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What is a kitchen manager?

The kitchen manager plays a vital role in small and large restaurants and many commercial-scale kitchens.

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What is a kitchen manager?

Kitchen managers supervise the day-to-day operations in the back-of-house at a restaurant or other hospitality business. They play a role in creating menus, developing recipes, and training back of house staff on standard operating procedures and prep methods.  Kitchen managers have a balance of business and interpersonal skills, managing the people, processes, and maximizing profits.

What are a kitchen manager’s duties and responsibilities?

The duties and responsibilities of a kitchen manager include:

  • Recruiting, hiring, and training kitchen staff
  • Leading and managing kitchen staff
  • Building schedules for kitchen staff
  • Helping chefs to develop recipes
  • Operating, maintaining, and replacing kitchen equipment, such as ovens, fryers, grills, and small appliances
  • Ensuring the quality of orders
  • Checking the plating and temperature of food
  • Ordering ingredients, kitchen equipment, and supplies
  • Maintain food safety and kitchen cleanliness
  • Tracking inventory usage, loss, and orders

How much are kitchen managers paid?

Kitchen managers earn, on average, between $58,000 and $73,000 annually depending on the kind of hospitality business or restaurant in which they work. 

What are the qualities that make a good kitchen manager?

A good kitchen manager will have extensive knowledge of and experience in the back of house. They have an intermediate to advanced understanding of flavor profiles and recipe building, cooking techniques, people management, and inventory purchasing.

Kitchen managers must ensure that the kitchen operates smoothly. They must also be able to multitask, keeping track of food and labor costs while overseeing production processes.

Good kitchen managers will be patient and able to solve problems quickly and with a cool head. They should be able to work as part of the management team, knowing their job duties and executing them without supervision.

How to become a kitchen manager

Becoming a kitchen manager requires the right combination of experience and knowledge. Many kitchen managers earn culinary degrees or degrees in hospitality management. Others work their way up through the ranks in restaurants until they acquire the necessary skills and experience for a management role.

Being loyal to a restaurant or company for a long time is one way to become a kitchen manager. Many companies prefer to promote from within so that managers understand the company culture and ways of doing business.

If you have the right skills, education, and experience, though, you can browse online job boards for restaurants that are hiring kitchen managers. Reaching out to the owners or management team personally shows that you have a genuine desire to work for the company and know how to take initiative when it matters.

How to hire a kitchen manager

When looking to hire a kitchen manager, start by making a list of the specific qualifications, skills, and experiences that you want candidates to possess. That will give you an idea of the kind of person that will be the right fit for the job.

You might look to promote someone from within the ranks of the staff. You could also make relationships with local culinary schools or hospitality management programs to find qualified graduates.

Posting openings for your kitchen manager position on online job boards might bring in a wide range of candidates. But, you will likely have to sort through lots of applications to find candidates with the right skills and experience for the position.

Kitchen managers play a critical role in restaurants, cafes, diners, and commercial kitchens. Kitchens don’t stock and run themselves; a career in kitchen management can be both challenging and fulfilling

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