Chef Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

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Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Chef or Cook is responsible for using their culinary expertise to create appetizing dishes for diners to enjoy. Their duties include overseeing kitchen staff, tasting dishes before going to customers and restocking food produce as needed.

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Chef duties and responsibilities

Chefs work with other kitchen staff to ensure that your kitchen runs effectively, and they have to be experts at ensuring food quality and maintaining kitchen equipment. Other duties and responsibilities that every good Chef has include:

  • Ensure that all dishes are cooked well and presented in an aesthetically pleasing way
  • Oversee food preparation, checking that all kitchen staff are performing their duties
  • Monitor equipment quality and order new equipment as needed
  • Help the restaurant determine how much food and supplies need to be ordered
  • Train new kitchen staff
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Chef Job Description Examples

What does a Chef do?

Chefs are typically employed by restaurants but they also work for households and private facilities. They work closely with kitchen staff to prepare and cook food in a timely manner. Their job is to use kitchen appliances and equipment to prepare and cook food properly. They also have a responsibility to use fresh ingredients to ensure the health and safety of their customers. They may also be responsible for creating menu items and teaching their staff how to make each one

Chef job description intro paragraph

When writing a Chef job description, start by introducing the job and company to prospective Chefs. Briefly highlight the work environment, what sets your company apart and why the role is important to your company.

For example:

“Company ABC is looking for a passionate and creative Chef to join our full-service breakfast and brunch restaurant. If hired, you’ll play a key role in providing support and guidance to our culinary team, and help ensure a positive guest experience.

At Company ABC, we’re proud to have a 4.5 star rating on Indeed Company Pages and an above average ​​Work Happiness Score from our employees. We offer career advancement opportunities, competitive compensation (with quarterly bonuses) and a 401(k) with employer match.

Chef skills and qualifications

The most important skill for a Chef is the ability to cook well and arrange beautiful dishes, but they need lots of other qualifications as well, including:

  • Customer service
  • The ability to manage a team of cooks
  • Organization skills
  • Time management skills
  • Attention to detail
  • The ability to work under extreme pressure
  • The ability to communicate in a fast-moving environment
  • The ability to make good food consistently, even in a busy kitchen

Chef Salary expectations

A Chef makes an average salary of $15.07 per hour. Pay rate may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location. 

Chef education and training requirements

Many Chefs complete formal education before entering the workforce, such as culinary degrees and management programs. Chefs typically don’t receive on-the-job training, since it’s expected that they will have completed experience as a cook before moving into a role taking on broader responsibilities. You also want to consider the type of experience, such as the types of restaurants where a Chef candidate worked.

Chef experience requirements

Chefs typically have five or more years of experience, though exceptions may be made depending on the type of experience or the Chef’s educational background. Chefs typically gain real-world experience through cook positions or other junior-level roles.

Job description samples for similar positions

If you’re not finding everything you need for your job description here, check out a few other samples for similar positions:

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Frequently asked questions about Chefs

 

What is the difference between an Executive Chef and a Sous Chef?

The difference between an Executive Chef and a Sous Chef is that an Executive Chef usually oversees all of the kitchen operations. This includes taking inventory of produce, hiring new kitchen staff, plating dishes, interacting with customers in the dining area and communicating with the restaurant owner. In contrast, a Sous Chef is responsible for overseeing lower-ranking staff, including Junior Chefs and Station Chefs. They help train these roles and make sure they fulfill their specific duties on time. They also report to the Executive Chef for instructions.

 

What makes a good Chef?

A good Chef is passionate about food and serving others. They should also tend to be creative, so they can come up with unique dishes for customers to enjoy. They should also have the ability to oversee a team and uphold kitchen standards through their leadership. Further, a good Chef has a personable nature to engage with customers during and after their meal. This quality also helps them communicate with displeased customers to ensure they have a good experience with your business.

 

What are the daily duties of a Chef?

A Chef typically arrives at their workplace early in the morning to begin food preparation and receive produce deliveries. During this time, they also start making soups or meat dishes as some of these items take longer to cook. Throughout service, they divide their time in the kitchen, helping prepare orders and expediting those orders. A Chef also makes themselves accessible to customers throughout service, should they have a complaint, question or compliment. 

After the completion of service, Chefs work with the kitchen staff to clean their workspace and take inventory of remaining produce. During this time, they place orders for produce and throw out old produce.

 

Who does a Chef report to?

Chefs usually report to the Restaurant Manager. Restaurant Managers oversee the entire operations of a restaurant, including the dining area and kitchen space. Chefs can also report to the Restaurant Owner in specific settings. If a Chef works for a private establishment like a household, they most likely report to the homeowner.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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    Last updated: Apr 28, 2021