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Chef managers may work in a variety of settings: restaurants, institutions such as hospitals and schools and catering halls. The chef manager may be responsible for not only the food aspect of the kitchen, but managing staff, budgeting, purchasing and implementing new menu and operational ideas to keep the business efficient and profitable. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), chef positions will remain steady between 2008 through 2018.
The chef manager’s job may vary depending on the setting of the job. For example, if the position is at a college, the chef manager may need prior experience in a school or corporate setting. Most chef managers have restaurant experience but these skills may not be transferable to other working environments.
Typical chef manager tasks include oversight of food preparation, management of line staff and dishwashers, inventory and purchasing, menu creation and pricing, food and staff budgeting, staff scheduling and kitchen safety and cleanliness maintenance.
Qualifications and requirements for a chef manager may include prior kitchen experience as a chef or line cook, managing kitchen staff and budgeting and purchasing. The job may require a culinary degree or associate's degree and certification in safety procedures.
Chef managers may need to possess intangible qualifications such as leadership skills, exceptional and creative culinary skills, ability to work in a high-pressure environment, ability to multi-task and expedite a kitchen line, ability to balance budget and save on soft costs such as scheduling and product waste.
Salaries for chef managers may vary depending on the location and setting. The company’s budget for the position as well as researched compensation ranges for the job title should be considered when making this determination. According to the BLS, the average chef salary in 2009 was $44,240.