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Maître D’s are usually the first point of contact in a restaurant; they are the first person a potential paying customer will see the moment they walk into the door. A personal and upbeat greeting is essential and will set the tone for the rest of the dining experience. Traditionally they work in higher-end restaurants.
The Maître D’s will escort diners to their tables and hand out menus before introducing the waiter or waitress who will be serving the table.
Maître D’s will have an expert knowledge of the layout of the restaurant and will ensure no one section is too crowded thus preventing outnumbering a small number of waiting staff. They will do this by their own judgement and when taking reservations, which they are often in charge of.
They must be diplomatic and quick-thinking to ensure not all customers turn up at once thus overloading the kitchen and staff.
The Maître D’ is often the best person to deal with complaints and resolve them. They will keep watch over the entire dining room and should they see a problem arising will be quick to deal with it in the best possible way. Interpersonal skills are essential
The Maître D’ is the ultimate link between head waiter, manager, the kitchen and staff. All will turn to him to ensure the restaurant is running smoothly and all customers are happy.