Why The Maitre D' Matters

When you step into an upscale restaurant, there is a certain level of class and elegance you come to expect.  When all you are looking for is speed and efficiency, you go to McDonalds or some other restaurant in a similar vein.  With that in mind, you are expected to seat yourself in a plastic booth, listen to loud children, and clean off your own table in a place like that.  If you go to a restaurant of a higher caliber, however, you are looking for somewhat of a different atmosphere.

Besides comfortable seating, mood lighting, high quality food, and a quiet ambiance, many fine restaurants have someone on staff who is responsible for making sure your dining experience is everything you expect – the Maitre D’.  The Maitre D’Hotel, or master of the house, is a man or woman who oversees the rest of the restaurant staff and focuses on the guests’ happiness and experience. 

The Maitre D’ knows everything that is going on at his or her restaurant.  They know what important guests are dining there, if any patron is celebrating something that evening, what specials are on the menu, and oversee the front of the house staff. They are also responsible for helping plan, and carry out, some very big plans.

In an attempt to satisfy the customer, the Maitre D’ is often responsible for carrying out the specific tasks one may need.  If a patron is about to propose, for example, they will often call on the Maitre D’ to help him ensure everything is perfect.  They will arrange for musical accompaniment, celebratory champagne flutes, and a lavish dessert to guarantee a memorable night.  They are also the ones who ensure your reservation is confirmed and your table is ready at 7:40 – just in case you show up early for your 8:00 dinner.

Sadly, despite all of their positive attributes and the amount of elegance a Maitre D’ brings to a restaurant, the truth is many are being forced to remove this position.  Due to the economy, less people are going out for fine dining and therefore, restaurants are losing business.  This puts those in restaurant management careers in a predicament of choosing what positions to cut.  Although the Maitre D’ symbolizes stature and importance, they are not as vital to day to day restaurant operations as servers, cooks, and hosts.

Even so, there are some gourmet restaurants that are determined to keep up with the same class and decorum despite what is going on outside of their facility.  The Maitre D’ remains at these hotels as a symbol of refinery and an asset to all patrons who eat there.  When customers go to these dining establishments, they expect the best and by having a Maitre D’ on staff, the restaurant is sure to deliver.

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