There are many adjectives that come to mind when people think of a maitre d of a restaurant and most of them have to do with keeping the average person out of a swanky four-star place. But, when you head down to see if there is a table at that place around the corner from your office then you might not know exactly what their official function is within the place. This article should help to open your eyes to the world of a maitre d.
The term maitre d is a short form of the French words maitre d'hotel, which mean "master of the establishment". They are meant to act as the head waiter as well as being a sommelier and sometimes working as one of the front of house managers. This is the first person that guests will encounter when they come into the restaurant on their lunch from work or for dinner with their spouse. They are meant to be welcoming and create the seating plan for the evening with all of the guests and the wait staff.
One of the main job descriptions of a maitre d that you might not be aware of is that they do a lot of problem solving with internal matters and issues with the customers. If you're coming in with a big group and they have lost your reservation then the maitre d will be the one to make sure that you're seated as soon as possible and might even offer you appetizers on the house for your trouble. They are also going to be the one that voices concerns between the wait staff and those working in the kitchen when it comes to any matter. The purpose of a maitre d is to keep everything running smoothly so that the customers can focus on their work meeting or their first date with a new person.
If you're thinking of working in the restaurant business then working as a maitre d might be the right job choice for you. You should definitely start with experience working as a waiter and might do some courses to become a sommelier or in management. What restaurants are going to be looking for is someone who can handle managing a staff while dealing with customers and keeping everything moving at a good pace. If you're someone who is a natural multitasker then this could be the perfect job for you within the hospitality industry. There are hundreds of restaurants that need good maitre d's, from those around North America to European establishments.