Sous Chef / Chef de Cuisine Duties And Responsibility

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Job Description, Duties, Interview Questions and Salary for Executive Sous Chef

As an Executive Sous Chef, you will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations in the kitchen. You will work closely with the Head Chef to create menus, manage inventory, and ensure that all dishes are prepared to the highest standards.

One of the key responsibilities of an Executive Sous Chef is to manage and train the kitchen staff. You will be responsible for hiring and firing staff, creating schedules, and ensuring that everyone is properly trained in food safety and preparation.

In addition to managing staff, an Executive Sous Chef must also be able to take on a variety of cooking tasks themselves. You will be responsible for preparing dishes, managing food inventory, and ensuring that all equipment is properly maintained.

To be successful in this role, you should have a degree in culinary arts or a related field, along with several years of experience in the kitchen. You should also have strong leadership and communication skills, and be able to work well under pressure.

Exhibits culinary talents by personally performing tasks while assisting in leading the staff and managing all food-related functions. Also, I supervise all kitchen areas to ensure a consistent, high-quality product is produced.

Executive Sous Chef Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Interacts with guests to obtain feedback on product quality and service levels.
  2. Responds to and handle guest problems and complaints.
  3. Able to make recommendations to the Executive Chef regarding succession planning.
  4. To be aware of all financial budgets and goals. 
  5. To ensure that guests are always receiving an exceptional dining experience representing true value for money.
  6. Ensure that all recipes and product yields are accurately costed and reviewed regularly. 
  7. Ensure that all food items are prepared as per standard recipe cards whilst maintaining portion control and minimizing waste.
  8. Ensure that food stock levels within the culinary department areas are of sufficient quantity and quality in relevance to the hotel occupancy and function forecasts.
  9. Ensure that associate meals and associate dining services are of a consistently high standard.
  10. Ensure that chefs are always in clean tidy uniforms and are always presentable to be in guest view.
  11. Ensure that all food preparation equipment is being used safely and correctly and that it is cleaned and maintained.
  12. Ensure that all culinary operations manuals are prepared and updated.
  13. Ensure that the Department’s overall operational budgets are strictly adhered to.
  14. Ensure that the culinary department adheres to all company and hotel policies and procedures.
  15. Ensure that a consistent first-class product of the highest quality is achieved and maintained in all culinary areas, whilst adhering to operational deadlines.
  16. Ensure that meetings are well-planned and results-orientated.
  17. Creative menu planning and correct food preparation for each outlet including banquets.
  18. To work in close conjunction with the Food and Beverage Manager and respective & teams, to create a yearly marketing Plan for the outlet.
  19. Ensure that all relevant banquet set-ups are prepared ahead of guests’ arrival and in adherence with hotel standards.
  20. Be aware of new items, which are introduced onto the market, and keep up with the lasted product trends.
  21. To fully understand the market needs and desires of each outlet and ensure that the menus are developed to reflect those needs.
  22. To initiate relevant maintenance reports and work orders supported by the respective follow-up of those items actioned.
  23. To manage associates fairly and take a personal interest in knowing all culinary associates. 
  24. To project a positive and motivated attitude among all associates.
  25. To spend time in the restaurant to ensure that the operation is managed well by the outlet team.
  26. To frequently verify that only the highest quality products are used in food preparation.
  27. Ensure that all food products received at the hotel are of the required standard and quality and that they are stored and rotated correctly.
  28. Responsible for the supervision of all stewards and their activities within the culinary department.
  29. Ensure that weekly work schedules and annual leave planners are administered and filed correctly. 
  30. Ensure that the overall culinary department is motivated and that positive feedback on work performance is given. 
  31. To delegate responsibilities to subordinates as required.
  32. Coach and counsel employees promptly and according to Company policy.
  33. To act as manager on duty for the hotel as scheduled.
  34. To recruit and select a suitable culinary team who can work within a decentralized management philosophy.
  35. Identify strengths and weaknesses and provide timely feedback to the individual.

Position Title: Executive Sous Chef / Chef de Cuisine

Reports To: Executive Chef

Prerequisites:

  • Fair and firm management abilities with high influencing skills.
  • Strong administration skills.
  • Creative and innovative.
  • Strong knowledge of food and beverage. 
  • Hands-on approach to all operational aspects.
  • Excellent communication skills and computer skills.
  • Initiative and Self-motivated.
  • Ideal training and coaching skills.

Education:

Culinary diploma from a recognized institution or higher.

Experience:

At least 10 years experience with 2 years in a senior management position.

Interview Questions for an Executive Sous Chef Position:

  1. Can you describe your experience as a sous chef, highlighting the types of cuisines and establishments you have worked in?
    • This question assesses the candidate’s relevant experience and expertise in different culinary environments.
  2. How do you approach menu planning and development, and what strategies do you use to ensure a balance between creativity, customer preferences, and operational feasibility?
    • Evaluates the candidate’s creativity, menu planning skills, and understanding of the culinary market.
  3. Can you share an example of a challenging situation you encountered in a previous sous chef role and the steps you took to overcome it?
    • This behavioral question assesses the candidate’s problem-solving skills and practical experience.
  4. How do you manage and lead a kitchen team, ensuring effective communication, collaboration, and a positive work environment?
    • Assesses the candidate’s leadership and team management skills.
  5. Have you been involved in kitchen cost control, and how do you balance the need for quality ingredients with budget considerations?
    • This question evaluates the candidate’s financial acumen and cost-control strategies.
  6. What measures do you take to ensure food safety and sanitation in the kitchen, and how do you instill a culture of hygiene among your team?
    • Assesses the candidate’s commitment to safety and their ability to enforce standards.
  7. How do you handle high-stress situations or busy service periods in the kitchen, and what steps do you take to maintain quality and efficiency during peak times?
    • This question assesses the candidate’s ability to perform under pressure and maintain operational standards.
  8. What software or technology have you used in previous roles for kitchen management, inventory control, or menu planning, and how do you leverage technology in your culinary operations?
    • Knowledge of relevant technology is important. This question helps gauge the candidate’s technical proficiency.

Salary for an Executive Sous Chef Position:

The salary for an Executive Sous Chef can vary based on factors such as location, the size and prestige of the establishment, and the candidate’s level of experience. As of January 2024, the average salary for an Executive Sous Chef in the United States ranged from $60,000 to $80,000 annually.

It’s important to note that salary ranges can change, and it’s advisable to research current salary trends using industry reports, salary surveys, and job boards specific to your region and the culinary sector. Additionally, consulting with local HR professionals or recruitment agencies can provide insights into the current compensation landscape for Executive Sous Chef positions.

The Executive Sous Chef is responsible for assisting the Executive Chef with overall kitchen operation as a successful independent profit center, ensuring maximum guest satisfaction, through planning, organizing, directing, and controlling the Kitchen operation and administration. If you are passionate about cooking and are looking for a challenging and rewarding career, consider applying for the role of Executive Sous Chef. With hard work and dedication, you can help create amazing culinary experiences for diners and build a successful career in the food industry.

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