What Do Chefs and Head Cooks Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

Chefs and Head Cooks

Chefs and Head Cooks direct and may participate in the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, fish, meats, vegetables, desserts, or other foods. May plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts.

Salary
$58740
Becoming One
Medium
Education
Associate's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality



Job Description

Job Description

Chefs and Head Cooks direct and may participate in the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, fish, meats, vegetables, desserts, or other foods. May plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts. They also monitor sanitation practices to ensure that employees follow standards and regulations.

Other tasks include:

  • Check the quality of raw or cooked food products to ensure that standards are met.
  • Estimate amounts and costs of required supplies, such as food and ingredients.
  • Instruct cooks or other workers in the preparation, cooking, garnishing, or presentation of food.
  • Supervise or coordinate activities of cooks or workers engaged in food preparation.
  • Inspect supplies, equipment, or work areas to ensure conformance to established standards.
  • Order or requisition food or other supplies needed to ensure efficient operation.

We asked Chefs and Head Cooks how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

65%

How meaningful is this job

49%


65% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 49% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Chefs and Head Cooks order or requisition food or other supplies needed to ensure efficient operation. They inspect supplies, equipment, or work areas to ensure conformance to established standards.

A typical day for a Chef and Head Cook will also include:

  • Check the quantity and quality of received products.
  • Check the quality of raw or cooked food products to ensure that standards are met.
  • Determine how food should be presented and create decorative food displays.
  • Estimate amounts and costs of required supplies, such as food and ingredients.
  • Plan, direct, or supervise food preparation or cooking activities of multiple kitchens or restaurants in an establishment such as a restaurant chain, hospital, or hotel.

We asked some Chefs and Head Cooks a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job? 85% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job? 70% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job? 88% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job? 22% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job? 26% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job? 73% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Chefs and Head Cooks also meet with sales representatives to negotiate prices or order supplies. They may also meet with customers to discuss menus for special occasions, such as weddings, parties, or banquets.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Chefs and Head Cooks Recruit and hire staff, such as cooks and other kitchen workers. They might also Analyze recipes to assign prices to menu items, based on food, labor, and overhead costs.

In addition, they Demonstrate new cooking techniques or equipment to staff.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Collaborate with other personnel to plan and develop recipes or menus, taking into account such factors as seasonal availability of ingredients or the likely number of customers.

To some Chefs and Head Cooks, it is also their responsibility to Arrange for equipment purchases or repairs.


Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Irregular work schedule that changes depending on weather conditions, customer demand or contract duration.

In a typical work week as a Chef and Head Cook, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week.

Do Chefs and Head Cooks work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
59%


Never
22%


Do Chefs and Head Cooks work outdoors?

Once a year
41%


Never
33%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Entrepreneurs and The Builders

People who are suitable for this job tends to like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business..

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

You can read more about these career personality types here.



Learn more about Chefs and Head Cooks

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Related to Chefs and Head Cooks Job Description

Chefs and Head Cooks job description, what do Chefs and Head Cooks do, typical day for Chefs and Head Cooks, what is it like to work as a Chef and Head Cook, how many hours do Chefs and Head Cooks work, day to day work of a Chef and Head Cook

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/food-preparation-and-serving/chefs-and-head-cooks.htm
http://www.acfchefs.org/
http://www.restaurant.org/
http://www.personalchef.com/


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