Agency Chef

Working in Hospitality

Working as a Chef in Hospitality

Becoming a chef is a great choice of career. However, you must be willing to start on a basic salary, even after finishing a college course.

Entry-level jobs will provide you with the basics to build a long and successful career as a chef. 

Want To Skip Ahead?

Working in a hotel, restaurant, agency as a chef is a choice you need to make as a Chef.

You also need to be willing to work evenings, weekends, bank holidays and even Christmas in a lot of places. You will be learning cooking techniques and skills that will help through a chef career and in home cooking.

Working In A Hotel As A Chef

Overview Of Working In A Hotel As A Chef

Hotels have a range of catering options. Generally, you will have a breakfast menu, restaurant menu, a bar menu there will also be function menus.

Hotels may also have smaller function rooms for buffet lunches, and large function rooms for weddings and Christmas dinners. Mainly hotels will have a lunch service and a dinner service, with the bar/room service menu open all day.

Pros Of Working In A Hotel As A Chef

In hotels you will be learning broader styles of catering, from breakfast menus all the way through to Sunday lunch menus. You will also be able to get staff rates on using the gym, dining in hotel restaurants and even staying at sister hotels.

Hotels are very business minded, and you will have the means to learn about GPS, menu costs and how to achieve your target budget. Also being a great place for ongoing training.

Cons Of Working In A Hotel As A Chef

A lot more paperwork.

 Working In A Restaurant As A Chef

Overview Of Working In A Restaurant As A Chef

Restaurants can vary in style and quality, serving many different types of food. There are a lot more straight shifts in restaurants, as they can be open the whole day.

Due to this, the day can be broken up into 2 shifts. Whilst working in high-end restaurants,  shifts can cover a whole day, with only a short lunch break.

Working In A Hotel, Restaurant, Agency As A Chef is a choice many chefs will need to make at points in their career

Pros Of Working In A Restaurant

There are many different styles of restaurants and they will have good quality working conditions, it’s possible to work in any type of restaurant: Brasserie, British, vegetarian, European etc…

The best buzz is in restaurants. They are busier and more intense and the menus are more focused; usually, you don’t need to worry about conferences and functions, breakfast or room service menus.

Cons Of Working In A Restaurant

There can be a high turnover of staff in some restaurants and there will be limited extra benefits if any.

Working In An Event Catering Company 

Overview Of Working In An Event Catering Company

Event catering is the broad term for catering at events, which will include canapé receptions, private dinners and wedding dinners. There will be the main base location where the food is prepared before it is sent out to specific venues to be served.

Pros Of Working In An Event Catering Company

Within event catering there will be more sociable hours – typically 7-3 with a couple of evenings at busy times and mostly weekends off. You may also have Christmas off at a lot of event caterers.

The working place is less stressful as there is less pressure on services, this makes for a more relaxed working environment, with all extra hours being worked paid for.

Cons Of Working In An Event Catering Company

There is more emphasis on the prep and therefore you do not get the business of a restaurant service.

You could be working in very small areas, on jobs with limited equipment, thus you will have to work with only what is available.

It is harder to find full-time jobs, as there is a low staff turnover due to the good hours etc… Mostly event caterers are based in cities and you will have to have good experience under your belt to gain a job.

Working In Gastro Pubs 

Overview Of Working In Gastro Pubs

Pubs located in good areas, using good quality ingredients at affordable prices. These are not your average boozer and will have high food standards and high health and hygiene levels.

Pros Of Working In Gastro Pubs

There are a lot fewer rules within gastro pubs and it is possible to gain a promotion quickly.

Cons Of Working In Gastro Pubs

You could be working in compact kitchens with very little room, which can be irritating with chefs moving around in limited space on a busy service. Can also involve working a lot of extra hours when a chef leaves, due to having a small team.

Working For National Agency Companies

Working As An Agency / Relief Chef

These are quality agencies with rosette standard chefs who work all over the country, in every kind of place.

I have worked with these agencies and the longest period being – Christmas 2004 to the summer of 2010. This involved working all over the country running specific sections or running the smaller places if needed.

Pros Of Working As An Agency / Relief Chef

Chefs will be travelling and working all over the UK and will have every working hour paid for and at a higher rate than the full-time staff and many chefs work freelance as their own company.

All travel and living costs will be paid for and you will be able to work when you want to.

Long – term jobs are common, you could be working from one week or in a place for an on-going period. This type of work is a great way for saving money.

Cons Of Working As An Agency / Relief Chef

This is a more seasonal job so work can be slow at the start of the year. Generally, you will not receive any holiday pay or be entitled to sick pay, and it can also be a challenge being away from your friends and family.

How To Negotiate The Best Salary?

There are many establishments chefs can work in they will include Restaurants, hotels, event caterers, casinos, cruise ships, national chef agencies. Learn more on how to get the best chef salary for your chef level and to progress your career.

Key steps to achieve the best possible salary within a chef’s job role

The key point here is to be PREPARED. Write a concise easy to read CV for a great first impression and be fully prepared for an interview, this can be achieved by practising your interview technique and having answers well rehearsed for interview questions.

  • Working Trial Tips

Working trials are used as a way for head chefs to see the job candidates skills in action. The key here is to be PREPARED, practice your signature dishes over and over again until you have them well rehearsed.

Key points to remember on a working trial:

  • Work clean
  • Be well presented, clean quality chef whites and high-quality knives.
  • Show off your skills

Average Uk salaries for chefs

Salaries will depend on location and the establishment.

