How to Hire a Chef for Your Restaurant – A Complete Guide

How to Hire a Cook for Your Restaurant

Customers come to restaurants for food. In a study, 58% of diners said the quality of food is more important to them than price, service, and menu variety. A cook thus can make or break your restaurant. Hence, you must make sure that you hire a cook who will be competent enough to drive your restaurant to the epitome of success and leave your customers craving for more when they relish that last spoon off their plates.

However, is hiring a cook for your restaurant an easy affair? Definitely, not! It is very daunting to filter and look for the one who will make the signature dishes for your restaurant that will compel customers to visit again and again. Find out how to source the right cook for your restaurant kitchen here. In this article, we will walk you through the best practices to hire a cook for your restaurant.

How To Hire A Chef for Your Restaurant 

What’s the Average Salary for a Chef?

According to the US Labor Statistics, the average salary for a chef is $53,380 per year, or $25.66 per hour. Furthermore, according to PayScale, the salary range for head chefs is Rs 2–20 lakhs, for sous chefs is Rs 2–12 lakhs, for pastry chefs is Rs 1–10 lakhs, and for other cooks, it is between 1–10 lakhs.

How to Write a Job Description for a Chef 

Here are some tips to help you create the perfect job description for a chef at your restaurant: 

  • Choose the Job Title: A good job title should have a general term, the amount of experience needed, and the special requirements. The general term will ensure that your job title comes up when people search for similar jobs. The experience level will help you find the best candidates by letting them know how much responsibility and knowledge they need. And if your job is specialised, you might also want to put that in the job title.
  • Draft a Job Description: A job description starts with a job summary and what it does for your company. Your summary should tell the reader about your company and what you expect from the job. Outline the tasks and responsibilities that come with the job so that people looking for work can decide if they are qualified, or if the job is right for them.
  • Mention the Responsibilities: The most important part of a job description is the part about responsibilities and tasks. Here, you should describe the job tasks and how it fits into the organisation.
  • Highlight the Qualifications and Skills: Make a list of the skills and qualifications that are required and preferred for your job. This could include education, certifications, technical skills, and past work experience and education. You could also list the soft skills and character traits you’re looking for in a good candidate. Even though it might be tempting to add a long list of skills and qualifications, doing so could make qualified people less likely to apply. Keep your list of qualifications short, but give enough information by using keywords and terms that are relevant to the job.

Hiring A Chef for Your Restaurant – Understanding The Requirements

Need a cook for your restaurant? But before you hire a cook, you must first have an understanding of the requirements of your restaurant. For this, you need to have a list of the profiles and the number of positions required for each profile for the restaurant kitchen. You must also have a clear Job Description associated with each profile. In this article, will talk about the type of Chefs and Cooks that are essential in a restaurant kitchen, and the best practices to hire them. Along with that, you should be clear about the job description of a chef before hiring one for yourself.

1. Executive Chef

There should be someone who will be the head of the kitchen. This is the dream position for all the chefs out there! There is just one Executive Chef for a single restaurant or a chain. He is responsible for the costing food and recipes, checking the quality, and designing the menu. The Executive Chef is also the face of your restaurant kitchen as he/she meets guests.

He is also usually the point of contact between the restaurant owner and the kitchen. It is the Executive Chef who brings the concerns of the kitchen, the staff, and the vendors to the owners. And if the owners have any quality issues or cost issues, they meet the head chef and solve the problem at hand.

The average salary for an executive chef in India is approximately Rs 70,000 – Rs 75,000 per month, it can be more depending on the years of experience the executive cooks brings to the table. However, the salary of Executive Chefs in different format differs. While hiring an Executive Chef, you must ensure that they have an even temperament and must have strong strategic leadership skills. A chef’s job is not at all as easy as it sounds! An Executive Chef encourages and maximizes the productivity of the kitchen staff, including chefs, cooks, culinary assistance, and even the dishwashers. An Executive Chef oversees the complete delivery of food supplies in the morning, prepares unique menu items in the afternoons, and supervises the kitchen during dinner hours. Hence, the approximate work hour of an executive chef is 12 hours per day.

2. Sous Chef

Sous Chefs are the right hand of the Executive Chefs, and there can be multiple Sous Chefs in a restaurant. They are responsible for managing the intricacies in the kitchen. It is the Sous chef who looks into the details of each dish before they go out of the kitchen. Hence, micromanagement is not the only area where a sous chef must give heed to. Sous Chefs are the middleman between the head chef and the other kitchen staff. When the Executive Chef isn’t there, a Sous Chef is the head of the kitchen. The average Sous Chef salary in India is approximately Rs 30-35,000 per month.

