Hotel Cook Job Description

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Many individuals interested in the culinary arts decide to work as hotel chefs. Through this profession, they are able to prepare meals for hotel restaurants, room service or breakfast buffets. They are able to work in a professional kitchen and prepare food without all of the stress of a restaurant, where survival as a business is based upon the quality and taste of the food the chef prepares.

Education and Skills

  • Many chefs who apply for jobs at hotels attended culinary school. Though this is not a requirement, previous experience working in the food industry or cooking knowledge gained as an intern or apprentice is required. This training typically will have lasted between two and four years. Furthermore, hotel chefs must have an interest in the food industry as well as managerial skills and the ability to work in a team. Since they often are required to keep track of stock ingredients, they must be able to pay attention to detail.

Duties

  • Hotel chefs are in charge of cooking, preparing and presenting food in an aesthetically pleasing way for guests. They are also in charge of keeping stock of food and ordering supplies when things run low. They supervise, organize and instruct other personnel working in the kitchen to ensure that recipes are prepared correctly. They are also in charge of estimating how much food clients will consume and order and ensuring that that amount is prepared. They must adhere to expectations and health regulations set by the hotel and the public health department. Sometimes the chef has the liberty to develop his own recipes and menus to be served.

Work Environment

  • Though hotels and their restaurants are typically clean and attractive, kitchens can become hectic. They are often hot and crowded and pose many safety hazards, such as sharp knives, slippery floors and hot stoves. For cooks and chefs working in hotels, the service is typically not as stressful as for those working in a restaurant but they are still under pressure to present food in a timely manner while still ensuring its quality and appearance, all while observing safety and health regulations. This job can require demanding hours. Many cooks who serve hotel breakfasts must work incredibly early mornings or overnight to ensure that food is prepared on time.

Job Outlook

  • Since turnover is common in the food industry, the U.S. Bureau of Labor predicts job prospects to be good but growth to be slower than average. Employment of cooks is expected to increase 6 percent between 2008 and 2018. This statistic also applies to hotel chefs and cooks. Individuals who have experience working in chain restaurants or places where they need to focus on food costs are thought to be more competitive for job openings and promotions.

Salary

  • According to cbsalary.com, the national U.S. average salary for hotel cooks is $54,787 a year. The salary, however, can be as low as $38,096 and as high as $161,461 per year depending on factors, including quality of the hotel, years of experience and expertise.

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