What’s the difference between a restaurant host and hostess?

These terms refer to the same position, but the title “host” traditionally refers to a male employee while “hostess” refers to a female employee. However, oftentimes restaurants will just use the word “host” across the board. 

Who does a restaurant host work with?

Restaurant hosts work primarily with restaurant guests as well as other front-of-house employees like servers, bussers, and bartenders. They also must work with supervisors, managers, and restaurant owners. 

What makes a good restaurant host or hostess?

A good host or hostess ensures the seating of the restaurant is done in a manner that maximizes profits, minimizes guests’ wait times, and distributes work amongst the floor staff all while maintaining a pleasant, friendly, and welcoming demeanor.

How is a restaurant host different from a maître d'?

Maître ds generally only work in fine dining settings, and they take on much more responsibility than hosts. They help oversee the entire floor staff and often have years of experience. 

About the Author

Rebecca Riddle

Rebecca Riddle

Hospitality Writer

I have years of experience working in restaurants as well as writing about them. From restaurant financing, to hospitality technology, to the exciting worlds of food and beverage, I know hospitality inside and out.

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