There are many types of staff members that help a restaurant thrive; from cooks to cashiers and waiters. The restaurant captain has several job responsibilities, and in some restaurants they are also given managerial duties. According to Simply Hired and as of June 2010, restaurant captains make an average of £19,500 annually. To become a restaurant captain, previous experience as a restaurant host and server is usually needed.
One of the most important functions of a restaurant captain is to serve as the link between all staff--a liaison of sorts. For instance, they may communicate menu changes to waitstaff, relay to hosts and hostesses any new policy changes regarding how to greet customers, and tell the cooks the special dietary needs of expected guests. It is also common for staff to express concerns, questions and complaints to their restaurant captain, who in turn informs management.
The restaurant captain serves a key role when it comes to group functions in restaurants. Often, they are the person who compiles the group's order, ensures the seating arrangements are ready for the group, helps guests plan their menu and calculates the charges and gratuity that must be paid. During the time the group is being served, the restaurant captain typically checks in with the guests regularly, making sure their meal is going as planned.
The appearance of a restaurant is key to its image and profitability. Restaurant captains help ensure that table linens, glass and serving ware, flatware, centrepieces and even light fixtures look presentable for guests. In high-end restaurants, where the restaurant's appearance is almost as important as the food itself, the restaurant captain must work hard to keep everything looking immaculate.
Restaurant captains are quite similar to managers in some restaurants, and are responsible for training waitstaff and hostesses. They must ensure trainees are knowledgeable about the restaurant's specific policies, serving and customer etiquette, the layout of the restaurant and the restaurant's full meal and beverage menus. In addition, most restaurant captains must receive training themselves by taking food handling or food manager certification courses.
There are several duties that restaurant captains are tasked with, in addition to their primary responsibilities. This may include helping clean work spaces and bathrooms, and assisting with serving when the restaurant experiences very busy periods. Some restaurant captains are also responsible for helping unload delivery trucks carrying ingredients and supplies, and they must be able to lift boxes and crates that weigh as much as 11.3 Kilogram each.