What Does a Food Expeditor Do?

Nick Mann

A career as a food expeditor can be fulfilling for individuals who have customer service skills and enjoy working with food. The essential role of a food expeditor is to keep a kitchen running smoothly and ensure that customer orders are correct. These individuals can work in settings ranging from small mom and pop diners to large, upscale restaurants. Some fundamental job duties include training food prep workers, ensuring sanitation standards, inspecting orders for accuracy, monitoring inventory and interacting with customers.

Food expeditors are usually charged with ensuring food is prepared and handled at proper temperatures and in sanitary conditions.
Food expeditors are usually charged with ensuring food is prepared and handled at proper temperatures and in sanitary conditions.

Properly training food prep workers is one of the most important parts of being a food expeditor. Some things he may teach workers are how to chop vegetables like onions and lettuce and how to prepare condiments. He may also instruct workers on assisting with particular dishes that his restaurant offers. To be effective, he must have a solid culinary knowledge, be familiar with each dish on the menu and have leadership skills.

Individuals who work in food preparation are required to perform proper hand washing techniques.
Individuals who work in food preparation are required to perform proper hand washing techniques.

Ensuring sanitation standards is also important. To comply with government regulations and prevent food poisoning, it's necessary for a food expeditor to monitor the cleanliness of a kitchen. This can involve checking food storage, monitoring food preparation for heat sensitive items, wiping down counters and making sure the kitchen floor gets swept and mopped. A food expeditor may perform some tasks himself and assign some tasks to other workers.

A food expeditor must ensure that customer orders are correct.
A food expeditor must ensure that customer orders are correct.

Another responsibility of this position is consistently inspecting orders for accuracy. Since a food expeditor is often the last person to track an order before it goes to a customer, it's up to him to ensure that it's correct and well-prepared. This means checking orders to see that meats are cooked properly, side dishes are correct and beverages are correct. To avoid customer complaints, a food expeditor must have an eye for detail and be knowledgeable about the restaurant's menu.

Expeditors oversee all of the food handling to prevent poisoning.
Expeditors oversee all of the food handling to prevent poisoning.

Monitoring inventory and keeping foods and beverages stocked is also essential. To keep customers happy and maintain the proper stock of menu ingredients, a food expeditor must always keep track of all aspects of inventory. This also involves placing orders and checking for order accuracy when vendors deliver goods. Since some foods can perish more quickly than others, he must also have an in-depth knowledge of how long certain foods will stay fresh.

A food expeditor may work in large, upscale restaurants.
A food expeditor may work in large, upscale restaurants.

Interacting with customers is an additional aspect of this position. If a customer has a complaint, a food expeditor will usually be the one to handle it and ensure that the customer's dining experience is positive. When an order is incorrect, he will also be the one who replaces it with the correct food items. Consequently, keeping calm during stressful situations and having a friendly demeanor are helpful attributes to have in this position.

Symptoms of food poisoning may include severe stomach cramping and pain.
Symptoms of food poisoning may include severe stomach cramping and pain.

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