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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 the restaurant will be set for 40 guests (plus 5 items of each cutlery piece for the side stations – 3 station in total) and 30 Guests on a Friday .    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

Every morning the Maître d’ should select a supervisor from the students assigned to close down.  The supervisor will assist the Maître d’ as required but will still carry out tasks in order to get the restaurant ready for service. 

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 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 three stations in total.  Other duties that must be carried out during service and require a waiter are  bar (one/two waiters), floaters (one) and close down (assigned on the class list).  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 on close down and the assigned supervisor (after carrying out seating duties)  will take their lunch at 13.00 returning to the restaurant at 14.00.  They will then be in-charge of closing down the restaurant once service is finished at 14.15. 

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

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