- Make sure restaurant guests have a positive experience
- You'll need excellent customer service skills, to be calm under pressure, and good levels of stamina
- Hours can be long and will include evenings and weekends
A Maitre D' or Maitre D'hotel is the person responsible for making sure everything runs smoothly for customers in a restaurant. They manage the team of waiting staff, sommeliers and servers, and make sure that diners have a good experience.
- Managing bookings and making sure the seating plan works for customers and any special guests
- Planning and checking menus
- Making sure the dining area is perfectly clean and set up to receive customers
- Managing the team of waiting staff
- Greeting customers
- Dealing with any problems or issues
- Ensuring that there is a positive atmosphere in the dining area
You'll need to work long hours, often 12 hour shifts including evenings and weekends, and most of your time you'll be on your feet. This can be really rewarding work, however, with the opportunity to meet lots of interesting people and with the potential to earn both a good salary and a further income from tips.
There are no specific qualifications to become a Maitre D' but studying hospitality and catering at college or university will help you build the skills and knowledge you need, or alternatively you could seek an apprenticeship with a restaurant or hotel that would help you earn and learn at the same time.
Many people who become a Maitre D' start as a member of the waiting staff team and then work their way up to this role. If you choose this route, try to find work at a restaurant or hotel that already has a Maitre D' so you can learn from them.
As you progress through your career with more experience, you could go on to work in prestigious restaurants. You could also move into a managerial role such as a restaurant manager.