The Responsibilities and Duties of a Chef


A restaurant's chef oversees virtually all activity in the kitchen. In fact, the word "chef" comes from the French word meaning "boss." Whether things go well or badly, the chef is responsible for the situation. Though the responsibilities and duties of a chef are many, they fit into a few categories.

Supply Management

  • A chef is responsible for ordering supplies for the restaurant's kitchen. This includes food as well as preparation and serving supplies. The chef must maintain an inventory of the items in the kitchen to stay aware of what he must order from the restaurant's vendors. The chef must maintain pleasant relationships with the vendors to encourage them to continue doing business with the restaurant.

Menu Planning

  • The chef decides what food items are on the menu at the restaurant. As she chooses the appetizers, entrees, desserts and drinks on the menu, the chef is keenly aware of what to order from the restaurant's vendors. She must know the recipe for every item she places on the menu and how best to prepare items.

Staff Management

  • The chef oversees all of the food preparation staff in the kitchen. He provides the recipes the staff must follow and is the final authority on whether an order is prepared satisfactorily. He assigns duties from cleaning tasks to work shifts for every staff member. If a member of the kitchen staff has a question, the chef is the person who answers it.

Food Preparation

  • Of all the tasks assigned to a restaurant chef, food preparation may be the most obvious. At times he may work alongside other kitchen staff in preparing customer orders. This is especially true if the restaurant is experiencing a rush and an extra pair of hands is needed.

Customer Relations

  • When a customer is unhappy with her order, it's the chef's responsibility to figure out what went wrong. On the other hand, when a customer is happy with her order, she may send her compliments to the chef. The kitchen chef is responsible for pleasing the customer, as he is the one who oversees the customer's meal from the vendor to the dining table.

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