Sous Chef Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Sous Chef, or Executive Sous Chef serves as an assistant to the Head or Executive Chef. Their duties include leading the kitchen staff during the  Head Chef’s absence, guiding and supervising the junior kitchen staff during food preparation and assisting the Head Chef in menu preparation.  


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Sous Chef duties and responsibilities

A Sous Chef has different duties and responsibilities at a restaurant or a hotel. However, their main role is ensuring that Head Chefs have utensils and ingredients they need to cook the restaurants’ dishes. Their main responsibilities include: 

  • Documenting each morning what the Head Chefs require before they prepare the day’s dishes
  • Cleaning and organising the food preparation area for the Head Chef
  • Delivering the ingredients that the Head Chef needs to prepare to the food preparation area
  • Ensuring the Line and Prep Cooks prepare the dishes according to the Head Chef’s specifications and standards
  • Training new kitchen employees on the restaurant’s standards and regulations
  • Addressing and resolving diners’ and clients’ complaints quickly
  • Monitoring the kitchen area and the staff to ensure sanitation standards are maintained
  • Ensuring all food products to be prepared are not expired


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Sous Chef Job Description Examples:


Example 1

We have recently re-opened this amazing community pub and restaurant that offers great food and drink with exceptional service. As business starts to return to pre-lockdown levels we are increasing our staffing to cope with the expected demand. The sous chef role is a key position in the future development of this exciting business and will be instrumental in achieving our testing goals. The Ley Inn, Clayton-Le-Woods, is located 2 miles from the centre of Leyland and 5 miles from the centre of Chorley. We have first class facilities including a 60 seater restaurant, 120 seater function suite and a comfortable lounge and bar where food is served throughout the day. We are committed to providing first class working conditions and a permanent career, with excellent opportunities to develop your skills and progress within the team. If you have a love of preparing, cooking and presenting food to exceptional standards, enjoy working in a busy and well equipped kitchen, have a real eye for detail, work to the highest standards of food hygiene and understand the importance of working effectively with other departments to deliver great food experiences for our customers, then we may have the job you have been looking for. The successful candidate will have experience of working alongside and deputising for the head chef in a busy kitchen providing a la carte and table d' hote menus 7 days per week- ideally with experience of banqueting and catering for special events. Under the supervision of the head chef and general manager, you will be involved in menu planning and costings, training of junior chefs and other kitchen staff, and be committed to assisting the head chef in the delivery of key performance indicators such as gross profit levels, wage costs in the kitchen and customer satisfaction. This position will require the skills of a dedicated professional who has the imagination and commitment to assist in the building of an already established business. The successful applicant will hold the appropriate qualifications for the role and live, or be prepared to relocate to, within commutable distance of The Ley Inn. You can apply for this post via [website] Job Types: Full-time, Temporary Salary: Up to £28,000.00 per year Additional pay: * Tips Benefits: * Discounted or free food * On-site parking Schedule: * 10 hour shift * Holidays * Monday to Friday * Weekends COVID-19 considerations: We comply with all Government guidelines in relation to Covid-19 Ability to commute/relocate: * Chorley PR6 7EU (preferred) Experience: * Chef: 3 years (required) * Food hygiene certificate (preferred) Work remotely: * No

Example 2

Milk has opened applications for the role of Sous Chef. The ideal candidate will be motivated and passionate about continuing Milk's successful run down in South London. We are looking for a multitalented individual who can prove themselves in both soft and hard skills. You will be driven to align with our mission and have no problem delivering on your responsibilities and beyond. We believe this to be a golden opportunity to join a team that loves what they do, whilst working with the best products and produce we can possibly find. This job is demanding and extremely rewarding at the same time. Responsibilities: - Running of the kitchen on a day to day basis in the absence of the Head Chef - Inspire the entire brigade to ensure the kitchen runs smoothly at all times - Develop Junior chefs with a mentality of education - Ensure consistency of produce throughout the prep and service kitchen - Supervise service ensuring presentation of food is compliant with restaurant standards - Possess an in-depth knowledge of the full menu and create menu changes with the head chef. - Support the management team to ensure targets are met with labour and food costs - Ensure you and the team comply with food labelling and temperature controls - Demonstrate excellent communication and influencing skills - Identify ways to improve profitability - Be able to demonstrate an up to date and in depth understanding of the industry - Continually strive to achieve personal quarterly targets - Be uncompromising in achieving company standards Reference ID: MILK SOUS Job Types: Full-time, Permanent Salary: per year Additional pay: * Tips Benefits: * Employee discount * Store discounts Schedule: * 10 hour shift Experience: * Chef: 5 years (required) Work remotely: * No

