How to Write a Executive Chef Job Description (Duties, Responsibilities)
Who doesn’t want to try the menu of an award-winning or celebrity chef? Maybe you saw an Executive Chef on TV or read about their famous duck confit online. Typically only larger establishments and restaurants with multiple locations have an Executive Chef, the “chief executive” of the kitchen.
This position is at the top of the kitchen hierarchy and is mainly a management role. Executive Chefs conjure up fabulous menus and oversee what’s known as production, figuring out how to replicate and execute a recipe thousands of times and often across multiple restaurants. Executive Chefs spend less time cooking and more time planning and directing the culinary magic. As the public face of the restaurant, they often draw in diners simply by their affiliation with the restaurant.
This high-level position requires years of hands-on experience in restaurant kitchens. These seasoned professionals have likely reached the pinnacle of chef-dom in their careers — through exemplary cooking skills — and are ready to take the next step. As an Executive Chef, it’s not enough to have an idea for a great menu; they must implement that idea on a large scale. Management experience, business acumen, financial knowledge, and a knack for marketing and publicity all fall under the Executive Chef job description.
List of Duties for the Job
Executive chefs have a dedication to their creative vision and can do the work required to get there. Their plates are made with the highest-quality ingredients but designed with production in mind. This requires constant fine-tuning of their recipes to capitalize on seasonal ingredients, trends, and what’s available from trusted suppliers. No matter how seasoned, the best candidates will be passionate about learning and evolving. They’ll know about the latest innovations and will constantly seek out relationships with farms, butchers, creameries, and other food purveyors.
Additionally, the Executive Chef will be the one to spice up the restaurant’s offerings by introducing tasting menus, family meal nights, or happy hours.
Planning and directing culinary activities
From start to finish, meals are served under the control of the Executive Chef. Whether they are physically at the restaurant or not, the menu reflects their vision. This position is responsible for appointing a team to oversee the cooking (the chef, sous chef, and so on), training staff on proper food preparation, and ordering and inspecting ingredients.
Though some Executive Chefs do operate the stoves, they usually delegate cooking to others so they can focus on the big picture. Candidates with exceptional organization skills, foresight, and kitchen expertise will be able to troubleshoot problems before they arise and plan out the many details that cooks must consider during service.
Estimating food and labor requirements
The Executive Chef position requires a delicate balance of creativity and commerce. It’s all about rightsizing ingredients and labor costs with the price of final dishes. That means the Executive Chef has determined the labor needs and financial cost for each burrata or beef tartare appetizer that is served.
When the price of goods skyrockets or the industry experiences a labor shortage, it’s up to the Executive Chef to modify or pare down the menu in ways that don’t compromise the customer experience.
Marketing and publicity
This position needs to be well-versed in every aspect of your restaurant, which extends to publicity and marketing. The Executive Chef is the public face of the restaurant, often appearing at industry events, giving interviews to news outlets, and popping up on a cooking show. They must please critics, inspectors, and new customers while simultaneously pleasing your regular clientele.
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Executive Chef Job Description Sample
To make creating an Executive Chef job description easier, here’s a sample you can use.
Job Title: Executive Chef
Salary: $80,000 - $110,000 per year
Tip Income: No
Schedule: Full-time (40 hours per week). Monday-Friday
Role: We are looking for a talented and motivated Executive Chef to lead our restaurant's kitchen team. Excellent leadership qualities and the ability to maximize the talents of our cooks are key requirements. Candidates for this role will also work closely with the general manager and owners to deliver financial success and a high-quality dining experience that meets our customers' expectations.
Plan and direct food preparation and culinary activities
Work on fine-tuning recipes or creating new ones to meet high-quality standards
Recruit and manage kitchen staff
Train and coach kitchen staff to focus on recipe adherence
Keep time and payroll records
Collaborate closely with General Manager to achieve financial success
Develop long-term strategies focusing on growth
Estimate food requirements and food/labor costs
Arrange for equipment purchases and repairs
Troubleshoot arising problems or complaints
Act as restaurant brand ambassador and maintain a professional appearance at all times
Comply with nutrition and sanitation regulations and safety standards
Tips for Writing Effective Job Descriptions
Job descriptions that speak from the heart cut through the noise. Engage and inspire candidates with transparency about your workplace and what makes your restaurant unique (“50 percent of our chefs our women”).
Highlight the unique perks of the position, such as travel for research trips, full benefits, or a robust retirement plan.
- Thing globally. Cast a wide net and post your job description outside of your city, state, or even country. Candidates for such a high-level position might relocate for the right fit.
Because this role is so vital to the image and success of your restaurant, finding the right Executive Chef is a unique challenge. The most important step when hiring is to know what you're looking for to ensure the best fit. The right candidate will mesh with the existing management and kitchen teams while bringing their special “secret sauce” to your restaurant.
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