Maitre D’ Jobs
A maitre D’, or a Maitre d’Hotel, works in the fine dining industry. They may be referred to as the headwaiter, a food service manager, the front of house, or even the master of the establishment. Basically the maitre’d is the link between the kitchen, the staff, and the restaurant’s guests.
When you walk into a fine dining establishment, the first person you see is the maitre d’. The maitre d’ is the face of the restaurant. He is there to greet guests and to personalize the dining experience. It’s a social job, just like many jobs in the hospitality industry.
The maitre d’ works hand-in-hand with the executive chef and restaurant owner to ensure the restaurant runs smoothly. While the maitre d’ is in charge of front of house operations, they are also very busy behind the scenes to make sure the restaurant is ready for guests.
The job of a maitre d’ begins long before guests show up to eat. They are usually tasked with hiring and firing the wait staff, establishing schedules, inspecting the restaurant to make sure it is clean, and taking reservations. Everything must be perfect before the patrons arrive.
Once the restaurant is open for business, the maitre ‘d actively greets each guest by name. Dressed in a flawless tuxedo or a designer suit, the maitre d’ provides a warm welcome. This is the guest’s first impression of their dining experience. Then the maitre d’ seats the guest appropriately. This is done to fairly divide the work between the wait staff and spread the guests out so that they can enjoy their meal.
With a cool and calm demeanor, the maitre d’ moves seamlessly between the kitchen and the restaurant floor to assist in any way possible. This may include delivering dishes to guests, communicating between wait staff and kitchen, inspecting dishes to ensure they are visually appealing, offering wine recommendations, or “finishing” certain dishes, like a flaming dessert, at the guest’s table. For their hard work, they may even receive a bit of gratuity from a pleased guest.
A restaurant can be a stressful “office.” The maitre d’ needs a calm and welcoming personality to manage the floor of a fine dining establishment. They must be available to defuse any guest complaints or deal with any kitchen or wait staff issues that have gone wrong. Often in fine dining, the maitre d’ fields as many thank you’s as they do complaints though, which is rewarding.
To become a maitre d’, it’s a good idea to have restaurant management experience. Sometimes a maitre d’ will have a certification in culinary arts. The more knowledge you have about food and wine the better. It will all come in handy. The most important thing is to establish yourself as a hard working waiter or waitress with an excellent reputation and outstanding customer service.
The best place to find maitre d’ jobs is at high end dining establishments. Big cities, fancy resorts, and high-end hotels will have the most job opportunities for an aspiring maitre d’. The classier the restaurant, the better the career potential. An established maitre d’ can make $23 per hour or $28,000 to $48,000 per year plus a healthy amount of tips.
If you enjoy the restaurant industry and you have world-class customer service skills, then a maitre d’ job might be perfect for you. It’s certainly an interactive job where a calm and friendly person will excel.
Quick Facts About Maitre D’ Jobs
Job Title: Maitre D’ aka Maitre d’Hotel
Office: Fine Dining Establishments
Description: Personalize the guest experience and be the link between kitchen, staff, and guests
Certifications/Education: No formal training required
Necessary Skills: Restaurant experience, Calm and friendly personality
Potential Employers: Restaurants, Hotels
Pay: $28,000 to $48,000 per year plus tips