French term (engl. master, teacher, chief instance) for the first head waiter of a restaurant who is responsible for the dining room. He leads the service team, looks after and customer relations and ensures impeccable service. He has a central importance in terms of making a positive first impression, as he greets guests as they enter the restaurant, checks reservations, escorts guests to their table and seats them. It is also the maitre's job to present the menu and wine list and, in the capacity of a sommelier, to make or suggest detailed recommendations regarding the appropriate wines for the dishes chosen by the guests.
In restaurants or eateries, the exact job title is Maître de Salle, while a Maître d'Hôtel is a senior waiter in the hotel industry in restaurant service. With regard to winery operations, there are the designations maître de chai (cellar), maître de culture (vineyard) and régisseur (overall manager). See a list of all professions and functions related to wine enjoyment and viticulture under viticulture education.
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