How to Become a

Maitre D’

The complete career guide to be a Maitre D’: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $20,530
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 4.5%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute

A Maitre D’ is in charge of efficiently managing staff, food and beverage services for guests at restaurants and other eateries.

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What is a Maitre D’?


The following duties are under the purview of the Maitre D’:

  • Effectively collaborates with other team members to accommodate requests and queries from customers at all times.
  • Graciously and courteously interact with each guest starting from greeting, seating to taking reservations with the expected level of professionalism.
  • Ensure that the establishment is complying with all essential regulations of health and sanitation standards as well as all applicable federal, state, local laws/ordinances.
  • Oversee the recruitment of staff members as necessary at the venue, which is inclusive of interviewing, selecting, scheduling, evaluating and promoting individuals as fit.
  • Promoting a seamless flow of information among team members at the venue via regular attendance at scheduled departmental meetings with senior management.

Day In The Life

During your career as a Maitre D’, you will be the person overseeing various staff and services at a fine dining restaurant or hotel dining area. In other words, you will ensure smooth operations between the kitchen and dining space. There are a wide range of issues you might have to deal with calmly and efficiently, e.g. the oven in the kitchen is out of order, an employee gets seriously injured, the software assigning table reservations faces a glitch or an order is incorrectly placed. You will have to be prepared at all times to support and lead the teams involved so that the quality of service remains uncompromised.

In addition, you are the first point of contact from a guest’s point of view. You will address them when they walk into the restaurant or take their calls for a table reservation. Your goal is always to present a professional and pleasant demeanour no matter what the situation. Excellent customer service skills are essential for functioning on a day-to-day basis in this type of role, to ensure that all guests have the best experience possible. Sometimes as the Maitre D’, you may have to pitch in with extra tasks like lending a helping hand with serving customers, or putting the finishing touches on a main course.

Work Schedule

When working as a Maitre D’, you will typically work 40 hours per week which sometimes includes weekends and evenings. You can expect the hours to be irregular as per demand and may be working for long hours at a stretch on call. The work environment is usually moderately noisy, stressful and hot with team members sometimes exposed to a smoke-filled environment.

Growth Of The Job

As per the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, a 12 percent growth is predicted in job opportunities in the food service sector, in the decade between 2010 and 2020. Candidates possessing a degree in hospitality or food service management will have a distinct advantage over other competitors. Competition can be fierce to become a Maitre’D, especially due to the scarcity of jobs in this area and an aging population of workers.

Typical Employers

Typical employers of a Maitre’d includes hotels, restaurants, cruise ships with multiple restaurants, casinos, cafes or other eating places. Some examples of recruiters currently hiring for such positions include Compass Group, Union Square Hospitality Group, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, MGM Resorts International, American Queen Steamboat Company and more.

Recommended Schools

How To Become a Maitre D’

You must at least possess a high school diploma or GED equivalent to qualify for a career as Maitre’D in a fine dining environment. Applied experience for at least two years is also a big plus. It improves the chances of aspiring applicants to gain a certification in culinary arts and hospitality services, or gain a degree from an accredited university or college. In this role, you must be capable of juggling multiple priorities such as interacting with customers, handling complaints against staff or service provided, assisting with orders and communicating across teams.

Being a Maitre’D is a demanding job and may not be an ideal fit for everyone. Your working hours can be long and you must have superior customer service skills to put up with discontented customers and resolve tense situations that may arise. However, if you are a pro at working in a high intensity and busy environment, this job can be great. In addition, prioritising the customer is essential, especially since they are likely to tip better!

Maitre D’ Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Maitre D’ salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Maitre D’'s can make an average annual salary of $20,530, or $10 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $17,840 or $9 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #810 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Maitre D’s

  • 0.6%   Doctorate
  • 2.1%   Masters
  • 15.2%   Bachelors
  • 7.9%   Associates
  • 26.5%   College
  • 35.9%   High School
  • 11.8%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Maitre D’ job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 16,800 jobs for a total of 393,200 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 4.5% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #463 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Maitre D’s

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Full-service restaurants 323,800 16,000 16%
Drinking places (alcoholic beverages) 5,200 100 0%
Special food services 3,500 100 0%

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