Summary: A Kitchen Staff is a broad term which encompasses any employee of an establishment, whether a 5-star hotel or restaurant, who is assigned in the kitchen. Generally, the term pertains to kitchen assistants, helpers, or apprentices. It is a system of hierarchy found in restaurants that employ an extensive staff.
Duties: Kitchen Staffers perform various duties in the kitchen. This may include, but not limited to; setting out clean dishes, glasses, and silverware for table setters before each meal; washing dishes; setting up containers for dirty dishes and silverware after every meal; cleaning the kitchen floor; emptying trash; wiping kitchen counters; cleaning restrooms; washing pots and pans; cleaning griddles, stoves, and ovens; washing windows behind the sink; performing temperature checks on all refrigerators and freezers; monitor inventory and report items that need to be reordered; preparing food items for the day’s menu (sorting, chopping, washing, and storing of food); preparing soups and salads; and substituting on the line when necessary.
Education and Training Requirements: Employers normally require applicants to have at least a Vocational Diploma or Short course certificate in Culinary studies but having a Bachelor’s Degree in Food technology, Nutrition, Dietetics. Food and Beverage Services Management, Hotel and Restaurant Management, or any equivalent is an advantage. In some cases, high school graduates may also be considered depending on the extent of responsibilities. A minimum of 2 years work experience in food service is often required, although having more is an advantage.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements: Kitchen staffers must have a basic knowledge of kitchen sanitation, knife handling skills, reading and math skills, and kitchen equipment; ability to measure ingredients accurately, and understand and carry out directions. They must be able to multi-task, work quickly despite being under stress, and communicate well to ensure all orders are satisfactory to customers.
Working Conditions: A number of restaurants are open from early morning until late night which means the Kitchen staff will be there even earlier and stay even later. Kitchen staff may find themselves running to and fro throughout the different kitchen areas, and is required to be on their feet most of the time. Some of the areas in the kitchen can be very uncomfortable because of heat and humidity. They are expected to work weekends and holidays.
Salary: Kitchen staff earns an average salary of $32,000. This may vary based on the location of the job, benefits, work experience and expected responsibilities. They may also earn extra by picking up extra shifts. They are also entitled to benefits such as medical and dental plans, life insurance plans, short term disability plans, paid vacation and sick leaves, uniforms, and free meals.