Hotel Steward Job Description
Hotel Stewards are responsible for everything involved in the experience of a fine dining establishment, besides actually cooking the food. Usually employed within the restaurant or public dining area of an upscale hotel, the role of Hotel Steward revolves entirely around the customer experience. Their duties range from setting tables to garnishing dishes, and everything in between.
The role of Hotel Steward is an entry-level position. The only educational requirement is a high school diploma or GED. The work environment for Hotel Stewards is typically in the “ back of the house ” of a hotel’s dining area. This simply means they spend most of their time in the kitchen area rather than the dining area. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for Hotel Stewards is set to rise nearly 4 percent through 2024.
Hotel Steward Duties and Responsibilities
Hotel Stewards perform a variety of duties and responsibilities every shift. They often must switch back and forth between multiple tasks, which takes a flexible work style. The following list outlines the core duties and responsibilities Hotel Stewards perform daily.
Maintain Cleanliness of all Dining Utensils
Hotel Stewards are responsible for making sure all plates, glasses, bowls and silverware are perfectly cleaned between uses. This often involves using an industrial dishwasher and then hand polishing to remove leftover smudges.
Maintain Cleanliness of Kitchen and Storage Areas
Hotel Stewards also have to make sure the kitchen and storage areas are kept clean at all times. This includes cleaning industrial kitchen appliances, such as stoves, grills, freezers and ovens. This is an integral part of the Hotel Steward’s job, as the kitchen must meet health and safety standards at all times.
Assist With Food Storage, Rotation and Preparation
Although Hotel Stewards are not responsible for cooking, they are responsible for minor food preparation. This includes things like preparing fresh salads, garnishing dishes and adding fresh salt or pepper according to customer taste.
Maintain High Standards of Personal Appearance
The personal appearance code varies slightly by employer, but the industry standard for Hotel Stewards is having a clean and professional appearance at all times. This means wearing appropriate dress, covering tattoos and maintaining facial hair.
Approach Each Customer Encounter With Positive Attitude
Hotel Stewards spend a majority of their time in the back of the house, but some of their duties do involve interacting with customers. With hotel dining, it is all about the customer experience. Hotel Stewards must contribute to this experience by consistently maintaining a positive attitude in all interactions with customers.
Hotel Steward Skills
Hotel Stewards don’t use many complex skills during their job, but that doesn’t mean their job requires no skills. Those who exceed in this role feel at home in a fast-paced work environment. Kitchens of dining establishments can get extremely busy, so Hotel Stewards must be able to perform their duties quickly and under pressure. We researched some Hotel Steward job descriptions to put together the following list of skills used most by Hotel Stewards.
- Organizational Skills – Hotel Stewards routinely call upon their organizational skills to make sure the kitchen and storage areas are kept clean and organized. The better they do this job, the quicker chefs can prepare customer meals.
- Attention to Detail – When it comes to fine dining, the presentation of a dish matters almost as much as taste. Hotel Stewards call upon their keen attention to detail in order to perfectly garnish dishes, as well as making sure all glass and silverware are perfectly polished.
- Ability to Multitask – As we mentioned earlier, Hotel Stewards work in a hectic environment. They are constantly multitasking – especially during busy hours. Hotel Stewards who struggle with multitasking don’t last long.
- Communication Skills – Hotel Stewards are in constant communication with the wait and kitchen staff. They must be able to communicate clearly and effectively, as the function of back end of a dining establishment depends on this communicative clarity.
- Prioritization Skills – Similar to multitasking, Hotel Stewards must be able to quickly prioritize tasks in order of most to least critical. Everything done in the back of the house is time sensitive, so this is a vital skill for Hotel Stewards to possess.
Hotel Steward Salary
According to the BLS, the national median salary for Hotel Stewards is $19,300. Those in the top 10 percent make in excess of $21,000, while those in the bottom 10 percent make below $17,000. The three states with the highest median salary for Hotel Stewards are Nevada at $24,800; Washington at $22,500; and Massachusetts at $21,100.
Hotel Steward Tools of the Trade
Hotel Stewards use a handful of tools to perform their daily duties. These tools are compiled in the list below.
Commercial Use Dishwashers – Hotel Stewards use commercial dishwashers and glass washers constantly. Since these machines have much more power than a residential device, they must be experts on operating the machine safely.
Basic Culinary Tools – Hotel Stewards are responsible for the finishing details of main dishes and desserts, and they use basic culinary tools in this process. This includes things like pastry decorators, pepper grinders and salt grinders.
Commercial Cutlery – Hotel Stewards are often called upon for basic food prep, such as slicing fruit garnishes and raw vegetables for cooking. This involves using knives designed for commercial use.
Hotel Steward Resources
If you’re interested in further exploring the food and hospitality industry, then check out the resources below.
EHospitalityTimes.com – This blog covers all hospitality topics, but they have a “ Food and Beverage ” section with a bunch of posts useful to Hotel Stewards.
CnTraveler.com –This blog is more of a general travel and hospitality resource, but it offers some great reads for Hotel Stewards looking to grow within the hospitality industry.
AreMorch.com – This blog is all about increasing hotel occupancy through use of new media. It is a great resource for Hotel Stewards considering a forward career move into the marketing end of hospitality.
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