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Important things for Kitchen Staff in a Restaurant to Remember

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The kitchen staff plays an extremely important role in the restaurant industry. Without a diligent and efficient kitchen staff, your restaurant is doomed to fail. It is important, then, for your kitchen staff members to fully understand their responsibilities and work together as a team. Restaurant staff in general should be able to work well together under pressure in order for restaurant operations to run more smoothly. Because the workload in a kitchen is too large for one person, you must know how to not only delegate tasks to the kitchen staff, but also how to foster an attitude of collective concern for creating great food.

Clean Hands

Every kitchen staff should have stringent standards and regulations for washing hands. Washing hands before preparing food is extremely important because it helps ensure the quality of the food as well as prevent the spread of pathogens. Many restaurants require kitchen staff to wash their hands at regular intervals, such as once every hour in addition to requiring them to wash their hands any time they touch their faces.

Prep: Kitchen Area

Back of house staff (meaning employees that primarily work in the restaurant kitchen) should implement some kind of cleaning checklist to ensure that proper sanitation is maintained throughout the day, thus promoting food safety. It’s crucial to sanitize all surfaces in the kitchen, as well as clean the floors as part of the kitchen staff’s opening and closing tasks. Other restaurant cleaning responsibilities might include cleaning glassware and kitchen equipment.

Prep: Food and Ingredients

Kitchen staff must prepare many foods, sauces and other items in advance. If a restaurant decides to serve eggs Benedict for brunch, for instance, staff members must make Hollandaise sauce prior to the start of brunch. Important ingredients for cooking like beef stock and chicken broth, for example, take at least a day to prepare. Marinades often take more than several hours to imbue the meat with flavor. Many kitchens post in a visible place a checklist that assigns food preparation responsibilities, whereby kitchen staff check off the duties that they have fulfilled.

Fulfill Checklists

Opening checklists and closing checklists are extremely helpful resources to keep the kitchen staff organized and divide certain tasks accordingly. Every position in food service tends to have its own opening and closing duties to complete before they can clock out. As mentioned in the prep sections of this article, kitchen cleaning and sanitation is crucial for food safety; oftentimes, checklists will have the kitchen staff turn off all electrical appliances like grills, fryers, stoves and ovens, as well as ensure that the kitchen equipment is clean for the next use. Other duties on these checklists might include restocking refrigerators and freezers with perishable ingredients and condiments, and maintaining proper storage of non-perishables.

Kitchen closing at the end of the day is important to ensure that the kitchen opening can go smoothly the next day; if you thoroughly complete the closing checklist, opening duties will become that much easier. If someone on the kitchen staff isn’t properly completing their kitchen checklist duties, restaurant management will likely be notified. Opening and closing procedures are best done as a team; if one team member isn’t carrying their weight, the other restaurant employees will become frustrated and likely complain.


The chef or sous chef must prepare a menu for the restaurant. Menu items such as the daily specials are prepared by this role. Preparing the menu includes more than selecting ingredients, choosing dishes and designing presentations. It also means that a chef or a designated member of the kitchen staff must be responsible for sending and receiving the orders to get the proper ingredients. To ensure the freshness and overall quality of the food, many restaurants send and receive daily food orders.


The chef or a designated kitchen staff member must be responsible for scheduling other members of the kitchen staff. This person must have the ability to juggle competing scheduling requests of staff members with the staffing needs of the restaurant. For instance, for most restaurants, Friday and Saturday nights are exceptionally busy. The kitchen staff scheduler must heed the need for extra line cooks or dishwashers on these busy nights.


Madi Reade is currently a student in her junior year at the University of Missouri studying Journalism with an emphasis in Strategic Communications. She lives an active lifestyle and maintains an organized weekly routine to ensure academic success. Throughout her academic career, she has remained committed to bettering her writing and editing abilities with a plan to pursue a career after university that will allow her to employ these skills effectively.

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