Career Development

What Does a Kitchen Staff Do?

Find out what a kitchen staff does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a kitchen staff.

Kitchen staff are the people who work behind the scenes to prepare and cook the food that we eat every day. They may be responsible for washing dishes, chopping vegetables, preparing meat, or even baking pastries and desserts.

Kitchen staff typically work long hours under stressful conditions. They must be able to multitask effectively while maintaining a high level of attention to detail. It’s also important that they have strong communication skills so they can clearly communicate their needs to other kitchen staff as well as customers.

Kitchen Staff Job Duties

Kitchen staff typically have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Preparing and cooking food according to recipes and meal plans
  • Cleaning dishes, pots, pans, and other kitchen equipment
  • Maintaining inventory of ingredients and supplies needed for each day’s menu
  • Seasonal tasks such as preparing produce or stocking the pantry with canned goods or other perishables
  • Managing the flow of food preparation by ordering supplies, scheduling deliveries, and arranging storage
  • Handling special events such as weddings or banquets, where they may be responsible for menu planning, ordering food, and hiring staff
  • Cooking meals for large groups of people and ensuring that food is served on time
  • Preparing and serving food to customers in restaurants and other establishments where food is served. This can include serving customers in the dining room or taking orders from wait staff
  • Cleaning and maintaining the kitchen area, including washing dishes, mopping floors, and scrubbing walls to remove grease stains and bacteria
  • Washing dishes, glasses, silverware, pots, pans, and other kitchen equipment in a sink or dishwasher.

Kitchen Staff Salary & Outlook

Kitchen staff salaries vary depending on their level of experience, the type of restaurant they work in, and the geographic location of the job.

  • Median Annual Salary: $27,500 ($13.22/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $47,000 ($22.6/hour)

The employment of kitchen staff is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

The need to hire kitchen staff with a variety of skills will limit employment growth for these workers. Chefs and head cooks will be needed to oversee the work of other kitchen staff, such as sous chefs and culinary artists. However, automation in commercial kitchens may limit the need for some types of kitchen workers.

Related: Kitchen Staff Interview Questions and Answers

Kitchen Staff Job Requirements

A kitchen staff member may be required to have the following:

Education: Kitchen staff positions typically require only a high school diploma or GED. However, some employers may prefer candidates who have completed culinary arts programs or other relevant education.

Training & Experience: Most kitchen staff members receive on-the-job training. This training may include learning how to use kitchen equipment, how to prepare menu items and how to clean and organize the kitchen. Training may also include learning safety procedures and how to handle food safely.

Certifications & Licenses: Kitchen staff usually do not need any certifications or licenses, as their role is generally self-explanatory. However, staff in high-end restaurants may need certification that they can prepare specific types of food, such as desserts or French cuisine.

Kitchen Staff Skills

Kitchen staff need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is another skill that can be useful in a kitchen staff position. You may be working with a team of other kitchen staff members, so it’s important to be able to communicate effectively with them. You may also be working with a team of waiters or waitresses, so it’s important to be able to communicate with them as well.

Teamwork: Working in a kitchen can be a fast-paced environment where everyone needs to work together to get the job done. Having strong teamwork skills can help you work with your kitchen staff to complete tasks efficiently. You can also use teamwork skills to help you communicate with your kitchen manager and other kitchen staff members.

Organization: Kitchen staff should be able to maintain a clean and organized work space. This includes keeping their station clean, keeping track of their inventory and knowing where to store their supplies. Being able to organize your work space can help you complete your tasks more efficiently and help you find what you need when you need it.

Food safety knowledge: Kitchen staff should have a basic understanding of food safety practices to ensure the health and safety of the customers. This includes knowledge of proper food storage, handling and preparation methods. You should also be able to identify common foodborne illnesses and how to prevent them.

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is a skill that can help you perform your job duties well. When working in a kitchen, you may be responsible for preparing food correctly and accurately. This can help you ensure that the food you prepare is safe to eat and that you don’t waste any ingredients.

