A restaurant is a business establishment that prepares and serves food and drinks to its customers. Every restaurant is comprised of a number of employees. This paper explores all the major employees that work in a restaurant and their job descriptions. Some establishments may have all the employees discussed below or even less. This is because it will be noted that some tasks overlap for different employees. However, this is an advantage as it points out to the teamwork nature of restaurant employees.
The manager is the overall head of the restaurant and is directly answerable to the proprietor of the restaurant. The purpose of a manager is to ensure all customers are satisfied with the restaurant services, employees are co-operative and happy and to satisfy the owner by making a good profit. Prior leadership experience is mandatory for a manager to be effective. A manager’s responsibilities include: training and management of the staff, liaising with suppliers, tracking inventory, planning for advertisements, marketing activities and finally, maintaining high standards at all times.
The Head Chef is directly responsible for the overall management of the Kitchen activities and other chefs. An executive chef can perform both production and managerial duties or only managerial duties depending on the restaurant’s size. Experience in local and international cuisine is fundamental for this position. The duties comprise: planning menus, standardization of the recipes, ensuring overall food security, in charge of all the kitchen staff (hiring, training, planning and conducting), maintaining hygiene and in charge of food purchases
A Sous Deputizes the Executive chef. As much as he or she is answerable to the Executive chef, the Sous chef also exercises some authority to other kitchen staff. This position requires someone who’s creative and experienced with almost all the cooking styles done in the kitchen such as Italian, French and fusion cooking. The responsibilities include: overseeing the kitchen staff, helping with menu planning, managing supplies and inventory. Ensuring staff follow the hygiene and cost standards specific to certain foods. A Sous chef should enforce adherence of sanitation rules by the kitchen staff and ensure that the kitchen meets the required safety standards.
The terms Chef and cook are sometimes used interchangeably but in actual fact, there is a difference between the two. A cook is someone who prepares food but might not have obtained any professional training in cookery. A chef on the other hand is someone who has obtained a degree or any other professional training in food preparation. In this case however, we will use the Cook to mean both. Experience in handling the food being cooked and in different cooking styles is paramount for this position. Other skills required for this job include: knowledge of modern equipments and methods used for preparing large quantities of food and ability to cook large quantities of foods without compromising the quality. Major tasks for this position include the following: cooking all manner of food as per the guidelines of standardized recipes, seasoning of foods by taste and recipe, keeping records of food used and the quantity on hand, working out the cost of food and recording the same on a daily basis and participating in cleaning of the cooking equipment and the kitchen in general.
These are the subordinates to the cooks and are mostly involved in the lesser kitchen chores. They include apprentice cooks who often help with the cooking. These positions require people who are aggressive and eager to learn cooking skills with a view of rising to full cook jobs. Their daily tasks include the following: measuring and weighing ingredients, general cleaning and washing dishes and cooking equipments, cutting and grinding meats, cleaning and slicing vegetables and fruits, making salads and finally deciding on the size of the servings handed out to the servers.
Waiters are people who welcome and serve the customers in a restaurant. They should be knowledgeable in food production, customer and personal service. Waiters’ tasks include: Taking customers’ orders, serving food and beverages, preparing of checks that itemize meal costs, preparing the tables for meals, presenting the menu to patrons and recommending whenever necessary, informing the customers of specials, checking to ensure customers are enjoying their meals and removing dishes and glasses and taking them into the kitchen for cleaning.
A bartender prepares alcoholic drinks and fills drink orders as per the patrons instructions and hands them over to the waiter so he or she can serve them. Bartenders must be fully conversant with laws governing alcoholic drinks’ sale. They should also be knowledgeable on drink mixing ratios and quick in execution of these tasks. The following are some of their major tasks: confirming that the patrons meet the minimum drinking age, taking orders, serving and collecting money in the absence of waiters, cleaning up the counter area after patrons departure, arranging the barware and bottles, ordering and maintaining an inventory of liquor and other bar supplies.
Barbacks are apprentices of the bartenders and it’s an entry level to the profession. They act as assistants to the bartenders. Among their other duties include: bussing tables, dish and glass washing, preparing food items needed in drink preparation, disposing of trash, constant observation of sanitation and health standards, polishing and cleaning bar counters, stools and equipment, stocking fridges with alcoholic beverages, assisting in stocking and replenishing tasks, replenishing of ice, maintaining information files and paperwork.
A cashier in a restaurant is someone who operates the cash register for the purposes of computation and recording of the sales. A cashier must have competency in computerized register systems, retail sales experience, be able to handle cash well and professional at all times. Tasks include: balancing the register at every shift end, tipping of the wait staff, and assisting the wait staff with their tasks when not quite busy with cashier duties, collecting the food checks from patron or waiters, processing the payments and issuing the correct balance.
Arduser, L. & Brown, D. R. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Restaurant Training. Ocala:
Antlantic Publishing Group Inc