What Are the Responsibilities of a Restaurant Captain?

Restaurant captains are not found in casual establishments, but in restaurants with formal service, a captain is generally part of the staff, and his responsibilities generally include overseeing all of the waiters and busboys, serving as the face of the restaurant for all of the guests. Many fine dining establishments ask their captains to have a degree in hospitality management and/or experience in upscale restaurants as a waiter.

Although each restaurant is different, some expected common responsibilities exist when taking on the position of restaurant captain, beginning with seating guests and, in the absence of a host, distributing their menus. When the size of the party differs from the reservation, the captain augments or alters place settings with linens, silverware and glassware as necessary.

The captain also takes initial beverage and food orders, delivering cocktails, beer and other beverages to the guests at the table. In the absence of a sommelier or wine steward, your job is to recommend particular pairings for specific food items and then decant bottles and serve the wine. This requires a complete knowledge of all of the items on the menu and any special items in order to help guests make their choices for the meal.