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How to Become a Hostess (Hostess Training Program)


The challenge of becoming a great hostess is often underestimated. As the first face guests see when they step into a restaurant, a hostess’s role is pivotal.

Based on our vast experience in the restaurant industry spanning over a decade, we’ve crafted a detailed training program to guide aspiring individuals on how to be a formidable hostess. Let’s explore how to become a top-notch hostess in a restaurant setting.

Step 1: Explore Hostess Education Requirements

A formal education isn’t typically mandatory to become a hostess. However:

  • Many restaurants prefer candidates with a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Short courses in hospitality or communication can be beneficial.
  • Customer service training, even if not in a restaurant context, can be a plus for potential employers.

How long does it take to become a Hostess?

Generally, it takes very little time to get started as a hostess. Most training can be completed on the job within a few weeks.

Do I need experience to become a Hostess?

Not necessarily. Many restaurants offer on-the-job training. However, prior customer service experience can be advantageous.

Step 2: Start To Develop Hostess Skills (Hostess requirements)

Being a hostess is not just about greeting customers.

Hostess skills & requirements

  • Communication skills: Effective and clear communication with guests and staff.
  • Organizational ability: Managing reservations, waiting lists, and guest flow.
  • Professional demeanor: Maintaining a positive and welcoming attitude.
  • Multitasking: Juggling various tasks during peak hours.
  • Problem-solving: Addressing any guest concerns or complaints.
  • Adaptability: Adjusting to various situations and guest needs.
  • Knowledge of the restaurant layout: Directing guests efficiently.

Hostess Duties And Responsibilities

  • Greeting guests: Providing a warm and welcoming environment.
  • Managing reservations: Ensuring timely seating.
  • Communicating wait times: Keeping guests informed of potential delays.
  • Collaborating with servers: Ensuring efficient table rotations.
  • Handling complaints: Addressing and resolving issues professionally.
  • Maintaining cleanliness: Keeping the reception area tidy.
  • Assisting with special requests: Such as seating preferences.

Step 3: Complete Relevant Hostess Training

Types of Training:

  • On-the-job training: Practical, hands-on experience.
  • Customer service courses: Enhancing interaction with guests.
  • Conflict resolution seminars: Handling difficult situations gracefully.
  • Time management workshops: Efficiently managing guest flow.

Hostess training template

A structured training program can streamline the learning process.

Day 1: Introduction to Restaurant Operations: Understand the restaurant’s ethos, layout, and team dynamics.

Day 2: Communication Skills: Mastering the art of talking and listening to guests.

Day 3: Reservations and Seating Management: Tools, techniques, and best practices.

Day 4: Handling Difficult Situations: Role-playing common challenges and solutions.

Day 5: Finalizing Training: Mock service and feedback session.

Best Hostess Training Programs and Courses

  • Hospitality Degree Programs 
  • Restaurant Customer Service Workshops:
  • Online Course on Effective Communication for Hostesses 

How to Train a Hostess

From a trainer’s perspective, cultivating a hostess’s skills requires patience, observation, and feedback.

  • Step 1: Introduction to restaurant’s culture and values.
  • Step 2: Hands-on experience with the reservation system.
  • Step 3: Shadowing an experienced hostess.
  • Step 4: Role-playing potential challenges.
  • Step 5: Continuous feedback sessions.
  • Step 6: Mastery of seating arrangements.
  • Step 7: Final assessment.

Chef Training Checklist

  • Greeting Etiquette: Check if the trainee can greet guests appropriately with a warm, genuine welcome.
  • Reservation System Mastery: Verify the trainee’s proficiency with the restaurant’s reservation and seating software.
  • Menu Knowledge: Ensure the trainee has memorized the menu and can answer common guest questions about food and beverages.
  • Dining Room Layout: Confirm the trainee knows the dining room layout and can navigate guests to their tables efficiently.
  • Handling Special Requests: Check if the trainee can accommodate special seating requests or dietary needs professionally.
  • Conflict Resolution: Assess the trainee’s ability to handle guest complaints calmly and effectively.
  • Team Communication: Make sure the trainee communicates clearly and effectively with the rest of the staff, particularly the servers and kitchen staff.
  • Closing Procedures: Confirm the trainee knows the end-of-day tasks such as organizing the host stand, reporting on the day’s reservations, and preparing for the next shift.

Step 4: Get Additional Hostess Certifications

While not always necessary, additional certifications can enhance your credentials and boost your employability.

Most common certifications for Hostess:

  • Customer Service Certification: Validates the hostess’s ability to provide excellent service.
  • Food Safety Certification: Ensures the hostess is aware of food safety protocols, which is essential in a restaurant environment.
  • Hospitality and Tourism Certification: Offers comprehensive training in hospitality best practices.
  • Communication Skills Certification: Affirms the hostess’s competency in effective verbal and non-verbal communication.
  • Conflict Resolution Certificate: Shows the hostess can handle disputes and ensure guest satisfaction.
  • Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP®): Recognized by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, this certification focuses on guest service skills.

Does a Hostess need certifications?

It’s not mandatory, but it can be a beneficial differentiator in competitive job markets.

Hostess certification cost

Costs can vary, but on average, a certification might range from $50-$200, depending on the program’s depth.

Step 5: Prepare Your Hostess Resume

Focus on any customer service roles, highlight communication skills, and mention any formal training or certifications. Emphasize adaptability and previous restaurant experience, if any. Ensure clarity and professionalism.

Step 6: Apply For Hostess Jobs

Utilize job portals, restaurant websites, and networks within the community.

  • Indeed
  • Glassdoor
  • LinkedIn
  • Restaurant specific job boards
  • Local classifieds

Key Takeaways

  • Becoming a hostess requires a blend of on-the-job training and inherent soft skills.
  • Certifications, while not mandatory, can enhance job prospects.
  • Effective communication and organizational skills are paramount.
  • Continuous learning and adaptability are keys to success.
  • A well-structured resume can set you apart from other candidates.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Hostess → Head Hostess → Restaurant Supervisor → Restaurant Manager

Yes, many hostesses start with just a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training.

Seek entry-level positions that offer training, or highlight relevant soft skills on your resume.

With dedication and skill development, a hostess can eventually become a Restaurant General Manager or even own a restaurant.

Patience, adaptability, and a genuine love for service are key.

Dominik Bartoszek

Dominik Bartoszek

8+ years Digital Marketer driven by data & AI. Helping restaurants grow more through online orders.

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