3. Pastry Chef

This is one of those categories which requires a specialization. For example, a person who passed out from a culinary school might not be eligible to be a Pastry Cook, on the contrary, one has to acquire specialized training from a baking school to be a Pastry Chef. This category generally deals with pastries, bread, and desserts. Pastry Chefs has the potential of being entirely on par with the Executive Chef because they deal with a different category altogether. The average pay for a Pastry Chef is approximately Rs 5,00,000 annually. However, it must be mentioned that generally, this category of Chef is hired in 5-star restaurants only. Many times lounge and bars outsource their desserts. Since dessert needs a cool place, they need a Speciality Chef; the dessert sales are not very high in restaurants.

4. Station Chef

Station Chefs or Chef de Partie generally work under a Sous Chef or the Executive Chef. They are responsible for one area of the kitchen, and they must take care of the quantity and quality of each item that passes or comes out of that specific area. For example, a Station Chef might be responsible for the grills, the toppings, or the salads, and depending on this, one will be responsible for that particular station. The salary of the Station chef varies from cuisine to cuisine. However, all of them are paid equally irrespective of the cuisine. The average salary for the Station Chef is Rs 25,000 – Rs.35,000 in standalone restaurants.

In small outlets where separate cooks are not hired for pastry, butchery, fish, vegetables, and so on, it is the Station Chef that carries on with these operations.

5. Saucier

You, as a restaurant owner, cannot doubt the importance of sauces that can make or break your dishes. Hence, you must hire a Saucier cook who is just responsible for all the sauces that are prepared in the restaurant kitchen. Their job is to ensure the right consistency and mixing of the ingredients. Sauciers are also required in large chain restaurants and hotels.

6. Fish Chef and Meat Chef

Fish cooks are those who deal primarily with the preparations of all seafood. Meat cooks take care of all the meat dishes and their preparations. They do it all, from roasting and braising to broiling and grilling. Butchery chefs are also usually only in 5-star hotels because they tend to manage it themselves. When it comes to standalone restaurants, there is hardly any space inside the kitchen because the rentals are very high, and there is an immense space crunch.

7. Fry Chef

You may or may not have these cooks in your kitchen. Their need depends on the type of cuisine your restaurant deals with. For example, if fries are one of the first things that your restaurant deals with, then you can try hiring a fry cook, who will take care of the frying station in your kitchen. This, too, is a category that is only available in the 5-star hotels.

8. Pantry Chef

Standalone restaurants do not generally hire a pantry chef. Here the head chefs are the ones who manage the work of the pantry chef. A pantry chef takes care of the quality and quantity of the pantry items. Pantry items range from seafood, sausages, dressing ingredients are just a few to name.

9. Line Chef

A line cook is one who takes care of all the work in the kitchen where work needs to be done. This position has a lot of potential for growth because a line cook might chop meat and vegetables one day while garnishes dish the other day. Hence, there is a lot of potential for progress for a line cook.

10. Expediter

An expediter is generally the bridge between the kitchen staff and the wait staff. They are responsible for delivering the prepared food to the customers either themselves or via a waiter. However, many times when the food presentation is tricky, the Executive Chefs themselves take up this job.

Skills and Qualifications To Look For While Hiring A Chef for Your Restaurant

Now that you are aware of the various cooks that might be required in your kitchen, recruiting them should be your primary concern. While hiring a cook, the main key points that you must never ignore are listed below. Follow these while hiring and make the operation of your restaurant kitchen seamless.

1. Ability To Work Under Pressure

The restaurant kitchen is entirely equivalent to a pressure cooker. It is a place where everything is happening simultaneously at top speed, so one needs to be on their toes every second. Hence you need people who have an even temperament and can work during the rush time with patience.

For example, there may be days when the fish gets burnt, or the kitchen runs out of stock, in such a situation you need someone who will be calm and composed and will quickly think of a crisis management technique.

2. Leadership Skills

As already said that in a kitchen, things could go out of hand at any moment, hence you must hire a cook who is willing to take ownership of their work and can drive the ones working under him in the right direction. Hire chefs who are excellent teachers and are well versed in all the kitchen equipment and can train the new hires and molds them to be the future leaders of the kitchen. Outstanding leadership and mentorship in the kitchen will reflect in your restaurant’s food quality and also lower your kitchen staff turnover rate reducing costs and losses in the long run.

