The main types of catering jobs are;
There are 4 main types of Chefs;
1. Trainee Chefs or Commis chef – as the name would suggest this is a chef new to the profession and training
2. Chef de partie or Section Chefs – is a section head responsible for managing his section of the kitchen for example the vegetable or fish section. Section Chefs are only common in a very large kitchen
3. Sous Chefs of Second Chefs – is the second in command in a kitchen and is responsible for the kitchen when the Head chef is absent
4. Chef de Cusine or Head Chef – is the boss of the kitchen and is in charge of the overall running of the entire kitchen
You would usually begin as a trainee chef spending time in different areas of the kitchen, gaining a wide range of skills and techniques. After more experience you could progress to a Section chef position and be in charge of an area of the kitchen. The next step would be the Sous chef position which would involve using your experience to help run the entire kitchen with the Head chef and take over on behalf of the head chef when needed.
It is common place for chefs to work shift patterns often starting early in the morning and finish late at night. It is also expected that you will need to cover weekends and public holidays. Part-time, seasonal and casual work is often available in this area. With further qualifications and experience, you could progress to head chef or kitchen supervisor, you may also be able to move in management or train other chefs.
Your main responsibility as a chef would include such duties as planning menus, organising the other kitchen staff, dealing with food suppliers, maintain the quality of food produced from the kitchen and ensuring the relevant food hygiene and other regulatory requirements are adhered to.
Waiting staff take customer orders, serve food, preparing and cleaning tables and in general serve the needs of the establishments diners. A vital part of the work is to make customers feel welcome and relaxed during their meal.
If more formal restaurants your work may include silver service working under a head waiter or waitress known as the maitre d’, give advice to customers about alcoholic beverages or specialise supervising food being cooked at the table. There are greater career prospects in larger organisation and with experience you may be promoted to head waiter or waitress and also get into restaurant management.
Bar staff serve drinks and snacks to customers. Other duties include collecting payment and operating a till, washing glasses and keeping the bar well stocked. Some bartenders are required to create cocktails for customers and serve food. Once you have gained experience as a bartender you could progress to supervisor and eventually bar manager.
This role works on a shift basis with bar staff expected to work shifts including evenings, public holidays and weekends. Part-time, seasonal and casual work is often available in this area as there are usually plenty of vacancies for this type of work.
Restaurant manager duties would include making sure that all customers are satisfied with the overall experience that receive while at the restaurant this would include, the quality of service and food. Other duties would include greeting customers and placing them at their table, recruitment and training of staff and stock control.
Kitchen assistants are responsible for cleaning the kitchen, basic food preparation tasks and in general making sure the chefs have everything they need. Other duties might include unloading deliveries from suppliers, washing the kitchen floors, services and appliances. In general you would also specialise in one of the sections in the kitchen such as vegetables and meat.