In a busy commercial kitchen environment, the expediter serves as a liaison between the wait staff and cooks. The job of expediter is insure that orders are being correctly filled and to help wait staff serve everyone at the table simultaneously. The expediter role is sometimes filled by the chef or sous-chef. The main goal of the expediter is to insure that food service is coordinated and timely
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The restaurant expediter primarily works in the kitchen area, usually near the pickup area where food is ready to be served to diners. The expediter checks the tickets to ensure that all of the orders are called and being prepared. Also, he or she inspects the plates to make sure special requests have been filled, and may garnish the food.
One of the primary roles of the restaurant expediter is to facilitate communication. He or she must relay information between wait staff and chefs who may not have the opportunity to speak to each other. In some kitchens, the expediter may call out the orders. Also, he or she must insure that everyone is aware of menu changes that may take place during service.
Restaurant expediters need have excellent communication skills that can withstand the pressure of busy service. They need to understand the elements of food preparation so they can recognise dishes as orders come through and visually inspect plates for quality. Expediters do light food preparation such as preparing salads and bread, but they do not necessarily need cooking skills. Excellent customer service skills are a requirement for this position.
One of the benefits an expediter offers a restaurant is that they are in an excellent position to gather information about the quality of the service. In fact, because the expediter works between floor service and the kitchen, they have a perfect sense of both food preparation and customer service. Their input can enhance the overall quality of the restaurant.
If you want to work as a restaurant expediter in a busy establishment, you need to become proficient at conflict management. The expediter is positioned at the crux of the service operation, between chefs, line cooks, wait staff and floor managers. If there is a complaint or issue, the expediter will be one of the first to know about it. Generally the goal is not to place blame but to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and maintain smooth service.
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