3. High Prioritization to Quality

You must always hire the ones who have a detailed eye towards the quality of the food that goes on the table. No matter how much time goes for preparing a dish, if it not up to the mark, it should not be presented to the customers. You must remember that despite having a fantastic ambiance and customer service, if your food is not up to the mark, it can be a huge turn off for your guests.

4. Ability To Balance Food and Costs

Your cooks must know that your restaurant has a budget, and you cannot spend out of your league. A chef’s job is the one that comes with a lot of responsibility. There comes the importance of their being well advance with all the technological innovations. They must be well versed with excel sheets, Google sheets, and Microsoft Word, and this will help the chefs to keep track of cost recipes and check menu profits. This will help in the cost controlling techniques of the restaurant.

5. Eye for Detail

You must know that it is your Chef’s job to write your restaurant menu and order inventory. Hence, they must be well versed in the interests of the customers so that they may make all the desired changes in the menu. In addition to this, they must have a detailed record of the stocks available in the inventory. They do not at any point in time over order or run out of stock.

6. Time Management

Time management is a skill that is exceptionally important to have in all the chefs working in your kitchen. They must have the ability to distribute their time behind each dish, and this will ensure that your customers are not kept without food on the table. In addition to this, the executive chefs and the pastry chefs must extract sometime out of their schedule to analyze the market and incorporate a few innovative items on the menu.

7. Great Food Skills

Before you go ahead and hire a cook for your restaurant, make sure that you taste their food. Ask them to come to your kitchen after the working hours and prepare a dish they’re good at. Once you taste their food, you will have a clear understanding of how much time he takes to make a dish, the consistency of the dish, how he presents the dish and maintains the kitchen.

8. Check the References of the Applicants

Do not hire a cook without cross-checking their references. Here you will receive an unadulterated opinion about how you the person worked in his previous job, whether he worked in the team well, why he left his last job. Such information will help you to receive an insight into the Cook you are planning to hire. One right way of getting to know the value the person had in his previous job is by asking, “Will you rehire this person if you get another chance?”

Hiring the restaurant staff is a difficult task, indeed. You need to have a clear human resource structure, with specific tasks designated to each member of the team. Out of these, the Chef or the Cook is the most important one in the restaurant kitchen, since he is the one driving the entire kitchen operations. We hope that after reading this article, you got the insights needed to hire a cook for your restaurant!

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Prachi is the Marketing Manager at Restroworks. In her current capacity, she establishes connections with key stakeholders in the F&B industry and serves as the host of The Restaurant Times talk show, "F&B Talks," tailored for the restaurant sector. With hands-on experience in international sales and marketing, Prachi has led initiatives in the LATAM and USA regions, contributing to the platform's global outreach.


  1. I need a cook for my newly eshtablished restaurant in air force station. please provide and help me to find a good cook for me at reasonable payment. need a veg and non veg with fast food preparation

    • There are many groups on Facebook and linkedin where you can post the requirement for hiring a cook for your restaurant. hope this helps.

    • looking for a chef to work in a sweet shop should know all Bengali sweets and other sweets also added advantage would be knowing baking of cakes and pastry.
      will be working out of india.
      {… redacted …}

  2. i need a cook for my newly established restaurant in leh ladakh jammu and kashmer . need cook for veg Indian dishes.

  3. I need a cook for my newly established restaurant in Patiala, Punjab . need cook for veg Indian and Punjabi dishes.

  4. I need a cook for my newly eshtablished food shop in GR. NOIDA KP III. please provide and help me to find a good cook for me at reasonable payment. need a veg and non veg with fast food preparation

  5. I need I cook for Delhi restaurant veg and Non-veg like sping roll and momo’s please provide me a good and fabulous cook as my required contact no {…Redacted…}

  6. looking for executive chef who has very good knowledge on south India & north India food especially Hyderabad food , coastal Andhra food and authentic telangana cuisine & little bit of touch on Karnataka cuisine , Kerala cuisine , Goa and etc

    moreover who completely knows about the roots of Indian food

    who can experiment on food and mixing with other cuisines

    generally i am looking for a chef who can create menu according to their local supplies which you get seasonally

    location USA
    need immediately

  7. I need chef for my restaurant in Chennai he should be specialist in punjabi food as well as north indian food contact me at {…Redacted..}

  8. Hiring a chef is one of the most prominent challenges for a restaurateur. Despite the challenges, hiring the right chef is a vital part of your business’s ability to succeed. A chef trains new staff oversees cooking processes, develops menus, and provides input in marketing decisions affecting the restaurant. In short, the chef provides leadership and direction in a restaurant. Good Read.

