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Maître d’hôtel – Duties

What is the Maître d’hôtel

The Restaurant Manager/Supervisor can often be referred to as the Maître d’hôtel or Maître d’ for short.  They have the overall responsibility for the running and organisation of the restaurant.  They can also be responsible for the administration work in this area also.  The Maître d’ sets the standard for service and ensures that all staff are correctly trained.  They can be responsible for preparing schedules and keeping track of employee leave as well as ensuring that all service areas are kept clean and tidy and that service within the restaurant is smooth and efficient.

Duties in the college restaurant

The Maître d’ has the overall responsibility for the restaurant. This includes ensuring that all mise en place is carried out efficiently and the restaurant is fully prepared for service. Below are documents to assist the Maître d’ in their duties in the restaurant.  The Maître d’ must be organised before the start of service every day.

Mise en Place list – Open Start of Day Checklist – Open
Miscellaneous Task list – Open Linen Requisition – Open
Mineral Bar Stock – Open Mineral Bar Daily Sales – Open
Duty Assignment sheet – Open Room Plan – Open
End of Day Checklist – Open  

Description of Duties

Preparation and Lists

The mise en place polish list should be prepared before coming to the restaurant.  This sheet will list all the cutlery, crockery and glass that will need to be prepared for service.  You will need to know how many guests are expected in the restaurant and what is being served for lunch to fill this out correctly.  A rule of thumb is that on a Tuesday to Friday the restaurant will be set for 30 guests (plus 4 items of each cutlery piece for the side stations – 2 per side station) but preparation of crockery should only be for 35 guests – allowing a few extra plates for the kitchen.    Once the mise en place polish list is filled out the Maître d’ should prepare three separate sheets, listing on one sheet all the crockery required for service, on the second sheet all the cutlery and on the third sheet all the glass items required.  These will be given to the waiters responsible for preparing Cutlery, Crockery and Glass. Having this organised in advance will mean that the waiters can start preparing for service immediately once class.

Collect the following paperwork from the Maître d’ file:

  • Start of Day Checklist
  • Linen Requisition
  • Miscellaneous Task list
  • Mineral Bar Stock
  • Mineral Bar Daily Sales – Open
  • Room Plan
  • End of Day Checklist

Start by filling out the start of day checklist.  This will link to all the other documents that are listed above.  The linen requisition should be filled out by the Maître d’ and given to the Linen Supervisor who will collect the linen. Keeping track of the miscellaneous checklist is very important. Do not assign all the tasks at the beginning of the day.  Assign each person in the miscellaneous section a task, once they complete that task, tick it off as complete and then assign them another task.  The Maître d’ should be in contact with the Head Chef each morning to ensure there is no change to the menu that might require different crockery or cutlery.  

The Maître d’ must also assign stations for service.  Use the room plan when deciding who will work on what station.  Each station consists of three tables and will require two waiters.  There are four stations in total.  Other duties that must be carried out during service and require a waiter are wash-up (one waiter), bar (one/two waiters)  and floaters (one/three waiters).  Station one and four on a busy day may require an addition waiter when table 12 and 14 are used. If this is necessary the additional waiter should be allocated from the floaters.  Stations and other duties for service are announced at the service briefing at 12.45.  Waiters will also be allocated to carrying out the End of Day duties.  These waiters will not serve lunch but will take their lunch at 13.00 returning to the restaurant at 14.00.  The will then be in-charge of closing down the restaurant once service is finished at 14.15.  The  Maître d’ should assign a supervisor to ensure all the tasks are completed. 

Service Briefing

The service briefing takes place everyday at 12.40.  It is an opportunity for the Maître d’ to explain to the waiters how service will run and what station or duties they will have responsibility over.  The Maître d’ should also highlight any invited guests, their names and what company if any they work for.  It is also an opportunity to highlight any known dietary requirements of guests.  The Head Chef will join the briefing to explain how the food will be presented, garnished and any dietary alternatives.  The briefing is an opportunity for the waiters to ask questions regarding the menu, however each waiter must have researched the entire menu in advance.

 Maître d’ Report

A  Maître d’ report should be completed each day after service.  This is done electronically using the Maître d’hôtel Daily Report. This tracks information regarding the specific day in the restaurant.  It is used in hotels as a handover tool so that information from one shift can be passes on to the next shift.  Its important that this information is accurate.  It included details such as absent staff, VIP guests, number of covers served, service issues, revenue  generated etc.  Maître d’ should ensure that they keep track of this information throughout service.  An SOP on the information required is available here.  Before leaving the restaurant the Maître d’ should transfer the service duties to the Restaurant Diary and the online duty tracker.  This allows future Maître d’s to know who carries out specific tasks previously so other waiters can be assigned to these tasks on other days. 

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