What Does a Kitchen Manager Do?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 23 February 2020
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A kitchen manager typically has a number of responsibilities and duties, all of which are primarily concerned with the proper operation and organization of a restaurant kitchen. Kitchen managers are typically responsible for ensuring that food is cooked and prepared properly, that sanitation standards are met in accordance with restaurant policy and legal requirements, and for maintaining a safe work place for kitchen workers. The manager is also usually expected to oversee the inventory in the kitchen and to provide leadership and management for the kitchen staff.

Major restaurants, hotels, and other food service businesses will typically have a kitchen manager who is responsible for overseeing various aspects of a kitchen. The manager may be a chef, or he or she may be more of an executive with managerial experience and some food preparation knowledge. One of the most important responsibilities the manager has is overseeing the food prepared in the kitchen. Food that is cooked, baked, or prepared raw needs to meet legal requirements for health and safety standards, and the manager ensures these standards are met.


Most restaurants and other food service industries have established recipes and dishes, and a kitchen manager usually oversees food preparation to ensure these recipes are properly followed. The kitchen itself must also be kept sanitary and clean, and the manager is usually responsible for ensuring the kitchen is cleaned during operation and at the end of the business day. This includes cleaning areas where food is cooked and prepared, removal of garbage, and ensuring the overall cleanliness in a kitchen. The manager will also typically need to ensure floors are swept and kept clear, to ensure a safe workplace for kitchen staff.

Inventory in a kitchen is usually regulated by the kitchen manager as well. This includes ensuring inventory counts for foods are accurate and ordering more ingredients and supplies when necessary. Without proper inventory, food service may potentially come to a halt, or customers may be displeased with a lack of certain dishes.

A kitchen manager is also typically expected to act as the leader in the kitchen and properly manage the kitchen staff. This can include dealing with conflicts between associates, scheduling when different employees work, and handling any issues with employee misconduct in the kitchen. The manager will also usually need to lead by example, and may be expected to help with food preparation or service when necessary.


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Post 3

Some gigantic kitchen on cruise ships or in casinos will have multiple kitchen managers. There will probably be one manager who is responsible for overseeing everything but then a network of other managers who might be responsible for cold items, deserts, meats, soups, whatever.

These restaurant are so big and operate at such high volumes that they need a dedicated individual to oversee soups and nothing else. It's crazy to think about, but that is someone's job.

Post 2

How do I get a job as a kitchen manager? I have worked in several different kitchen in several different capacities but I have never been offered a kitchen managers job?

Do I need more education or experience? I think I am a pretty good cook but maybe I am doing something wrong.

Post 1

I have been a kitchen manager in several different kitchens and every kitchen is different and every kitchen is the same. Let me explain.

Every kitchen is different in that your duties will depend a lot of what kind of food is being served, what standard your restaurant holds itself to and how big they are. I used to manage a tiny pizza kitchen. I also once managed a huge Cheesecake Factory kitchen. Totally different jobs.

But all kitchen are the same because no matter the size or flavor you are likely to run into the same headaches. Keeping food costs down, hiring good staff, keeping standards consistent and keeping the kitchen clean. These will be priorities wherever you work.

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