Fun fact: when guests ask for a different table, we immediately panic and have to switch around our table rotations.
Fun fact: when guests ask for a different table, we immediately panic and have to switch around our table rotations.
via pexels

“Your job is easy”

What it’s like having a love-hate relationship with restaurant hosting

“Your job is so easy, why are you complaining about it?” 

Since starting my first job as a hostess, I hear this expression all the time.  

Most teens, myself included, turn to hosting because it’s “easy money,” when in reality, it is one of the most stressful, mentally draining jobs we can have. 

As a host you need to know copious amounts of information. At my job specifically, we are required to take a total of six tests throughout our training, with content about table numbers, menu items, phone procedures and other general information about the facility.  

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My job engraves this information into our brains. I think the store’s daily specials will be stuck in my head forever.  

Before I started this job, I didn’t know a whole lot about the restaurant; specifically, how busy it was. Popular restaurants make for an extremely fast-paced work environment. With this fast pace comes an extreme amount of stress.  

Some shifts I work are so stressful that I break down into tears halfway through them.  

During my first shift, I was running around and putting people on wait lists. This is where most of my work stress comes from.  

Going on a wait requires communication from every worker in the restaurant. Hosts need to know the quote times and what tables are open. Bussers need to know what tables to clean. And the servers need to know when they get sat with a table.  

I feel like most people automatically correlate the term “wait” with “full capacity.” At my particular restaurant, we don’t have a big enough server staff to be able to be “full capacity.” We go on waits for being understaffed, running out of clean dishes, or even so the kitchen can catch up on orders.  

The second we go on a wait we must start quoting wait times which can get tricky super quick. We never really know how long a person is going to stay at a table. When we quote wait times, we are just making a guess, so it might not be completely accurate, which can make people upset. I can’t count the number of times someone has yelled at me because they have waited too long or don’t have time to wait an hour for a table. 

Personally, it shocks me how rude people can be to restaurant workers. I feel like if you work in a restaurant of any kind, you are immediately looked down on, and that makes people think we can be treated like garbage.  

It’s almost like people don’t realize we are trying to make a living. Not everyone can be lucky enough to have a job that pays a high wage. Even though I’m only a teenager, I wouldn’t have a car if it weren’t for this job. Others are struggling to pay their rent and college tuition. 

I can’t count the number of times I have been yelled at by someone just for doing my job. People have tried to gaslight me and bribe me to get what they want. I have had guests completely lie to my manager’s face about things I’ve told them. 

It is just so exhausting dealing with people sometimes. No matter how bad someone yells at me, I must keep a smile on my face, because “the guest is always right.” 

Another thing people don’t realize about being a host: I have absolutely no control over anything. My job description is to “seat people with a smile.” I can’t make the kitchen cook faster and I can’t make it less windy outside (yes someone has yelled at me because of the wind).  

Everything I do is because my superiors have told me to do so. This is why communication is so important. If I’m not told a server has been cut to go on break, how am I supposed to know to stop seating them?  

My restaurant lacks communication. We had struggles with our management and got a completely new team. They are still in the “trial and error” stage. They are slowly getting better at communicating, but it’s not 100% to par yet.  

When communication is lacking it causes so many problems throughout the building. The host stand has to deal with most of them. Someone is always mad at us. 

For example, servers get mad at us because we haven’t sat anyone in their section. In our defense, a manager told us not to, but the server doesn’t know that. Then the server gets mad at the manager, and a manager gets mad at us for telling the server. To top it off we all have to deal with unhappy guests, which just puts everyone in a bad mood.  

Truly, it’s a never-ending cycle. Eventually, you realize that you are never going to be able to please everyone. Someone is always going to be angry.  

Even with all the stress of hosting, I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. I love my job and it has become a second home to me.  

Since working here, I have gained so many people skills and it has helped me to become less socially anxious. Last year, I was scared to talk out in class or talk to new people. Now, I have no problem speaking up or meeting new people. It has even helped me learn to control my temper…mostly.

I have met so many great people at my job. I have made some of the best friends I have had in my whole life. We are all strangely bonded together now.  

Some of the guests that come in are the nicest people in the world. I get told about five times a day how beautiful my hair color is (the perks of being a redhead). I have met an admissions officer for my dream school, hockey fans, a movie director and even old friends and teachers.  

I love my job and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  

If you want a learn more about the joys of hosting, check out these articles here:



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Becca Jolly
Becca Jolly, Editor-in-chief
Hi, I'm Becca! This is my second year on the staff, but my first year as an editor. I love writing music reviews. This year I am hoping to focus on more school related/serious topics. I can't wait to see what this year brings!
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