Head chef | Selby College
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Head chef

Head chefs oversee restaurants’ staff, food and budgets.

Potential salary

£16,000 to £50,000

Employment by 2024


Working hours

40 to 48 a week

  • knowledge of food production methods
  • maths knowledge
  • leadership skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

You could:

  • plan menus and create new dishes
  • research and source new ingredients and catering equipment
  • present new ideas to senior staff
  • make sure food is of the right quality and price
  • manage stock
  • order food from suppliers
  • control a budget and keep accurate records
  • manage health and hygiene procedures
  • organise and supervise the team preparing and presenting food
  • recruit, train and develop staff

You may need to wear a uniform.

You could work at a restaurant, in an NHS or private hospital or on a cruise ship.

Your working environment may be hot and humid.

With experience, you could go on to manage larger kitchens and more staff. You may work for a large restaurant chain managing more than one kitchen. This is a management role, so cooking duties may be limited.

You could also set up your own business, running your own restaurant or franchise. Some head chefs go on to set up their own restaurant brand.

You can find out more about careers in catering from the Hospitality Guild and CareerScope.

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