A captain waiter is also called the head waiter, and his duties vary from restaurant to restaurant. Captains are the head food and beverage servers in a section of a formal dining room. They serve many important functions within the food service industry and have several key responsibilities.
A captain waiter's first responsibility is to the guests. He will greet them, escort them to their table and present the food and wine menus. He will answer questions about menu items. In some instances, he will recommend a wine to complement a certain food. To do this properly means knowing all the menu items, how they are prepared and how they should be served. In some instances, he will carve meat, serve wine or food and prepare flambé dishes at the customers' tables. After that, he needs to check back often to make sure the customers are satisfied. If they are not, he will take whatever action he deems necessary to rectify the situation.
A captain waiter is the supervisor of the servers. This includes training and leading them, especially by his example. He will set the standard for his servers. He makes sure they are properly groomed, wearing the right attire and doing their jobs efficiently. He will deal with complaints, disagreements between servers, personal problems and proposals. He needs to see that high morale and productivity are maintained. He coordinates service to make sure the food and wine are served at the right temperature and at the right time.
Ensuring that quality standards are maintained is another responsibility of the captain waiter. The dining area should be attractive and clean. The table setting should be in good order. This includes checking condiment containers, salt and pepper shakers, etc. Listening to customers' complaints is another function; these must be handled with diplomacy and tact. He needs to check for the proper identification to see that the minimum age requirement is met if wine is served. Basically, he makes sure everything is running as it should and takes care of problems as they appear.