day.
There aren't any specific education requirements necessary to become a restaurant hostess. But many food and beverage establishments prefer to hire high school graduates rather than teenagers. Many hostesses have little or no previous work experience when applying for a restaurant hostess job. Many restaurant hostesses have other jobs they are working either full-time or as a side job. The applicants for these types of jobs are usually high school and college students looking for part-time work to make some extra money to buy little things they need here or there.
As of 2010, restuarant hostess' usually make minimum wage, which is now $7.25 per hour in the state of New York, plus tips. But some make less than minimum wage, according to My Plan.
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