Restaurants and food service establishments depend upon teams of individuals who are committed to providing quality food and exceptional service. However, many of these individuals are not directly involved in the preparation of food. Instead, their task is to act as liaisons between customers and food preparation staff, ensuring that both are properly accommodated. This can be as simple as ensuring cooks have the proper supplies and customers have clean dishes.
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According to the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, a kitchen steward “supervises kitchen employees not actively engaged in cooking to ensure clean, efficient, and economical food service.” A kitchen steward must make sure that his team has necessary supplies and ideal working conditions. Stewardship is a managerial role, so a kitchen steward is responsible for hiring new kitchen workers and firing kitchen workers based upon his observations of their performance.
To ensure that his kitchen staff is functioning to its full capacity, a kitchen steward may work alongside his staff if he observes a lack. This requires that a kitchen steward be aware of how to function in the role of multiple kitchen duties. Ideally, a kitchen steward possesses managerial skills, is detail-oriented and has a solid knowledge of the individual kitchen roles that combine to guarantee a successfully run kitchen. Since a kitchen steward may come into contact with food preparation services, he must maintain a certain level of cleanliness and be in good health.
Education and Training
There are no specific educational requirements to become a kitchen steward. Kitchen workers who are not directly involved in food preparation are not required to undergo specific training, but some employers may prefer to hire kitchen workers with at least a high school diploma. A number of years working as part of a kitchen staff will allow an individual to observe the responsibilities of different kitchen workers’ roles and gain an understanding of what to expect from these individuals when he is placed over them as a kitchen steward.
Kitchen stewards work in environments that are often hectic. Since a successfully run kitchen staff must be efficient at all times, a kitchen steward may find himself running to and fro throughout different kitchen areas. Some of these areas, like dish rooms, may be uncomfortable and humid. As stated in the California Occupational Guide, a kitchen steward may find himself in “well-lit areas with good fresh air, but some older eating places may not have modern air-conditioning and roomy work spaces."
According to Indeed, as of June 2010, kitchen stewards earn an average salary of £13,650 per year. This salary may differ based upon the location of the job, benefits, experience or expected responsibilities. A kitchen steward may earn additional income by picking up extra shifts.
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