WHAT DO KITCHEN MANAGERS DO?
Who makes sure the food stays hot, the salad stays crisp, and the hummus stays hummusy? Kitchen managers. A kitchen manager is responsible for the overall operations for the back of house and kitchen area of a restaurant. Kitchen managers hire staff, purchase food and stock, and make sure everyone is trained on proper food preparation and kitchen safety techniques. In addition, kitchen managers ensure that the companies standards are upheld: the food looks good and is cooked properly, the proportions are correct, and it is cooked and served quickly. Kitchen managers also make sure that the kitchen is properly cleaned on a regular schedule, food is disposed of properly and the kitchen meets all sanitary standards.
Kitchen managers also hit the books, by keeping tabs on food cost, waste and employee hours, doing their best to optimize profit for their company and create the best dining experience possible for customers.
HOW MUCH DO KITCHEN MANAGERS MAKE?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that in 2010, food service managers made a median hourly income of $23.14, or $48,130 per year.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
Although not necessarily required, a bachelor's degree in food service management or similar is becoming increasingly valuable to employers. Once hired, many restaurant chains send managers through intense training programs, which combines classroom and real kitchen experience.
Certification is available, but not required.
JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Customer-Service: Kitchen managers might have to interact with customers. Being friendly and courteous will help keep customers coming back.
- Attention to Detail: Kitchen managers have to keep their eyes on a lot of elements: food standards, costs, safety, etc.
- Leadership: Kitchen managers must be leaders in the back of house, rallying their team during heavy shifts, resolving conflicts and getting the job done.
- Management Skills: Kitchen managers not only deal with food, they also have to deal with costs, pricing, creating work schedules and more.
- Organizational Skills: Keeping work schedules, shipments, cleaning schedules and more organized is crucial to the job.
- Problem-Solving Skills: Dealing with employee conflict, irate customers and wrong stock orders is part of a kitchen managers job. Being able to come up with a solution quickly is a needed skill.
- Speaking Skills: Kitchen managers need to accurately and easily communicate standards and cooking methods to staff, give orders and speak with customers clearly.
- Stamina: Kitchen managers can expect long days around hot cooking elements, much of it on their feet.
THE FUTURE OF KITCHEN MANAGERS
Not as many new restaurants are expected to open between 2010 and 2020 as in past decades, and kitchen manager jobs reflect that. Job growth, according to the BLS, will be much slower than the average job over this time.