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Maitre d’Hotel

Kaiwhakarite Hōtera

Alternative titles for this job

Maitres d'hotel oversee the service of food and beverages to guests in restaurants and other eating places. They also check reservations, greet guests and supervise the waiting staff.


Maitres d’hotel usually earn

$21-$30 per hour

Source: Hospitality NZ, 2019.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as a maitre d'hotel are good due to a shortage of workers.


Pay for maitres d'hotel varies depending on skills, experience and where they work.

Maitres d'hotel usually earn between minimum wage and $30 an hour.

Source: Hospitality New Zealand, 'Hospitality Remuneration Survey', 2019.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Maitres d'hotel may do some or all of the following:

  • receive and confirm reservations
  • supervise waiters, waitresses and wine stewards
  • train new staff
  • hold pre-service briefings with staff
  • liaise with kitchen staff about specials and menu changes
  • allocate table sections for service
  • ensure tables are set correctly
  • greet and seat guests
  • offer and serve drinks to guests
  • deal with any problems that may arise
  • check bills
  • order stock
  • organise the clean-up and closing of the restaurant.

Depending on the restaurant, maitres d'hotel may also do cashing up and other accounts work.

Skills and knowledge

Maitres d'hotel need to have:

  • waiting skills
  • knowledge of table service and menu items
  • barista (coffee-making) skills
  • wine knowledge
  • bar service skills.

Working conditions

Maitres d'hotel:

  • usually work irregular and long hours, often during the evenings and weekends
  • often have to be on call when they are not working
  • work in hotels, restaurants, cafes or other eating places
  • work in conditions that may be noisy, hot and stressful.

Entry requirements

There are no specific entry requirements to become a maitre d'hotel.

If you're working in a cafe or restaurant that serves alcohol, you may be required to hold a General Manager's Certificate. To apply you must be over 20 years old and hold a Licence Controller Qualification (LCQ).

Maitres d'hotel gain skills on the job, but there may be opportunities to work towards different hospitality qualifications.

Secondary education

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a maitre d’hotel. However, home economics (food and nutrition) and English are useful.

Personal requirements

Maitres d'hotel need to have:

  • a reliable work ethic
  • a polite, friendly nature
  • confidence when dealing with others
  • good communication skills
  • the ability to lead and motivate staff
  • the ability to make decisions under pressure
  • strong attention to detail.

Useful experience

Useful experience for maitres d'hotel includes any customer service work in the hospitality, tourism or retail industries.

Physical requirements

Maitres d'hotel need to be reasonably fit and healthy as they spend long periods on their feet.

Find out more about training

Hospitality New Zealand
0800 500 503 - -
Restaurant Association of New Zealand
0800 737 827 - -
0800 863 693 - -
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

Good demand for maitres d'hotel

Job opportunities for maitres d'hotel are good because low unemployment and an increase in job vacancies means there is a shortage of people available to do this role.

Types of employers varied

Maitres d'hotel work for:

  • hotels
  • restaurants
  • private clubs
  • cocktail lounges.


  • Clearwater, M, senior advisor, Service IQ - Workforce Development, interview, June 2020.
  • Service IQ, 'Workforce Development', accessed July 2020, (

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Maitres d'hotel may progress to work in roles such as cafe/restaurant manager or event manager, especially in larger restaurant and hotel chains.

Many hotels have training programmes that rotate employees through a number of different roles.

A maitre d'hotel shows a waiter something on a clipboard

Maitres d'hotel are responsible for supervising waiters, waitresses and wine stewards

Last updated 4 April 2022