Career Development

What Does a Kitchen Supervisor Do?

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

Kitchen supervisors are the leaders of the kitchen staff. They oversee all aspects of their restaurant’s cooking operations, including planning menus, purchasing ingredients and supplies, training line cooks, and ensuring that everything runs smoothly on a daily basis.

Kitchen supervisors may also be responsible for managing other aspects of the business besides the kitchen. This might include overseeing front-of-house staff (such as servers or bartenders), handling customer service issues, or even helping to manage finances or marketing efforts.

Kitchen Supervisor Job Duties

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

  • Monitoring employee performance and providing feedback to help them improve their skills
  • Scheduling shifts, hiring new employees, training new hires, and evaluating current staff members to ensure they are meeting company standards
  • Evaluating the condition of equipment and ordering supplies as needed
  • Working with management to develop new recipes and menu items that will appeal to customers
  • Making sure that all food preparation areas are clean and organized at all times
  • Ensuring that food is stored properly to prevent spoilage or contamination
  • Ensuring that all food handling regulations are followed to prevent food-borne illnesses
  • Monitoring the quality of the food being prepared by ensuring that it meets company standards
  • Maintaining inventory of all food items stored in the kitchen’s pantry or refrigerators to ensure there is enough on hand for regular business operations

Kitchen Supervisor Salary & Outlook

Kitchen supervisors’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the size of the company and the geographic location of the job. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of overtime.

  • Median Annual Salary: $38,000 ($18.27/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $70,500 ($33.89/hour)

The employment of kitchen supervisors is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by the continued popularity of restaurants and the demand for food services provided by these establishments. As more people eat out, there will be a need for kitchen supervisors to oversee the preparation of food in restaurants.

Related: Kitchen Supervisor Interview Questions and Answers

Kitchen Supervisor Job Requirements

A kitchen supervisor typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Kitchen supervisors are typically required to have at least a high school diploma or GED. Many employers prefer candidates who have completed some college coursework or have a culinary degree. A culinary degree can be obtained at a culinary arts school or a culinary arts program at a community college. These programs typically take about a year to complete and include courses in culinary arts, nutrition, food safety and sanitation, and business management.

Training & Experience: Most kitchen supervisors receive on-the-job training from their previous position. This training may include learning the restaurant’s menu, food preparation techniques and kitchen safety procedures. Training may also include shadowing another kitchen supervisor or cook to learn the restaurant’s workflow and procedures.

Certifications & Licenses: While certifications are not typically required for a kitchen supervisor role, they can be useful in different ways depending on the restaurant or establishment you work in. For some restaurants, kitchen supervisor roles require food handler certifications. In restaurants that serve alcohol, kitchen supervisor roles often require server certifications as well.

Kitchen Supervisor Skills

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

Communication skills: Communication skills are essential in a kitchen supervisor position. You may be in charge of a large kitchen staff, so it’s important to be able to convey information to your team in a clear and concise manner. You may also be in charge of training new kitchen staff, so it’s important to be able to explain kitchen procedures and safety measures in an easy-to-understand way.

Leadership skills: As a kitchen supervisor, you are responsible for overseeing the kitchen staff and ensuring that all kitchen duties are completed in a timely manner. Effective leadership skills can help you motivate your team and ensure that they are working together to achieve common goals.

Time management skills: As a kitchen supervisor, you may be responsible for overseeing multiple kitchen stations and ensuring that all food is prepared and served in a timely manner. Having strong time management skills can help you ensure that your kitchen staff is working efficiently and that customers are receiving their food in a timely manner.

Problem-solving skills: As a kitchen supervisor, you may be responsible for resolving issues that arise in the kitchen. Your problem-solving skills can help you identify the source of a problem and develop a solution to fix it. You may also be responsible for resolving conflicts between kitchen staff members. Your ability to solve problems can help you diffuse tense situations and maintain a positive work environment.

Teamwork skills: A kitchen supervisor is often in charge of a team of kitchen staff. This means that you must be able to work well with others. Your ability to be a team player can help you to lead a group of kitchen staff effectively.

Kitchen Supervisor Work Environment

Kitchen supervisors typically work in restaurants, hotels, or other food service establishments. They typically work full time, and their hours may vary depending on the needs of the establishment. Kitchen supervisors may work early morning, evening, weekend, and holiday shifts. They may also work overtime to ensure that the kitchen is running smoothly and that food is prepared on time. Kitchen supervisors may be exposed to hot, greasy, and loud conditions and may be required to lift heavy pots and pans.

