Here are the top Host/Hostess skills to include on your resume.

The Host or Hostess is the first person a patron sees when they walk through the door of a restaurant. As such, it's vital they possess the skills necessary to ensure customers have a pleasant start to their dining experience. If you're seeking a host/hostess position, it's important that your resume showcases the skills necessary to succeed. Read on for the most in-demand host/hostess skills, including tips to incorporate them into your resume. 

Benefits of working as a Host/Hostess

Whether it's a short-term gig or a longer-term career choice, working as a Host/Hostess can be rewarding for many reasons. Some of the benefits of working as a Host/Hostess include:

  • Host/Hostess positions typically offer flexible schedules and part-time work options. 

  • It can be a great part-time option for those in high school or college looking to gain some hands-on experience or make money. 

  • Working as a Host/Hostess allows you to improve your soft skills, which are transferable to other professions.

  • A Host/Hostess position is often a great entry-level position that allows you to gain experience and move up in the service and hospitality industry, if you choose to do so. 

  • Working as a Host/Hostess allows you to meet a variety of interesting people from all walks of life. 

  • There tend to be several available jobs throughout the United States, given there are restaurant and food establishments virtually everywhere. 

  • Often, no experience is needed to land a position.

Host/Hostess duties and responsibilities

A Host/Hostess can work in a variety of service-oriented establishments that serve food. For example, you can find Host/Hostess jobs at dine-in restaurants, bars, hotel restaurants, breweries, and more. 

Here are some of the job duties and responsibilities of those in Host/Hostess positions:

  • Greeting guests

  • Ensuring that the table chart is followed and Servers are seated fairly 

  • Supporting Servers in keeping their table areas clean and tidy

  • Opening and closing the host area and restaurant 

  • Cashing guests out using the establishment's point-of-sale (POS) system 

  • Handling customer complaints

  • Keeping the host stand area clean and free of debris

  • Helping Servers refill drinks and other tasks for patrons 

  • Answering the phones 

  • Taking customer to-go orders

Host/Hostess skills & proficiencies

Required Host/Hostess skills include a combination of hard and soft skills. Hard skills are the technical skills that we learn through training and education. Soft skills are the people skills we tend to acquire or improve upon through experience over time. 

Soft skills for Hostess/Host

Let's examine some of the Host/Hostess soft skills necessary for success on the job. 


Hosts/Hostesses must greet patrons with a smile and provide top customer service to ensure a pleasant experience from the moment they walk through the door to the moment they walk out the door. They also need to know how to effectively interact with customers when the restaurant gets really busy and there's a long wait to be seated. 

Interpersonal skills

A Host/Hostess has to interact well with customers and vendors, while also working productively with internal staff, including managers, Servers, Bartenders, Food Runners, and back-of-house staff. This requires strong interpersonal skills for optimal results. 


Things are continuously changing and shifting at restaurant-type establishments in terms of people walking in and out the door, patrons wanting to change tables at the last minute, Servers swapping tables with each other, and so on. Therefore, a Host needs to be able to quickly adapt and be flexible while working.


Employers need to be able to trust that Host/Hostesses will put their best foot forward and uphold integrity when interacting with customers. The Host or Hostess must also be trusted to open and close the restaurant, handle the cash drawer, and not take tips that aren't theirs. Another aspect of integrity is taking responsibility for mistakes that are made and correcting them as quickly as possible. 


Another necessary skill for Hosts or Hostesses is being a team player. They must collaborate with other team members, including Servers, Bartenders, other Hosts/Hostesses, and managers, to keep things running smoothly.

Communication skills

It goes without saying that a Host or Hostess needs to have stellar communication skills to connect with patrons and coworkers. They must be able to actively listen to customers when they walk through the door, as well as the Servers and coworkers they work with each day. Hosts/Hostesses are also required to be able to communicate effectively by phone and in writing if they're responsible for corresponding with customers by messaging, text, or email.


Hosts and Hostesses must keep things running like a well-oiled machine, which requires superb organizational skills. For example, good organization skills allow them to ensure that the Servers are seated at the right time and keep track of their to-go orders without messing up or confusing things.


A Host/Hostess position requires patience to handle the many scenarios that can come up effectively. They need to practice patience, for example, when customers are unhappy or things aren't going as planned, like when patrons take longer than expected to leave their table, holding up the line, and delaying when new patrons walking through the door can be seated. 


A good Host/Hostess has empathy that allows them to put themselves in the customers' shoes when issues and challenges occur, increasing the chances of coming to a suitable solution. Having empathy also allows them to do the same when working with a frustrated Server or another coworker. 

