The scene in the back of a kitchen is an intricate puzzle of different food service employees, each playing an important role in keeping the restaurant put-together and running smoothly.
Below, read about the responsibilities of and training necessary for 5 popular food service industry jobs:
1. Culinary Chef—
In addition to cooking many different types of food, the head culinary chef of any kitchen is often expected to create the restaurant’s menu.
The culinary chef’s responsibilities may also involve planning special dishes based on foods available seasonally or locally, keeping in mind the stylistic choices or theme of the menu and restaurant, in addition to the desired demographic and restaurant budget.
Also in charge of quality control, the culinary chef is expected to make certain every dish that leaves the kitchen is attractively presented and perfectly cooked.
Formal culinary school training is always a bonus, but not necessary, as many chefs have learned everything they know apprentice-style: by working under other culinary chefs.
2. Restaurant and/or Bar Manager—
This job involves less of the creative side of keeping a restaurant running well, and more of the money and budgetary management.
Generally in charge of hiring, training and organizing the bartender, host, hostess and servers, the restaurant manager’s main duty is adequately and accurately staffing the restaurant.
The number one goal of the restaurant manager is to make sure the business is making money while still providing the quality service necessary to keep the customers returning.
3. Pastry Chef—
Pastry chefs are in charge of all dessert-related aspects of a restaurant’s menu, from cakes and cupcakes to tortes, and even ice cream. One of the most creative food service career choices, pastry chefs are expected to mesh flavor and presentation to craft imaginative and artistic-looking desserts.
In a smaller kitchen, the pastry chef may do all of the prep and work involved with pastry and dessert making.
In a bigger kitchen, the pastry chef may have a team of bakers and pastry assistants to help with the work.
Usually, if a restaurant has a pastry chef in place, the pastry chef is in charge of creating the dessert menu, and will work with the culinary chef to try to plan complementary items to the savory menu dishes.
Because baking and pastries involve extreme precision and artistry, it is not uncommon to receive formal training for this career.
4. Nutritionist or Dietician—
This can be a very profitable career in the food services because a degree in this area can allow the certified dietician or nutritionist to find employment with a large corporation with a high budgetary allotment for their position.
Examples of businesses for which one might use a degree in this field would be government institutions like schools or prisons, and private health care facilities like hospitals and senior centers.
Creating healthy diet plans for large groups of people and overseeing the follow-through of these plans is tough work, but it often pays well, and can offer great benefits (depending on the employer).
This position requires expert levels of current wine knowledge and food pairing suggestions. To become a sommelier, one must study and taste the different wines from around the world, and know how to describe them to customers in a proficient and professional manner.
Sommeliers are in charge of managing the wine selection of the restaurant, bar, café, cruise ship or hotel for which they work, preparing and planning the wine menu with the culinary chef’s menu choices in mind, if applicable.
Because of the level of expertise involved, sommelier can be a high-paying career with the right employment opportunity.
It takes a village to run a successful kitchen. With a staff of well-trained professionals like the 5 food service career choices mentioned above—combined with good customer service and a delicious menu—anyone can have a successful and profitable restaurant.
Daniel Patterson is a professional blogger that provides information and advice for the food service industry and Restaurant supplies. He writes for National Grocers Corporation, a Restaurant supply company providing wholesale utensils, cups and containers.