Maîtres d'hôtel, hosts and hostesses take reservations, greet and escort patrons to tables, attend to complaints and requests, and accept payments. They also train, supervise, and co-ordinate food / beverage servers and other serving staff.
Waiters and waitresses present menus, take patrons' orders, and serve food/beverages. They accept payments and may recommend wines and prepare and serve specialty foods at patrons' tables.
Wine stewards suggest, present, and serve wines in formal settings.
To work in these occupations you may need a high school diploma. To be a maître d'hôtel, host or hostess, you usually need several weeks' on-the-job training. To be a maître d'hôtel, you need experience as a formal or captain waiter or waitress, or other food service experience. To be a waiter or waitress, you may need on-the-job training. Formal waiters and waitresses may require college or vocational school courses. To be a wine steward, you may need courses in wine selection and service or experience as a formal or captain waiter or waitress. Many recent entrants have a high school diploma, and almost 3 in 10 have a trade/vocational certificate or community college diploma.