Example 3

Sous Chef wanted for a 4* Hotel and exclusive Golf and wedding venue in Cornwall £30,000 We are currently working with a 4* hotel situated in the area of Cornwall and we are looking for a talented Sous Chef to join the team and work along with the Head Chef As Sous Chef you will be expected to take control of the kitchen in chefs absence The ideal sous Chef must have previous experience within Hotels to a minimum 2 Rosette level and must have passion and an good attitude Personality is a must to join this good and fun brigade Also a chance to do a 4 day on 4 day off rota Main Responsibilities * Previous kitchen experience at a quality fresh food operation. * Well-disciplined with strong organisational skills * Minimise waste, and maintain a clean, well kitchen. * To maintain good communication Salary/Benefits * £30,000 * 28 days holiday. * Meals on duty * Company Discounts Your details will be treated in the strictest confidence as per GDPR guidelines and you can opt out at any time. ONLY Candidates Eligible TO LIVE AND WORK IN THE UK MAY APPLY. Job Type: Full-time Salary: £30,000.00 per year Additional pay: * Tips Benefits: * Company events * Company pension * Discounted or free food * Employee discount * On-site parking * Sick pay Schedule: * 10 hour shift * 8 hour shift * Day shift * Holidays * Monday to Friday * Night shift * Weekends Work remotely: * No

What does a Sous Chef do?

Sous Chefs prepare the ingredients for the Head Chef. They also oversee the kitchen operations so that Head Chefs are left to focus on cooking the dishes, according to a restaurant’s recipes and menu. A Sous Chef resolves conflicts and disciplines kitchen staff so that kitchen and food preparation activities are not disrupted. They also plan and assign duties to kitchen staff every morning and set targets for them to meet by the end of the day to ensure the restaurant runs smoothly. A Sous Chef sometimes invites potential diners or clients to food tastings as a way of marketing a restaurant’s dishes.  


Sous Chef skills and qualifications

A successful Sous Chef will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include:

  • In-depth knowledge of the kitchen’s routines and utensils
  • Ability to grasp and follow the Head Chef’s culinary instructions
  • Knowledge of food preparation methods and presentation
  • Knowledge of how to maintain and care for culinary utensils
  • Diplomatic and conflict resolution skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Ability to work under pressure through rapid deadlines


Sous Chef experience requirements

The experience requirements of a Sous Chef can depend on the Head Chef they worked under, the size and a restaurant’s geographical location. Sous Chefs working in large and busy restaurants under several Head Chefs have diverse culinary and leadership skills and managerial abilities. Restaurants prefer hiring Sous Chefs with at least four years of culinary work experience. 


Sous Chef education and training requirements

Sous Chefs are required to have a secondary school education and have a culinary or hospitality certificate, a Level 3 Diploma in Professional Cookery or Level 4 Diploma in Professional Culinary Arts or a similar degree from accredited institutions. Other Sous Chefs start at lower position in the kitchen like dishwashing and work their way up the ranks as they gain cooking experience at restaurants. These culinary studies can take from four months to about four years to complete. Basic first aid qualifications are often useful to respond to any kitchen accidents.


Sous Chef salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of a Sous Chef in the UK is £27,125 per year. The salary figures depends on factors such as a Sous Chef’s education, work experience and a restaurant’s geographical location and prestige level.


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Sous Chef job description FAQs


What is the difference between a Sous Chef and an Assistant Cook?

There are a few differences between a Sous Chef and an Assistant Cook. An Assistant Cook assists the Head or Executive Chef while being supervised by a Sous Chef. They also assist Sous Chefs in preparing the basic ingredients that a Head Chef requires. While a Cook may only have culinary skills, a Sous Chef has other skills such as leadership, inventory management and marketing.  


What qualities should you look for in a Sous Chef?

Restaurants are high pressure environments with long work hours, so Sous Chefs must be resilient in order to work there. They should also be quick thinking, self driven, and motivated to be able handle the dynamic nature of kitchen activities. Sous Chef must be physically fit so that they can handle the often repetitive and tiring kitchen work. 


What should you look for in a Sous Chef CV?

When hiring, look for a candidate with the right culinary qualifications, skills and experience. Review their CV to know the responsibilities they had and how they contributed to previous employers’ success. Look out for the various culinary positions they held to gauge their professionalism. Their CV should also list the soft skills they possess like interpersonal, leadership and communication skills, which are vital for any work environment.    

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