 Commis chef salary                £15000 – £21000  

 Chef de partie chef salary     £19000 – £23000  

 Pastry chef salary                   £21000 – £29000  

 Sous chef salary                      £23000 – £29000    

 Head chef salary                      £21000 – £32000  

 Executive chef salary              £25000 – £38000    

How To Ask For A Pay Rise  As A Professional Chef

How to ask for a pay rise. You feel you have been working diligently at your job and that you have been in your position long enough to deserve a pay rise.

But how do you go about asking for that extra money? How to ask for a pay rise is a key skill to have. 

No matter who you are, asking for a pay rise is a stressful process that involves a lot of preparation and self-examination. Below are some tips to alleviate some of the stress that comes from asking for a pay raise.

Preparing To Ask For A Pay Rise

Value Yourself

Above all else, this is the most important aspect (that’s why it’s number one on the list!). If you do not believe that you should receive a rise, then chances are no one else will believe you should receive a rise either.

Before meeting with your supervisor, make a list of your accomplishments. Have you set clear objectives and achieved them?

Writing down your ideas will help you stay organised and may also provide you with a confidence you didn’t have before.

Have a Firm Number, but Be Prepared to Be Flexible

It is a good idea to present your supervisor with a fixed number. You might then want to explain how you arrived at that number and why you feel it is a fair wage. But don’t be inflexible.

Your supervisor might try to negotiate with you, and you should be prepared for this. Do not be afraid to explain why you think you deserve this amount of money. Remember—above all, value yourself.

Research First

How much does your job pay on average? You need to know this before asking for a raise. You need to research what the competitive salaries are for your position, and do not be afraid to present these figures to your supervisor.

Statistics can often be very convincing. If for nothing else, they give you outside support along with quantitative data to help you get that pay raise.

Don’t Worry about Your Peers

What your peer earns is irrelevant. It is about your performance and little else. How competent are you in your position? Do you feel you bring real value to your company?

That is where your focus should be, and not on what the person sitting next to you makes.

Base Your Argument on Achievement, Not Effort

You may be the hardest working person in your company, but without the achievements, you may not stand out the way you would like.

When asking for a pay rise, make sure you present to your supervisor a record of your achievements.

Show him or her a list of objectives that you have taken on since you began working at the company. Show your supervisor how you accomplished those objectives—let this be the strongest indicator of how hard you work.

How To Ask For A Pay Rise Role-play

Rehearse what you are going to say and consider several possible reactions that your supervisor may have. What if my supervisor tells me no, that he or she does not believe I deserve a pay raise? How will I respond?

What if my supervisor tells me that she will get back to me? What do I say then? No matter what, you should keep your cool and always keep in mind how valuable you are.

You earned this pay rise! Always keep that in the centre of your thinking.

Timing Is Everything

Make sure that you pick a time when your supervisor is available and open to discussing a pay rise with you. Chances are your supervisor is very busy, and a conversation about a pay raise is not exactly light or informal.

So be sure to approach your supervisor during a suitable time.

Reach out to her and ask if she has a moment to discuss an important issue with you. Do not just walk into her office and began talking about your pay rise.

Asking for a pay rise is a stressful situation, no matter who you are. But by being prepared, you can reduce some of those anxieties and, If everything goes well, you might even get that pay rise you are asking for.

How to Get Along with Your Work  Colleague And Co-Workers

Getting along with Work Colleagues can be difficult at times, but getting along at work is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

You will need to be able to get along with a difficult work colleague at times. Professional kitchens can be a difficult place at times.

Here Are Some Tips To Help You Maintain Friendly Relations In Your Workplace

Listen To Your Work Colleague Carefully

This sounds obvious—of course, I listen to other people when they speak to me! But too often when we think we are paying attention to what someone is saying to us we are actually distracted.

Make sure that you stay engaged with your coworker whenever he or she is talking to you. If you need to finish completing something, let him or she knows, and then give that person your full attention.

Take an Interest

This goes along with listening. If you don’t listen actively to what someone is saying to you then you won’t be able to take an interest in that person’s life.

Don’t hesitate to check in with people, to ask how they are doing with their work. Just let them know that you care. A few words can have a huge impact.

Understand When You Should Back Off

Work can be a stressful atmosphere. Keeping this in mind will help you maintain friendly relations with your coworkers. If you see that your Work Colleague is preoccupied with a phone call or another issue, wait to speak with them. 

Be Concise In Communication

Whenever you are communicating with a work colleague, aim for concision. Be direct but polite, clear but kind. Always think about whom you are speaking with. If you are sending an email, imagine how the person might react to your tone and word choice.

Be Positive

Even if you are having a bad day, try to remain positive at work. Your job can be a stressful atmosphere already, and you don’t necessarily want to introduce more stress. Try to remain optimistic about new challenges and tasks.

Be Solution Oriented

I have a tendency to apologise often. But one day one of my coworkers said to me, instead of saying sorry, try to find a solution. In time,

I have come to see this as valuable advice. Instead of apologising or complaining, try to find a way to fix the problem first.

Admit When You Are Wrong

This may be the most difficult item on this list. Who wants to admit when he or she is wrong? But doing so will show your coworkers that you are honest and humble.

And don’t ever blame someone else for an error. That type of finger pointing will lead only to a negative and hostile atmosphere. 

Your Word Is All You Have

If you tell someone that you are going to do something, you should do it. Simple, right? But we have all let ourselves and others down. It seems that this is just part of being human.

Still, you should work hard to follow through on your commitments. And if you fail to do this, do not be afraid to admit your mistake.

This will go over far better than trying to cover up your error or—the worst!—blaming someone else.