Who’s who in a restaurant kitchen: From chefs to servers, they’re all key

working in a professional kitchen

A professional kitchen has a hot, chaotic, and stressful environment. There’s an adrenaline rush, different stations to work out, and a lot of expectations to meet. The entire crew depends on each other to win, or everyone sinks together. That’s how restaurant jobs are!

Ideally, there’s a well-established layout, so each station runs smoothly. Also, the type of establishment, available space, and menu are the major considerations in determining the Kitchen Brigade. To help you understand, here are the different titles in a professional restaurant that allows the kitchen to thrive:

Head Chef or Chef de Cuisine is kind of a COO of the kitchen. They spend their time planning events, preparing the menu, staff selection/ dismissal, etc. In fact, they can be everywhere in the restaurant, so the workers produce goods economically and efficiently. Thus, the Head Chef must have expertise in managing all areas of the trade.

The Sous chef or the second chef has one of the most active roles in running the kitchen every single day. Their tasks include developing the menu, managing staff, ensuring compliance, assisting the head chef, maintaining recipe standards, interacting with guests, training associates on safety procedures, etc. They help keep greater guest satisfaction, participate in HR activities, and comprehend finances to meet restaurant needs.

The Pastry Chef (Patissier) is responsible for an independent department, i.e., the pastry section, which is usually separate from the central kitchen. The position requires excellent creativity, extensive training and skill set, and expertise in baking to accommodate the specific field.   

The Line Cook or Chef de Partie reports to the Executive or Sous Chef. They innovate dishes, maintain hygiene and quality, control wastage, allocate responsibilities, and stock stations to keep all menu supplies up-to-date.

To learn the ins and outs of specific stations is the Commis Chef or Junior Chef, who works under the Line Cook behind the scene. From chopping veggies to butchering meat and prepping ingredients, Commis Chef helps accelerate the flow of cooking.

The waitstaff is responsible for making guests feel at ease from the moment they enter till they leave. They prepare the tables, reserve bookings, check the availability of dishes, welcome customers, take orders, hand over the orders to the kitchen staff, deliver excellent customer service, and process payments.

Although dishwashers, porters and stewards don’t have a role in preparing food and beverages, their assistance is invaluable. These workers carry out cleaning tasks and support the entire kitchen staff. They are the primary helping hands to anyone who needs them in the kitchen. The dishwasher ensures the availability of clean dishes, and the porter or steward in a commercial kitchen keeps the facility clutter-free.

Today, restaurant and food service workers are in pretty high demand. The industry employs thousands of workers every year, and the numbers are only expected to grow. While many people turn to culinary jobs for supplemental income, the prevalence shouldn’t fool you.

Many restaurants offer skilled chef jobs and other positions at competitive wages, and they may be looking for experienced talent like you.

If killing it at a restaurant job interests you, Cool Jobs has you covered. Check out the jobs on our Food and Beverage page today.