Kitchen Supervisor Trends

Here are three trends influencing how kitchen supervisors work. Kitchen supervisors 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 Restaurant Industry

The restaurant industry is growing rapidly, with new restaurants opening up all the time. This means that there is a high demand for kitchen supervisors who can manage these operations.

Kitchen supervisors are in charge of overseeing the day-to-day operations of a restaurant’s kitchen. They are responsible for ensuring that food is prepared and served in a timely manner, as well as maintaining a safe and clean work environment.

As the restaurant industry continues to grow, so too will the need for kitchen supervisors. Those who are able to manage large kitchens and handle complex tasks will be in high demand.

More Focus on Healthier Options

As the health trend continues to grow, more and more people are looking for healthier options when they eat out. This has led to an increased demand for healthier menu items from restaurants across the country.

Kitchen supervisors can capitalize on this trend by developing recipes for healthier dishes that still taste great. They can also focus on sourcing ingredients that are healthy and sustainable. In addition, kitchen supervisors should be familiar with the latest trends in nutrition so that they can provide customers with the information they need to make informed decisions about what they eat.

A Desire for More Local Ingredients

Local ingredients are becoming increasingly popular among diners, who are looking for a more authentic dining experience. This trend is leading to an increased demand for local ingredients, which kitchen supervisors can meet by sourcing products from nearby farms and markets.

By using local ingredients, kitchen supervisors can create unique dishes that reflect the culture of their region. Additionally, they can build relationships with local farmers and suppliers, which can lead to long-term partnerships.

How to Become a Kitchen Supervisor

A career as a kitchen supervisor can be a great way to get your foot in the door of the culinary world. As a kitchen supervisor, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a variety of foods and learn from more experienced cooks. You’ll also gain valuable leadership skills that will help you succeed in any industry.

To become a kitchen supervisor, you’ll need to have at least some experience working in a kitchen. This could include cooking or baking for yourself or volunteering at a local soup kitchen. It’s also important to have strong communication skills so that you can effectively lead a team of cooks.

Advancement Prospects

As a kitchen supervisor, you will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the kitchen. This includes supervising the kitchen staff, ordering supplies, and ensuring that the food is prepared to the highest standards. You will also be responsible for the financial aspects of the kitchen, such as budgeting and cost control.

As you gain experience, you may be promoted to head chef or kitchen manager. In larger establishments, you may also have the opportunity to move into a corporate position, such as food and beverage director. With further experience and education, you may also be able to move into a teaching or consulting role.

Kitchen Supervisor Job Description Example

The kitchen is the heart of any restaurant, and at [CompanyX], we take pride in our food. We’re looking for a kitchen supervisor to lead our team of cooks and help us maintain our high standards. The ideal candidate will have experience in a professional kitchen, as well as a culinary degree or certification. He or she will be responsible for menu planning, food preparation, and kitchen staff management. The kitchen supervisor will also be responsible for maintaining a clean and safe working environment.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Maintain a clean and organized work area at all times
  • Adhere to all safety and sanitation guidelines
  • Prepare food items according to recipes and specifications
  • Train new kitchen staff on proper cooking techniques, food safety, and sanitation
  • Monitor food preparation to ensure quality standards are met
  • Coordinate with front of house staff to ensure timely delivery of food orders
  • Resolve any customer complaints in a professional and courteous manner
  • Oversee inventory levels and order supplies as needed
  • Schedule and assign shifts to kitchen staff
  • Conduct performance reviews for kitchen staff
  • Develop and implement new menu items
  • Stay up to date on trends in the culinary industry

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Proven experience as kitchen supervisor or similar role in a restaurant
  • Working knowledge of professional kitchen equipment and procedures
  • Excellent communication, organizational, and time management skills
  • Ability to delegate tasks and responsibilities to kitchen staff
  • Leadership qualities and ability to motivate team members

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree or culinary arts certification
  • 2+ years experience in a supervisory role in a high-volume kitchen
  • Familiarity with food safety standards and sanitation regulations
  • Creativity and ability to develop new menu items
  • Experience with inventory management and cost control


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