If you enjoy the idea of a career in the foods industry, have you considered a career as a kitchen manager? Unlike a restaurant manager or assistant manager, the Kitchen Manager is responsible mainly for the kitchen area of a restaurant, rather than the entire restaurant. Some people prefer this position to that of the restaurant or assistant manager, due to the fact that they would only be responsible for what goes on in the kitchen. If you think this is a career for you, here is some more information for you to consider.
High School or GED
1 to 5 years
The typical education path for a kitchen manager would likely be focused on a degree in the culinary arts, or a certificate from an online or brick-and-mortar college or trade school which deals with both the chef type duties and the duties of a kitchen manager. Often the Kitchen Manager might also serve as a chef, especially in extremely busy times.
Steps to Becoming a Kitchen Manager
To become a kitchen manager, follow these steps, and focus on the skills needed to excel in this career choice:
1) Be a star chef or waiter/waitress. While it is not absolutely necessary to be a master chef to do this job, a high level of ability in cooking is certainly a plus. The Kitchen Manager is expected to know how to cook, how to fix things in a hurry, how to manage a kitchen efficiently, and more. So if you are already working in a restaurant, and you want to move up to this position, be good at what you do first. Then express your desire to the management to work in this position. As you can see from this article, oftentimes the Kitchen Manager may also be the Head Chef.
2) Work on a variety of skills. The Kitchen Manager is expected to be able to perform a wide variety of duties efficiently. So practice the various skills needed to perform your job by engaging in several different duties. For example, do dish-washing duties, stocking, cooking, and dealing with vendors.
3) Work on organization. The Kitchen Manager has to be an effective organizer, due to the large number of things they are responsible for. They must take inventory of equipment, plates and utensils, mixers, and all sorts of kitchen aids, as well as the food that is stored in the refrigerator and other things. The better they are at organization, the better they will do their jobs.
4) Be a safety guru. There is nothing more important than safety when it comes to being a kitchen manager. Safety must come first when it comes to food service, as there is liability involved when it comes to the health and safety of a restaurant. Often the Kitchen Manager has a certificate in Safety or Consumer Science or a related field, so show their credentials in this most important area. At the least, they should have a knowledge of cross-contamination, wash hands thoroughly when they cook, and teach others to do the same. If an incident occurs, such as food poisoning or other problem, the Kitchen Manager would likely be the one held responsible. Public safety must come first.
5) Get diverse experience as a chef or cook. This is a good way to get people to notice your ability in the kitchen-to be a great cook first. If customers compliment the chef (you), and you exhibit other leadership qualities, the manager may feel you are a good candidate for the position when it arises.
The responsibilities of the Kitchen Manager in a restaurant are diverse, but if you are a good organizer, enjoy being in the kitchen and in charge of people working in this environment, you might enjoy a career as a kitchen manager. So get the education you need, work on your skills, and go for it! And remember, if you can’t stand the heat, turn the stove down!