by Augusto Oriani
The Maître’ is a figure that takes you back in time a bit, it is the emblem of class in Hospitality, it is certainly found in luxurious and classy places. An intelligent and culturally very prepared person.
In the past many times in business dinners he was asked for opinions. In Italy I was a member of A.M.I.R.A. is an Italian Association of Maîtrees, Restaurants and Hotels.(www.amira.it)
For me it is a pleasure to talk about this very important figure, I would say very fascinating, his way of doing does not make you feel like a customer but a guest, ready to listen to you and fulfil your requests, has the passion, dedication and love for this work, if there is no passion there can be no dedication, and without dedication there can be no love for what you do.
Maître is the sovereign character in the work of the restaurant; takes care of the aesthetic aspect of the room, of the furnishing and decorations, sets up and directs all the service, takes the orders, if he is busy it will be his assistant or the Chef de Rang to take care of it, maintains relationships with customers, receives them and accompanies them to the tables.
He is always in direct contact with the F&B manager, the reception department and the Chef, with whom he also collaborates for the compilation of the menus. In recent years he has also often been in charge of the economic problems of managing the restaurant. Finally, he collects any indications, compliments or complaints. A good Maître’ also performs in preparing dishes by the lamp( small stove for dining room) , using the flambé technique. This technique involves cooking the dish in front of the eyes of the customer who asked for the order.
The main requirements are:
– a deep knowledge of cooking, gastronomy and drinks;
– a broad culture of nutrition, hygiene and work organisation;
– commercial and managerial skills and knowledge;
– great organisational skills;
– strong charisma in personnel management;
– excellent cultural as well as professional knowledge;
– good command of the main languages;
Now I will show you these 2 photos:
Photo A. The glass is not positioned correctly because if left on the table for several days it would fill with dust and the diners would drink water and dust.
Photo B. The glass is placed correctly.
From this very simple example we can deduce that in the case of the Photo. A in the dining room there is no Manager, while in the case of the Photo. B we can deduce that there is a Manager in the dining room.
With these few lines I wanted to introduce this character.
I think that after reading this article of mine, you can recognise who is a real Maître (Manager of room-bar).