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Chef de Rang: Who is he and what are his duties?

The Chef de Rang is one of the pivotal figures in the dining brigade and who ensures the smooth operation of the food service within a section of the room called the rank.

His or her job is to greet customers when they arrive, to be in charge of table preparation of food such as flambé or tartare (in the absence of the maître d’), as well as to be responsible for cleaning tables during and after the meal. He also takes care of the mise en place and in case of need takes the orders, prepares the dishes at the lamp, performs the slice in the hall.

In his work, the Chef de Rang uses the help of one or more commis de rang.
Thanks to specific and in-depth training and, the Chef de Rang finds placement in high-level venues in order to ensure appropriate standards and refinement.

The skills and tasks

Among the skills required of a Chef de Rang , there are especially the ability to coordinate and supervise, organizational skills, and a keen sense of detail.

A perfect Chef de Rang is able to anticipate customers’ needs and meet them even before they are expressed.

For this reason, the Chef de Rang must have an open personality, high communicativeness and affability to welcome customers with style and elegance and escort them to the tables, explain the menu and wine list, resolve any customer complaints, and handle their remarks. The Chef de Rang is also a good salesman, as he is responsible for advising diners on the right pairing of food and drink.

The person must be able to set up the room, preparing and arranging tables and chairs based on hotel reservations and requests received from customers and according to restaurant or hotel guidelines. He is also in charge of setting up the serving tables with linens, cutlery and pottery appropriate to the courses and service, and arranging decorations and ornaments. It is his job to arrange diners in the most appropriate manner, applying techniques for equipment and food safety and hygiene regulations.
The Chef de Rang is fully familiar with the rules of room service, order management even through modern computer systems.

How the Chef de Rang dresses and operates

There is a strong difference between the two typical restaurant environments, namely the kitchen and the dining room. As noisy and hectic is the former, as quiet and relaxing is the latter, especially in the case of high-end facilities. For this reason, the Chef de Rang is an elegant person who moves quickly but elegantly and discreetly between tables. Usually the Chef de Rang is provided with a uniform by the restaurant, but may also wear his or her own clothes, which must be formal and professional.

Required training and experience

A hotel diploma is generally required for this position, although a minimum of 2 years’ experience in the job is helpful in order to make a good assessment. Prerequisite, in addition to those already mentioned, are a thorough knowledge of cuisine (local or international depending on the service offered by the restaurant) and wines.

Career and professional opportunities

The Chef de Rang is a figure in high demand by restaurant and hospitality establishments in Italy and around the world. A good Chef de Rang in two or three years is destined to become a maitre d’ and will be able to aspire over time to a long and rewarding career.