What Is A Kitchen Porter? The Average Salary, Working Conditions, Uniform And A KP Job Description
Washing Hands

A kitchen porter is a crucial part of every kitchen to help the kitchen run successfully.

Kitchen porters can be employed in a broad range of places where food is prepared and served to customers.

These may include hotels, restaurants, pubs and cruise ships.

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A kitchen porter will need to be physically fit. As the KP will be standing for almost all of the day and be able to work in a team.

A kitchen porter will be a great first job in a kitchen brigade. In addition anyone looking to get into a kitchen team and possibly have the opportunity to move up into a commis chef’s role.

What Are The Kitchen Porter’s Duties

A kitchen porter’s main duties will involve washing up, cleaning and possibly basic food preparation tasks.

During busy periods, such as a Saturday evening service the kitchen porter will need to be well organized. And be able to work fast to keep the pots and pans clean for the chefs.

The duties may include,

    • Unloading and putting away stock correctly,
    • Keeping the kitchen clean,
    • Emptying bins,
    • Sweeping and mopping floors. 

The kitchen porter will make sure all the equipment is put away correctly, the washing up of pans, pots and operating the dishwasher machine.

It possible that the porter will be responsible for basic tasks, such as: peeling onions during busy periods.

 The Working Hours And Working Conditions

  • The usual working hours for a full-time KP job will be a 40 hour week.
  • This may include weekends and public holidays, with possible extra hours available.
  • Although a KP can work part-time or with an agency being sent to many different places.
  • It can get hot in many kitchens due to the cooking equipment.
  • Also, you may be working at a sink for long periods of time.
  • Employers will provide clothing to work in, this maybe a full uniform or a waterproof apron.

The Kitchen Porters Uniform Or Work Clothing

The work clothing for a kitchen porter will depend on the business being worked for.

  • Basic Uniform / A  Restaurant    –   A simple full frontal apron – Protective clothing for chemicals.
  • Full Uniform /   A Luxury hotel  –   A smart branded top and trousers with apron as needed.

All work places should provide protective clothing for using chemicals. The assistant will need to wear the correct clothing and eye protection for light and heavy cleaning duties.

How Much Does A Kitchen Porter Get Paid

A kitchen porter’s salary will usually start at the minimum wage, this changes from time to time. The minimum wage will depend on your age, with over 25 years old’s getting the highest wage and apprentices and under 18’s getting a much lower hourly wage.

As with many catering jobs, your salary as a full-time member of the team will depend on your location. A kitchen porters salary being around £16000+ pounds.Entry requirements

Efficient Kitchen Porters Value For Money

What Qualifications And Education Is Needed

There are no qualifications needed to become a kitchen porter although a  secondary education will be helpful with some grades at GCSE A-E. You will need to have a command of English and be able to communicate effectively with the team. Also if you have any experience of working in a kitchen, this can help to gain a KP job.

There are qualifications out there that can help with this. Due to the food preparation environment, a level 1 certificate in general cookery can be an advantage.

Kitchen Porter

 A Kitchen Porter Progress In A Kitchen Brigade

First of all, a  kitchen porter will be learning all the basics of working as part of a kitchen brigade. In addition, many KP’s have the opportunity to progress their way up the kitchen brigade into senior levels of the kitchen brigade.

This job can be a start to a rewarding in demand career with the next step becoming an apprentice, commis or assistant depending on the persons knowledge.

In addition to working hard as a KP and showing a keen interest in food and becoming a chef, a position may become available within the kitchen brigade as a chef.

Personal Qualities To Become A Kitchen Porter And Progress In A Kitchen Brigade

There are a number of personal qualities that may help a kitchen porter to start a KP job and progress up a kitchen brigade.

These skills will include: Being comfortable with standing for long periods of time, being able to work fast, having effective communication skills, being comfortable with following instructions and remaining calm under pressure.

All of these skills are especially relevant when becoming a chef.

Kitchen Porters Make It Happen 

Where To Find Kitchen Porter Jobs In The UK

Since there are many jobs all over the UK in a broad range of places. A tip here will be to look for jobs as a KP where you have an interest in becoming a chef at. Furthermore, these places include hotels, restaurants, pubs.

If you are ambitious in your career and are looking for a good opportunity as a chef looks for jobs in 4-5 star hotels. This will give you a better chance of success than taking a wash-up job in a village pub or a hospital.

My Experience As A Kitchen Porter

My first job was a kitchen porter in a large hotel in Cambridge – The University Arms on parkers piece. The job was very hard, every morning I would go in and have about 4 massive buckets of pots and pans to scrub.

Sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor and cleaning the fridges. Being fascinated by kitchens and how they worked kept me interested. And I left after 10 months,  I was asked if I was interested in taking the next step up on several occasions.

But it never interested me at the time.

Moving to Browns Restaurant in Cambridge as a kitchen porter for 3 months and then started as a commis chef in 1997.

The kitchen porter role is not a glamorous role  

kitchen Bin Graphic

However, it is a great starting point to learn about the professional kitchen and get the first foot in the door. Catering college is recommended to start a chef career but the KP route is a great alternative way in.

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