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How Do I Become a Kitchen Manager?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2016
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If you want to become a kitchen manager, one of your first tasks is to make sure you have the required skills. For example, you should typically be organized, a good leader and passionate about both food and cleanliness. You also should be prepared to take on the typical kitchen manager duties, which tend to include ensuring that the kitchen is both stocked and clean, the food is prepared correctly, and the restaurant is profiting as it should. If you think you have these skills, you may want to consider getting an education in this subject, though many kitchen manager careers do not require formal schooling. In most cases, though, you must have prior experience in a kitchen, because you need to know how to effectively manage employees in this environment.

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One of the best traits to have to become a kitchen manager is leadership, because you typically will have to delegate tasks to your employees daily, including preparing food and cleaning the kitchen. This also means you should be organized, passionate about the preparation of food and able to pay attention to details so you can make sure each item on the menu is perfectly prepared. You likely will have a lot of input on the items that are placed on the menu. You also should feel comfortable talking to people often, because you will likely converse with customers and call vendors to order inventory for the kitchen, which may involve some negotiation. Additionally, you should be prepared to play a role in the business side of the restaurant if you become a kitchen manager, because you will typically be expected to ensure that the company is turning a profit while staying within its budget.

Applicants with education in this subject usually have the best chances of becoming a kitchen manager, though it is not necessarily required; many restaurants only request a high school diploma. If you choose to attain higher education in this field, then culinary school is often a good idea; just be sure you wish to become a kitchen manager, because this degree may not be very useful in other fields. If you wish to get a broader education, you may consider getting a four-year degree at a university, in which case you can either major in a related field or simply take some cooking classes. Taking culinary courses at a community college also may be helpful for you to become a kitchen manager, even if you do not ultimately get a degree.

Many restaurants consider kitchen experience to be just as important as a formal education, which is why you may have a chance to become a kitchen manager without a degree. You often can obtain experience by applying as a cook at a small restaurant willing to train you, though it also is often possible to start as a busboy, dishwasher or server and learn to cook by observing. Once you are a successful cook, you can often work your way up so you are managing a few kitchen employees. After having a few years of this type of experience, you should consider applying as a kitchen manager, because you will know how to manage other people and cook.

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