What Does a Host Do at a Restaurant? – On the Line | Toast POS

What Are Host or Hostess Responsibilities?

What does a host do? A restaurant host responsibilities include:

Greeting guests

A warm, welcoming greeting is the first step for each guest that walks through the door. Hosts say hi, and welcome the guest into the restaurant. 

Taking reservations and managing them

Taking reservations and keeping a well-organized reservation system is one of the most important jobs of a host. Whether they use an online reservation system or a well-work reservations book, the host must be adept at keeping reservations organized. Sometimes, this means also following up with guests who haven’t shown up or taking phone calls from guests running a few minutes behind.

Managing a wait-list

Some restaurants don’t take reservations, and only have a wait-list for the day of. Keeping the wait-list organized is essential to getting a dining experience off to a great start. This usually involves taking down guest contact information and contacting them when it’s time to sit down.

Communicating wait times to guests 

Communicating accurate wait times to guests is one of the host’s most consistent tasks. Guests tend to take those numbers to heart, so a longer wait time than communicated can be detrimental to a guest’s experience and lead them to give up and seek another place to dine.  

Managing the seating chart

The host is in charge of allocating guests to tables and getting them seated in the correct section. Maintaining a well-organized seating chart is essential to not overload one server, and making sure work is distributed fairly among the wait staff. Getting good at this task takes time and experience in the restaurant.

Seating guests and distributing menus

In many restaurants, when it’s time for a guest to take their seat at their table, it’s a host’s job to walk them to their table and ensure they have menus to start perusing before a server takes over.

Cleaning and to-go orders

Sometimes, host or hostess job duties may also include managing to-go orders, light cleaning around the restaurant (like wiping down menus and sweeping), and other tasks allocated by the management.