Job Type: Flexible
The kitchen staff works on the front lines of restaurant, cafeteria, and catering kitchens, interacting with cooks, waitstaff, bartenders, and sometimes customers. They work part-time or full-time, days, nights, weekends, and sometimes early in the morning to prep food.
Part of a larger food preparation and delivery team, the kitchen staff works in a fast-paced and sometimes demanding environment helping to prepare delicious meals.
The kitchen staff performs a wide range of duties in the fast-moving kitchen; they are the utility people, often assisting head cooks, line cooks, managers, and waitstaff with various aspects of meal preparation and delivery. Current job listings identify the following duties for kitchen staff:
The kitchen staff arrives early to organize the kitchen and do food prep to streamline cooking and meal presentation, including washing, peeling, and cutting fruits and vegetables; mixing ingredients for dishes; and cutting and seasoning meats.
The kitchen staff organizes customers’ plates before the waitstaff—or sometimes even the kitchen staff—bring the final product to the customer. They have a working knowledge of the day’s meals and menus and understand what each dish calls for before delivery.
The kitchen staff works with management and head cooks to receive, stack, and properly store food in kitchens, cold storage, and storerooms. They transfer food and supplies to the kitchen as needed.
The kitchen staff is responsible for ensuring all areas of the kitchen, food prep, and food storage areas are clean and properly sanitized. This includes washing dishes and cooking equipment, cleaning floors, sanitizing countertops and cutting boards, and maintaining all areas to health code standards.
If they are the first to arrive, the kitchen staff turns on the lights and grills, starts kitchen prep work, and prepares the kitchen and customer areas for service. When they’re the last to leave, the kitchen staff puts food and dishes away, cleans and mops the floors, and turns off all ovens, stoves, and other cooking equipment.
Quick and efficient workers with experience in food preparation or cooking, no formal education or training is usually required to be kitchen staff, though the following skills are usually preferred:
– a food service employer is only as successful as the cooks and kitchen staff it employs; the kitchen staff is expected to be reliable, on time for work, and consistent with the work they do
– the kitchen staff work on their feet for the duration of their shifts, around scheduled breaks, in kitchens that may be uncomfortably warm; often they hand wash dishes in hot water, climb up and down ladders and stairs, and carry up to 50 pounds for short distances
– working in all areas of the kitchen and often the food delivery space, including bars, seating areas, buffet tables, and dining rooms, the kitchen staff inevitably interact with customers, willingly listening to and assisting customers with their requests, even when they fall outside the kitchen staff’s normal duties
– the kitchen staff work with sharp and potentially dangerous equipment on a daily basis—whether the deli slicer, pizza oven, or high-temperature dishwasher, they work safely and effectively with all kitchen equipment
– the kitchen staff takes direction from the kitchen supervisors and facility managers and is willing to assist other team members to get their jobs done