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Thread: How does an expediter work?

  1. #1
    Senior Member

    sudsy9977's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    How does an expediter work?

    How do u expedite tickets in a restaurant in tis simplest form?.....obviously tickets come in, u call out orders etc.....but how do u know when the entrees should be started etc? does he timing work out.....and how long should it take?.....are there any set rules?.....ryan

    viva la revolucion !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    No set rules really, but they need to have knowledge of all food on the menu in order to call. Most places I've worked the kitchen manager typically works that job.

    I miss that. I loved organizing the kitchen into a cohesive working unit.

  3. #3
    Von blewitt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Merimbula, Australia
    In short
    Order comes in -- appetiser goes out/ docket goes "on hold" ---appetiser is cleared / docket gets " called away"----- entree goes out.

    Make simplicity seem like abundance - Tetsuya Wakuda

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Zwiefel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Little Rock, AR
    Thanks for asking this, I've wondered the same thing on a number of occasions. Seems like the expediter would need to have an understand of how long each thing on the menu takes so they can make sure items with very different prep times are done at nearly the same time (obviously, everyone on the line has to work towards that as well).
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    If you have a good kitchen crew they know when to drop items. Many restaurants, at least the ones I have worked in (mostly corp ran) have computer software to "time" tickets. The software knows how long it takes to make certain items and will print a chit when the item is suppose to be done. The expediter organizes and checks the food as it is put up in the slide and sends it out when it is checked and ready.

    A expediter is the final QC before the food goes out.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Depends on the kitchen and menu. But typically the expo will get a ticket, and call out the table number of people, apps and entrees then the tickets start at one and ones behind it are placed next to it that way you know which is first etc. There are no rules really depends on the chef and how he wants it.

    In my restaurant we have a pantry printer and a hot line printer. On the line we get all the apps and entrees, if there are cold apps to go with we tell the pantry expo when to fire then or vice versa depending on how long they take. If there are apps with entrees then we again tell the pantry when to go on the table.

    Also expo is usually in charge of seeing the final plate and making sure everything is ok, but in my place every station does their own plates. But the chef is always checking things.

    for example both printer would get a ticket similar to this:
    server: Dave Table # 20 People: 4
    Fried green tomatoes
    Arugula Salad
    Small Pasta

    Pepper steak MR

    blah bla blah

    So becuase the green tomatoes take longer than it does to cook the small pasta, the pantry will tell us ok Fire small pasta on table 20. For the entree we receive a fire entree ticket from the server when there ready for the entrees and we would have to tell them Fire table 20 in order to pick up the bruschetta with the entrees. It takes about 3 minutes so whenever the hot food is about 3 minutes out then we let them know that way everything hits the window at the same time.

    hope this helps

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    It's a little different for me. I've always worked in small fine dinning establishments with only a set menu. We actually have 2 people managing the pass, one on the floor and the chef in the kitchen. The guy on the floor actually tells us when each dish has to be called as he has an idea of weather the cutlery has been put down, wine glasses changed/wine poured, table scrapped etc. He also has to know how long each dish has to take to be plated. We in the kitchen have to have an understanding of how long it takes to cook and plate a dish. Everything has to be timed to hit the pass at the same time.

  8. #8
    Senior Member hambone.johnson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Frederick, MD
    yeah, thats a broad ranging question. you can YouTube some videos; the "Alinea expo" is a good one. the guy explains his very complicated job. In my current kitchen we use a computer based firing system. you get a printed ticket too but each person uses this in a different way, in the end, whats fired on the computer screen is what matters. its important to give "heads" which is called out when each course walks. its short for "heads up". if a course is picked up and sent out you talk to the next persons station in line of the tasting menu to give heads up that its headed their way. thats where your printed copy comes in handy because you can group checks together. we run a single menu tasting format so its just one course after another down the line. if people forget to communicate though then things are fired and your not prepared. the success of an expo is communication. its really different in each kitchen. very broad ranging

  9. #9
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by kalaeb View Post
    An expediter is the final QC before the food goes out.
    This is how it was back in the day (as an under 30, can I say this?), when I was doing it. Finishing touches, asking servers and bussers the diners' progress on apps to see if things needed to be held off/pushed through. Oh, also lots of calling servers "lazy asses", and the cooks "no good beatniks".

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Long island NY
    A "true expediter" will call out the orders to the line cooks, give the cooks " all days" I.E " order in surf n turf MR (mid-rare), that's 8 all day, 4 MR, 3 M, and one WD, I'll take the Well done and 2 Med rares any time (or might say " 2 mid rare and well done are fired or (picked up)
    He also will will also anser questions and or approve spacial orders from the wate staff, call for restocking itmes to the prep guys. He has to think of how to fix " problems " that may come up, has to do it fast to! Lot of mental multi-tasking involved in this position. Probably the hardest and most stressful station in the kitchen during service

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