The position of Chief Steward is a little known but very important one in the hospitality industry. This position manages the purchasing and some general management activity for hotels, resorts or other such hospitality businesses. The Chief Steward is part of the management team that includes the hotel or resort’s General Manager, and Executive Chef, and is critical to an organized and effective food service operation.
The Chief Steward supervises and coordinates the activities of the pantry, storeroom and kitchen personnel other than cooks. He inspects the kitchen and storerooms for cleanliness and order. He is responsible for ensuring that all food and supplies required for the kitchen are on hand. He orders supplies and food, and handles these shipments as they come in, inspecting them and verifying the delivery.
The Chief Steward is responsible for paying bills related to the kitchen supplies, and for hiring, training and supervising the staff in the kitchen that performs tasks such as dishwashing and storeroom cleaning and organizing. He may also manage other personnel, such as wait staff and bell persons, in some hotels. The Chief Steward typically has budgetary responsibility for the kitchen and storeroom supplies, so he will normally establish controls designed to guard against theft and wastage.
The Chief Steward is also typically responsible for banquet arrangements and facilities. He will work with the client and Executive Chef to plan the banquet, including menu, budget and facilities. He then works with the hotel’s general manager to see that the banquet details, including equipment, decorations and employees, are carried out.
The Chief Steward is also sometimes responsible for planning and pricing menus, and ensuring that the hotel’s food service operation is profitable. He may make menu changes, removing items that don’t sell or have become too costly, or make price changes when wholesale prices rise.
The Chief Steward should have a degree in Hospitality Management, along with several years of prior experience in the Hospitality Industry. He should be highly organized and have thorough knowledge of his hotel’s food service operation. Good accounting and inventory skills are critical. He should have good management skills and an ability to communicate effectively with personnel at all levels of the organization. He should be able to plan effectively, and be able to deal with unforeseen situations and emergencies in a calm and helpful manner. He should also have a flair for dealing with the public, and be willing to go above and beyond to satisfy the needs of a guest.
Chief Steward positions in five star hotels can be very lucrative jobs. These hotels boast the best of service, and charge premium prices, allowing them to pay top dollar for their management personnel. Therefore, while these jobs pay quite well, they are also quite demanding, and require a consistently excellent quality of service. If you have several years of hospitality background, and enjoy working with the pride that comes with managing a smooth operation, then this might be the job for you. If you’d like to find out more about Chief Steward jobs that are available, visit www.hospitalityonline.com.
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