This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
The first proposition is only partly right, the steward hires the chef or head cook but not the kitchen help under him; the steward hires the headwaiter but not the waiters under him; the steward hires the baker, pastry cook and confectioner but not their helpers - not by right, but he frequently does in fact as a matter of accommodation because he knows where to find them when the cooks themselves do not, and the steward always has the power to discharge any hand for disobedience or misconduct, or to suspend or fine him.
The steward is the superior officer over the head cook, over the headwaiter, over the pastry cook and the rest He is next to the proprietor. He is responsible for the good or bad table that the house sets, and for the quality of the service. If he does not have the power to hire or discharge the cooks they will work against him and there will be no harmony; they will look to the higher authority, blame the steward for the poor quality, real or alleged, of the supplies furnished to them, and make of him little more than a market man and messenger, and the headwaiter will take but little notice of the complaints the steward may hear and report to him concerning his waiters' conduct, if he knows that the steward has no power except to talk.