Career Development

What Does a Host Do?

Find out what a host does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a host.

Hosts are the face of a business. They greet customers as they enter the door, answer questions about menu items or services, and sometimes even provide entertainment in the form of trivia games or small talk.

Hosts may be employed by any type of establishment—from formal restaurants to casual bars or coffee shops—but their job duties are largely the same regardless of where they work. They’re responsible for making sure that guests have a positive experience while they’re in the building.

Host Job Duties

Hosts have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Providing outstanding customer service through attentive listening, friendly greetings, and solid problem solving
  • Reviewing incoming reservations to verify availability and rate options
  • Ensuring that all company policies are followed, including safety procedures and fire regulations
  • Coordinating special events such as weddings or banquets
  • Taking orders for food and drink from customers at restaurants or bars
  • Providing information about the location of restrooms, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, and other facilities and services within the facility
  • Acting as a liaison between guests and management when issues arise
  • Providing information about activities available at the facility such as classes, conference rooms available for rent, and other offerings
  • Making sure the facility is clean, safe, and welcoming to guests

Host Salary & Outlook

Hosts are typically paid hourly, and their salaries can vary depending on a number of factors. These include the size of the company they work for, the length of time they’ve been working as a host, and the level of experience they have.

  • Median Annual Salary: $31,500 ($15.14/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $54,500 ($26.2/hour)

The employment of host – restaurant and bar workers is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by the continued popularity of craft breweries, which offer a variety of specialty beers. In addition, the continued growth of microbreweries is expected to lead to greater demand for food service in these establishments.

Host Job Requirements

There are a few requirements that are typically needed in order to become a host, which may include:

Education: While there are no specific education requirements for a host, most hosts have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some hosts choose to pursue a college degree in hospitality or a related field.

Training & Experience: Hosts learn the specific details of their role while on the job. Training typically includes shadowing current hosts and learning the menu, the layout of the restaurant and the flow of the service. Training may also include learning the computer system the restaurant uses to take reservations and manage tables.

Some hosts choose to take courses to learn more about the hospitality industry. Courses can help hosts learn about topics like customer service, food and beverage, and restaurant management.

Certifications & Licenses: The host is the person who is hosting the event. This is usually the person who is giving the speech as well. However, if the event is a fundraiser, the host may not be the speaker.

Host Skills

Hosts need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: Communication skills are an important skill to have as a host. You should be able to communicate with your guests, other employees and management. You should also be able to communicate with your guests in a way that makes them feel comfortable and welcome.

Customer service skills: Customer service skills are an important aspect of being a good host. You should be able to answer questions about the establishment you work for, help customers find what they need and resolve any issues they may have. You should also be friendly and welcoming to your guests.

Problem-solving skills: Hosting a successful event requires the ability to solve problems. Hosts should be able to identify issues and find solutions to them. For example, if a guest is having a bad time, the host should be able to identify the problem and find a way to make the guest’s experience better.

Teamwork skills: Hosting is a team effort, so it’s important to be a team player. Hosts should be able to work with their staff to ensure their guests have a great experience. This includes being able to delegate tasks and accept help when needed.

Technological skills: Hosts should be comfortable with technology, as it’s a common part of most people’s lives. You can use your technological skills to help you navigate the website of the business you work for, answer questions from customers and more.

Host Work Environment

Hosts typically work in restaurants, hotels, casinos, or other establishments where they interact with customers. They may also work in event planning, catering, or other customer service-related fields. Hosts typically work full time, and their hours may vary depending on the establishment’s hours of operation. They may also be required to work nights, weekends, and holidays. Some hosts may have to travel to different locations for work. The work environment is usually fast-paced and can be stressful, especially during busy times. Hosts need to be able to handle customer complaints and demands in a professional and courteous manner.

Host Trends

Here are three trends influencing how hosts work. Hosts will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of the Gig Economy

The gig economy is growing rapidly, as more and more people are turning to freelance work as a way to make ends meet. This trend is having a major impact on the hospitality industry, as hotels are now competing with a much larger pool of candidates for jobs.

To be successful in this new economy, hotel managers will need to learn how to attract and retain top talent. They can do this by offering competitive salaries and benefits, as well as providing a positive work environment.

More Focus on Employee Experience

As businesses become more focused on customer experience, they are also placing increased emphasis on employee experience. This means that hotels need to focus on creating a positive workplace culture where employees feel valued and appreciated.

Hotels can create a positive employee experience by offering perks such as free food, gym memberships, and paid time off. They can also create an open dialogue with employees about what they want out of their job and how they can be better supported.

Greater Attention to Sustainability

As sustainability becomes a greater concern for businesses, hotels will need to pay attention to how they manage their resources. This includes everything from energy use to waste disposal.

By implementing sustainable practices, hotels can not only save money but also improve their reputation among customers. In addition, many cities and states are beginning to require hotels to be more environmentally friendly, which could lead to penalties if they are not compliant.

How to Become a Host

There are many different ways to get started in the host industry. You can start by working as a server at a restaurant, or you can work as a concierge at a hotel. You could also become a tour guide or travel consultant. No matter which path you choose, it’s important to be passionate about hospitality and customer service.

Related: How to Write a Host Resume

Advancement Prospects

The best way to advance in this career is to get more experience. Start by working at a smaller venue and then move up to a larger one. You can also advance by becoming more involved in the planning and execution of events. Another way to advance is to become a certified event planner.

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