Ability to remain calm under pressure

When a restaurant is busy, there are a lot of moving parts that a Host or Hostess has to manage. Therefore, the ability to work well under pressure is necessary. 

Time management

Yes, time management skills help to ensure the Host/Hostess shows up on time for their shifts. But more importantly, practical time management skills allow them to prioritize duties and tasks appropriately, including when to seat people and the order in which to seat people who walk through the door. 

Good time management also helps you to know when enough time has passed between seating patrons in a Server's section, so the Server doesn't get overwhelmed with a rush of tables. 

Cares about appearance

As the first face a guest sees when they walk through the door, it's imperative that the Host/Hostess makes a good first impression for the company. Uniforms should be neat and tidy, and the individual should be well-groomed and polished. 

Additional Host/Hostess Soft Skills

Here are a few more Host/Hostess soft skills you might find on a resume:

  • Leadership

  • Compassion

  • Proactive

  • Attention to detail

  • Professionalism

  • High energy

  • Multitasking

Hard skills for a Hostess/Host

The following is a breakdown of some of the hard skills necessary for a Host/Hostess to succeed. 

Point-of-sale (POS) software skills

Businesses use a point-of-sale (POS) system to capture sales, input orders, run reports, and more. Hosts/Hostesses need to be familiar with their establishment's POS to do things like capture orders, run receipts, and cash out patrons.

Seating chart or server rotation chart

To ensure things operate smoothly, a Host/Hostess needs to be able to effectively use the establishment's seating chart, also referred to as a server rotation chart.  This includes information about which sections belong to which Servers, when a Server was last sat, what tables need to be bussed or cleaned, and so on. 

Reservation software

Many restaurants use an online reservation platform to collect reservations. In many cases, a Host or Hostess is responsible for managing these reservations and, therefore, needs to be familiar with how to use the reservation software or platform.  

Basic math

A Host/Hostess needs to understand basic math to do their jobs. For example, they need basic math when counting tables for the seating chart or checking people out to pay their bills. 

Food handlers card

Generally, anyone who works in an establishment that serves food must have a Food Handlers Card before employment commences. To acquire a Food Handlers Card, the individual has to take a course and pass an exam.

Social media messaging

Many establishments communicate with patrons through social media channels today. As a result, it's sometimes the Host's or Hostess's responsibility to respond to consumers through social media, making it necessary for them to have at least some familiarity with social media messaging.

Opening and closing duties

Hosts and Hostesses are often responsible for closing and opening duties, like setting up and breaking down the host area, unlocking and locking the doors at a particular time, and setting up cash drawers. Therefore, they need to know the ins and outs of what to do when responsible for these types of duties.

Phone systems

A Host/Hostess is often responsible for answering a multi-line phone system when people call with questions, to make reservations, to place an order, and the many other reasons one might call the establishment. As such, they need to be familiar with using multi-line phone systems.

Tips to incorporate Host/Hostess skills into your resume

Now that you know what some of the top Host/Hostess skills are for success, let's take a look at some tips to help you incorporate them into your resume. 

  • Assess your current skill set. First, consider your current skill set, and make a list of all the Host/Hostess skills you have to support you in a Host/Hostess role. The above list is a great place to start!

  • Refer to the job description. Take a look at the Host/Hostess job description, and identify the skills required. From there, take note of the ones you have from your list, and be sure to incorporate those keywords into your resume.

  • Write a resume summary highlighting your accomplishments and skills. Write a standout resume summary to start your resume off with a bang. Include three to five punchy sentences highlighting a few Host/Hostess skills and achievements. To help craft your summary, refer to “27 Great Resume Summaries to Get Hired.”

  • Incorporate skills and achievements in your Work Experience section. Your Work Experience section will include your relevant work accomplishments and the skills that helped you achieve those accomplishments. Be sure to include results with quantifiable data when possible. 

To help write your Work Experience section, refer to “Work Experience for a Resume: How to Add It to Get Hired.” Or, if you have little to no work experience, refer to “Guide to Writing a Great Resume with No Work Experience.”

  • Include a core competencies list. Below your resume summary, it's good to include a core competencies list to highlight your Host/Hostess skills. The list should include 10 to 30 core competencies that align with the job description. 

Craft your Host/Hostess resume to land the job

Writing your resume and effectively highlighting your relevant skills for a Host/Hostess position can help your resume get past an employer's applicant tracking system (ATS), one of the first steps to getting noticed, as well as grab the hiring manager's attention. Use the Host/Hostess skills and tips above to help you effectively craft your resume to land the job!

Not sure if your resume will get past an ATS and grab the attention of hiring managers? Why not submit it for a free resume review to find out?

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