Clubs having no "proprietor" or one who stands in the hotel landlord's place, are organized as to their eating and drinking departments in either of these two ways: The smaller clubs have a house committee which hires a steward and puts him in full charge of the culinary department, holding him accountable in monthly statements to the committee, when his books are required to show whether the kitchen is making or losing money for the club. As the club members are tacitly expected, but not bound, to take their neals and extra suppers at the club the steward's ability as a caterer to set an attractive table often has a telling effect upon the club's prosperity.

Some of the largest and most noted clubs of the world pursue a different plan and appoint a caterer, who acts very much in the position of an independent tradesman, agreeing to furnish the meals, whether regular or private, entirely on his own responsibility, taking his own risks of selling or not selling and rendering accounts to no one but himself, being really the restaurant-keeper of the club's restaurant, with an established scale of prices and making all he can out of the club's patronage. Such a caterer has to employ inside stewards and all other employes very much the same as a hotel proprietor does, the special difference being that the caterer is usually chosen by the club on account of his being already a renowned cook, who will exercise his special function for the club's benefit, and in that respect he is far different from the mere refreshment contractors, who undertake the feeding of a multitude at so much per head. To be the steward of a club is not materially different from being steward of a first-class hotel, where a man to fill the position must be well up in party giving; in small, but expensive suppers, and he must have a knowledge of wines and liquors, more intimate and critical than the average hotel steward has any need of.