Kitchen Staff Work Environment

Kitchen staff typically work in restaurant kitchens, which can be hot, noisy, and hectic. They may work long hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays. Some kitchen staff may work split shifts, which means they work for a few hours, take a break, and then come back to work later in the day. Many kitchen staff work in fast-food restaurants and other food-service establishments, where they may be required to stand for long periods. Some kitchen staff may be exposed to cuts, burns, and slips and falls.

Kitchen Staff Trends

Here are three trends influencing how kitchen staff work. Kitchen staff will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Rise of the Celebrity Chef

The rise of the celebrity chef has been a recent trend in the culinary world, as more and more chefs are becoming famous for their unique dishes and cooking styles. This is leading to an increased demand for chefs who can create innovative and delicious meals that will keep customers coming back for more.

Kitchen staff members can capitalize on this trend by learning how to cook the latest trends from top chefs. They can also focus on developing their own signature dishes that will set them apart from the competition.

More Focus on Health and Wellness

As the health and wellness movement continues to grow, restaurants are beginning to focus more on providing healthy options for their customers. This means that kitchen staff members will need to be familiar with a wide range of healthy recipes and ingredients.

In order to stay ahead of the curve, kitchen staff members should focus on developing skills in preparing healthy meals that taste great. They should also be aware of the latest trends in nutrition so that they can adapt their menus to meet the needs of their customers.

A Desire for Local Ingredients

As the local food movement continues to grow, people are increasingly looking for restaurants that use local ingredients. This is because they want to support local businesses and ensure that their food is fresh and high-quality.

Kitchen staff members can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in using local ingredients in their dishes. This will allow them to create menu items that are both delicious and unique. In addition, it will help them to build relationships with local farmers and suppliers, which can be very beneficial in the long run.

How to Become a Kitchen Staff Member

A career as a kitchen staff can be a great way to get your foot in the door of the culinary world. As a kitchen staff member, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from experienced chefs and cooks, and pick up new skills along the way. You may also be able to move up the ranks and become a chef or cook yourself.

If you want to become a kitchen staff member, start by looking for jobs in restaurants that serve food you enjoy eating. Ask the head chef if there are any opportunities for training or advancement, and see if there is space in the schedule for extra hours. If possible, volunteer to help out in the kitchen when it’s slow, so you can observe how things work and learn from the chefs.

Advancement Prospects

For those who work in restaurants, there are many opportunities for advancement. With experience, kitchen staff can move up from entry-level positions such as dishwasher to cook or chef. Chefs can move up to become head chefs, and may eventually open their own restaurants. For those who are interested in the business side of the restaurant industry, there are also opportunities to move into management or ownership positions.

Kitchen Staff Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we provide our customers with a unique and memorable dining experience. A big part of that is thanks to the skill and dedication of our kitchen staff. We’re currently looking for new kitchen staff members who can help us maintain our high standards of food quality and presentation. The ideal candidate will have prior experience working in a professional kitchen, as well as a strong understanding of food safety and sanitation practices. He or she will be able to work quickly and efficiently under pressure, while still paying attention to detail. If you’re passionate about food and providing excellent customer service, we want you on our team!

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Arrive to work on time and in proper uniform
  • Maintain a clean and organized workstation
  • Adhere to all food safety and sanitation guidelines
  • Prepare food items according to recipes and specifications
  • Portion food items accurately
  • Operate kitchen equipment safely and efficiently
  • Restock supplies as needed
  • Keep the kitchen area clean and tidy at all times
  • Assist with dishwashing when necessary
  • Handle food waste properly
  • Comply with all company policies and procedures
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Proven experience in a kitchen environment
  • Ability to work long hours on your feet
  • Excellent knife skills
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills
  • Ability to multitask and stay calm under pressure

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Culinary arts degree or certification
  • 2+ years in a lead or supervisory role in a kitchen
  • Experience with food cost and inventory management
  • Creativity and passion for developing new menu items


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