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An executive steward oversees staff members within the dining facilities of a hospitality facility. In addition to ensuring that diners receive the utmost in customer service, these professionals ensure that all laws and regulations that govern food service provision are followed. In 2010, Salary.com reported that executive stewards in the United States of America earned an average annual salary of $38,421.
The primary duty of an executive steward is the management of a facility’s kitchen and the staff members who work in it. While the steward does not oversee the chef and other cooking staff, all other team members such as dishwashers, kitchen runners and busboys work under his tutelage. In addition to hiring these professionals, he delegates their duties and supervises their work.
Preparation and Maintenance Responsibilities
An executive steward must direct her team in preparing the facility for customer use. This includes ensuring that all dishware and pre-prepared food such as salads and beverages are ready. She also sees that all condiments and utensils are where they need to be. At the end of the shift, as well as throughout its course, a steward directs her staff members in the cleaning and maintenance of the dining room and food preparation areas. Sanitation duties are incredibly vital because in most jurisdictions, this is regulated by local authorities. The improper maintenance of food and food storage and preparation devices can lead to heavy fines and/or orders to cease business operations by the government.
Obtaining employment as an executive steward requires the possession of a high school diploma or its equivalent. Many employers give preference to applicants who have received post-secondary education within hospitality management or a related field of study. Ample professional experience within hospitality, food services or another related industry is also typically required.
Keys to Success
The hospitality industry is fast paced. As a result, candidates for the role of executive steward must be quick thinking, maintaining the ability to shift priorities and direct others to do the same in a moment’s notice. As a team leader, it is important for this professional to effectively communicate deliverables and both positive and negative feedback to employees. Additionally, an executive steward must possess the ability to inspire her team to provide top notch customer service at all times.
Venues of Employment
Executive stewards are employed in a variety of environments where dining services are provided to a large number of customers. Hotels, resorts and convention centers employ these operations as do casinos, amusement parts and concert venues. Additionally, non-traditional dining facilities such as corporate, school and health care facility cafeterias often hire executive stewards.
KJ Henderson has more than a decade of HR and talent acquisition experience. He has held roles at a Fortune 100 investment bank, a media conglomerate and at one of NYC's largest executive staffing firms. He currently heads recruitment sourcing at a major movie studio. He read literature at Oxford.