While the Executive Chef certainly is the rockstar of the restaurant, the backbone of every kitchen or any Food And Beverage (Kitchen & Service) department are the Kitchen Stewards.
This position falls at the bottom of the pecking order. But that doesn’t diminish their importance in the operation of the restaurant.
Kitchen Stewards are responsible for maintaining cleanliness and organization within a restaurant’s kitchen. They perform various tasks which is why they are essential to the success of any culinary establishment.
Here are some of the duties and responsibilities (but not limited to) that they often carry out:
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF KITCHEN STEWARDS:
These can include scraping food from dirty dishes, heavy pots/pans, plates, glasses, emptying trash bins, collecting and removing waste from work surfaces/ floor, proper disposal of grease and segregating recyclables. In doing so, they also operate specific machinery required to accomplish the job, such as trash compactors, glass crushers, and sanitizers.
Cleaning and maintaining the hygiene of the kitchen
Straightforward tasks such as washing dirty dishes, pots/pans, in dishwashing machines. Clean and sanitize work surfaces and floors. Polishing cutlery and equipment surfaces. In doing so, they also operate machinery such as dishwashing equipment.
Sort and organize utensils, cookware and miscellaneous items for ease of access.
They can be involved in receiving, unloading, storing and organising stock.
At Anytime Chefs, we recognize their importance to your kitchen operations which is why we also provide Kitchen Stewards as Talents. Our polite and professional Kitchen Stewards will help your team with simple kitchen preparations: such as labelling items, weighing recipes, cleaning, reorganising and tidying up a work environment. They can also toss ingredients together and handle easy food preparations such as sandwiches and salads since they can follow easy recipes. They can help to ensure the sanity of your kitchen!
Yet, too often, this is the kitchen role that is easiest for most people to apply for. As long as there is an urgent kitchen job opening and applicants can demonstrate their ability to tackle repetitive and labour-intensive tasks, they have a good shot of landing the job. What with the fast turnover rate of restaurant employees, getting people to fill the vacancies quickly is a risk that most restaurant owners/hiring managers take.
But because Kitchen Stewards play an essential role in running the kitchens smoothly, hiring the right person for the job, even if it is in the bottom of your kitchen brigade, should be given proper consideration. The restaurant kitchen has a gruelling vibe that the kitchen team in that environment should be able to function like a well-oiled machine.
CORE SKILLS AND TRAITS THAT YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR
It is a given that applicants for this position should be hardworking, able to stand long periods and ready to do some heavy lifting. It is a physical kind of job, after all. Some restaurant owners prefer applicants who have experience working in the food industry since it will require less time for training. But pay particular attention to the following skills and traits to ensure a better chance of performance results from the employee.
Kitchen stewards are in charge of cleaning and sanitation. You do not want your diners to be served cutlery with crusty remnants from previous use. The kitchen rush is not an excuse, and no diner will consider that as such. One of the significant factors that can affect the reputation of your business is when your diners believe that they are eating at a clean establishment. How they perceive the cleanliness of your restaurant extends to how they see the care given to the food that they are served.
- Great organizational skill
The trick to handling the fast-paced frenzied kitchen environment is when the Chef and the rest of the kitchen staff know where things are. Items that should be in a particular location are situated rightly in that location whenever needed. It saves time and energy. It also prevents mental exhaustion and frustration as a result of having to look for something urgently needed. Since their tasks involve kitchen organization, Kitchen stewards should be dependable when it comes to gathering and organising kitchen tools, utensils, stocks to avoid confusion.
- Commitment to cleanliness, hygiene, safety and security procedures
What do I mean by this? Some aspects of the kitchen work are not visible, such as sanitation. A kitchen steward who is in the job solely driven by salary can cut corners, but a kitchen steward who values cleanliness will perform the required tasks because he knows its importance. For example – a kitchen steward uses bleach to sanitize utensils and surfaces. He can easily claim so to the supervisor even if he or she did not follow the correct ratio of bleach to water, or soaking time. Commitment entails carrying out tasks even without being seen by others. If a kitchen steward sees something that will compromise cleanliness, safety and security of the kitchen, he or she acts to correct it or reports it to the supervisor for action.
Kitchen Stewards are essential to the smooth operation of your kitchen. They serve as the backbone; therefore hiring the right person can provide your Chef and YOU with the best support to wow your customers. Most importantly, treat your employees right so that they will deliver their best for you.
Remember, if you urgently need professional Chefs and Kitchen Stewards, our Temporary Chef Hire and Kitchen Staffing agency, Anytime Chefs is just a click away.
That’s it for this week.
As always, Professional Chefs on Call at Anytime!
Ciao for now,