  9. Hiring a chef is one of the largest challenges for a restaurateur.On any given day, this employee will do more than prepare food. A chef trains new staff, oversees cooking processes, develops menus, and provides input in marketing decisions affecting the restaurant. In short, the chef provides leadership and direction in a restaurant. Good Read.

  10. Hiring a chef is one of the largest challenges for a restaurateur. Finding a capable, competent, and hardworking chef for your restaurant is important but very difficult. Despite the challenges, hiring the right chef is a vital part of your business’s ability to succeed. This is a very comprehensive article, overall a good read.

  11. Chefs are the ones who keep the customers coming back you need to be very careful when hiring one. These tips to hire a chef are very handy and detailed. Thank you for all the information.

  12. This is a very comprehensive article on how to hire a cook for your restaurant. All the restaurant owners must swear by these tips, that will help them get the best ones on board.

  13. I need a chef/cook in ballia 277001 district near azamgarh n mau I’m opening a new cafe n I’ll open franchise some other places after some time if anyone is here. Plz contact me I need urgently
    Mohan tiwari

  14. we need urjent cook for our new restaurant….. he should be able to cook Chinese, North and South Indian dishes… Veg and Non Veg…. Contact {…Redacted…}

  15. I need a chef the one who make more varieties with chicken if any one is there pls ping me {… redacted …}

  16. I need a head chef as i’m Looking forward to opening a pure vegetarian soya chaaap outlet outside delhi. Need an extremely experienced and a person with good taste in food. Interested person can get in touch on {… redacted …}

  17. I need a chefs special in Indian, Chinese, continental for my restaurant and bar in kolkata.
    Please contact on {… redacted …}

  18. Needed experienced Cook for Fast Food – Burger, Momos, Pizza, Rolls etc from haryana rewari
    Pardeep yadav {… redacted …}

  19. We are proposing to set up a Microbrewery in Bangalore. We are looking for an experienced operator who can manage the day to day activities.

    Interested parties can call me on {… redacted …}

  20. We are proposing to set up a Microbrewery in Bangalore.

    Can anyone recommend the best supplier for kitchen & bar Equipments.

  21. WE need a good head chef for our new venture in gujarat . Please suggest us some good chef who also have leadership qualities. Thank you

    Contact no – {… redacted …}

  22. I need multicuisine cooks for our restaurant chain in Gurgaon. Food and stay will be provided.
    Contact me at {… redacted …}

  23. I need chef for my restaurant in Zirakpur. he should be specialist in punjabi food as well as north indian food contact me at {…Redacted…}

  24. I need a leader cook for my nonveg fast-food corner like street food
    Egg roll , chicken roll , chicken tikka , fried and tandoori chicken , chilli chicken , chicken lollypop
    Chicken noodles etc in dholpur rajasthan

  25. Need a north Indian cook and a tandoor person for my running restaurant in Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi.

    Sunil Tiwari

  26. I want a Chef who can handle my Multicuisine Indian, Chinese, Tandoor, Continental. In 24 paraganas South , Diamond Harbour, West Bengal. Cont no – {…redacted…}

  27. Representative for Meghalaya

    Requirement of Tandoori grill Cook

    {…redacted …}

    CONTACT {…redacted …}

  28. I am in a plan to start my own restaurant in Mumbai.Need a cook who is specialist in South Indian cuisine.Other details will provide later

  29. i need a fast food cook for temporary van shop who run the shop and manage everything for cooking and selling in a smart way near a school or university. if anybody interested to do please help me to find me a right one. contact no. …{REDACTED}…

  30. I need a chef who makes noneveg like chicken biryani and some curry and he should wrk here fr full day
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  31. I need a cook for my newly eshtablished food shop in Bhubaneswar, Dist-Khurda, Odisha. please provide and help me to find a good cook for me at reasonable payment. need a veg and non veg with fast food preparation

  32. I need a cook for my newly established food shop in Bhubaneswar, Dist-Khurda, Odisha. please provide and help me to find a good cook for me at reasonable payment. need a veg and non veg with fast food preparation


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