We explain everything related to the functions and responsibilities of this highly demanded position in the hospitality sector.


Working as a chef is a very important achievement. However, reaching that position requires a lot of effort and a solid set of skills that go beyond culinary.

Being a head chef means that you are a highly qualified professional chef . As such you have the responsibility of overseeing all operations in a restaurant.

Of course, you are responsible for all the food that comes out of the kitchen. From its conception to its execution, everything is under your responsibility.

It is a position in demand in the hospitality sector for which specific knowledge and training related to cooking are required .

Next we will talk about everything related to the functions and responsibilities of a chef . The academic requirements or training required to be a chef, as well as the maximum salary you can aspire to in this profession.


The functions of a chef: The duties of a chef and their salary

The responsibilities of a head chef begin with overseeing multiple aspects of the restaurant or hospitality business. They manage and work in collaboration with other cooks.

In addition to creating the menus, a chef also has the responsibility of managing the food inventory.

Other functions of a chef: The duties of a chef and their salary

    • Train, develop and motivate culinary supervisors and staff . The goal is to have them meet and exceed established food preparation standards consistently.
    • The chef should also teach preparation according to well-defined recipes . You need to constantly follow up and discuss ways to improve the kitchen.
    • A head chef must show exceptional leadership by providing a positive work environment. You must also advise employees and use a dedicated and professional approach.
    • Another role of the chef is that he must provide direction for all daily operations in the kitchen.
    • In addition, you must have the ability to understand employee positions well enough to carry out tasks when they are away. You must also be able to determine replacement to fill vacant positions.
    • The head chef must provide guidance and direction to the employees. This includes setting standards and conducting performance monitoring.
    • The chef must also use his interpersonal and communication skills to direct and influence the kitchen staff.
    • You must be able to improve service by communicating and helping others understand customer needs. To do this, you must ensure that you provide individual guidance, suggestions, and advice whenever necessary.
    • The head chef should regularly review staffing levels to ensure customer service is met, as well as operational needs and financial goals.
    • In addition, you must be actively involved in developing the menu and keeping up-to-date and accurate costs of all dishes prepared and sold.

Along with all of the above, a head chef must also provide and support service behaviors that are superior to customer satisfaction and retention.

Not only that, you need to determine how the food has to be presented, as well as create decorative food displays . Of course you must be able to recognize superior quality products, presentations and taste.

And a very important aspect, the professional chef must ensure that all his equipment in the kitchen is maintained and operated according to the local standards and regulations established by the health department or the establishment itself.

Many might even think that the chef’s duties are only limited to creating delicious dishes and menus. But in fact, the head chef also performs administrative functions.

For example, he is in charge of coordinating the purchasing department for the acquisition of all necessary goods and services. In addition, you must ensure that proper hygiene and hygiene standards are maintained for all kitchen personnel.

Even the head of the kitchen must verify that all employees under his command have the proper certifications that are required for food handling.

On the other hand, and although it may seem irrelevant, the head chef must also take time to interact with customers . This is important as this way you can get feedback regarding the quality of the food, the presentation and the level of service.

A chef’s competition also involves discussing daily food cost reports with key team members. You should also take charge of reviewing the weekly and monthly schedules to meet the budget.


What do you have to study to be a chef? Necessary training: The duties of a chef and their salary

As we have seen, the responsibilities of a chef are many. Its functions involve aspects beyond the preparation of dishes or the creation of menus.

It is therefore a profession that requires a specific degree of training. In fact, many interested parties have doubts about what it takes to study to be a chef.

  • From the outset, an essential requirement is to study the theory of cooking . In addition, if you want to work as a chef, you must study the basic techniques of cooking food, as well as traditional conservation techniques.
  • Not only that, you should also study the preparation techniques of all kinds of food , from vegetables, nuts, to rice, fish and sauces.
  • Additionally, you must acquire knowledge in terms of cost analysis and menu engineering .
  • In addition, most of the time it is also required to study advanced professional cooking .
  • Therefore it is also necessary that you study about new trends in national and international gastronomy .
  • Know all the advanced machinery and equipment for the kitchen, as well as the latest optimization tools.
  • If you want to be a professional chef, you must learn about the different advanced cooking and preservation techniques.
  • You must learn to recognize the textures and seasonings of the products, research, develop and innovate in the kitchen.
  • You should even learn the basics of kitchen communication and marketing .
  • Of course it will be essential to study about the new utensils and machinery.
  • Learn everything you need to know about new cooking techniques .
  • It is also essential to learn everything about pastry , including raw materials, making creams, sweet and savory fillings, making dough and pasta, decoration and preservation.

All this knowledge is obtained with an official degree in a Higher School of Hospitality . A Bachelor of Culinary Arts is also often required as well as a food safety certification.

Nowadays you can learn this profession through chefs and professional chef courses . All the necessary knowledge to be a professional chef is included in these courses, so it is not difficult to train as a chef.




Formal training in culinary arts is also available through vocational schools or institutes, community colleges, and of course culinary schools.

Many training programs include an apprenticeship or internship to supplement the knowledge acquired during the course.

How much does a chef make? The salary: The duties of a chef and their salary

This is probably one of the most recurring questions among those who want to work as a chef. It is a profession that demands many responsibilities and in which a large number of functions must be fulfilled.

Therefore it is logical that many want to know what the salary of a chef is. And to answer this question we must consult what the data from the Office of Labor Statistics in Spain says.

According to this institution, a chef has a minimum salary of € 40,600 per year . In other words, a head chef earns € 3,000 per month .

But it should be clarified that said monthly salary does not take into account the additional benefits or bonuses of Christmas or summer. However, the minimum salary for a cook is approximately € 1,500 per month .

This means that the salary of a chef in Spain is double what a chef earns. This difference between salaries is completely justifiable, especially when considering the functions and responsibilities of each position.

It is also important to clarify that the data mentioned refer only to the average salary of a chef. Therefore, and in the same way that there are cooks who have a salary of more than € 1,500, there are also chefs whose salary is above € 3,000 per month.

Variables that affect the salary of a chef

Additionally, the chef’s salary depends on multiple factors, including for example:

  • The category of the restaurant or hospitality establishment.
  • The academic training of the chef.
  • His experience in food preparation and haute cuisine .
  • Your creativity, management, communication, programming and organization skills .
  • Your salary can also be influenced by your business experience.

If we take all of the above into account, the monthly salary of chefs in Spain can range from € 5,000 to approximately € 8,000 .

Even if you find a job as a chef in a Michelin-starred restaurant, your salary may be higher. And if you work as a chef in a foreign country, such as the United States, your annual salary can reach € 47,300, that is, around € 3,900 per month.



Ultimately, working as a chef comes with multiple roles and responsibilities. If you want to work as a professional chef, you must obtain adequate training and have the necessary qualifications.

  • You must be well trained and qualified to do this job. Often the work of chefs is done in the back of the kitchen.
  • They are the ones in charge of participating in the creation of recipes and the preparation of advanced menus.
  • At the same time they should have the ability to assign less complicated tasks to their team members.
  • His main duty is the continuous efficiency of the kitchen and the production of food consistently and with the highest quality.
  • And beyond his culinary duties, the chef must display operational, accounting and programming skills.
  • Cooks are often called upon to assess customer complaints. Therefore, you must also have excellent communication skills and ability to solve problems in real time.
  • And because the success or failure of a restaurant is largely the responsibility of the chefs, you will have to work long hours to ensure that the restaurant is operating properly at all times.
  • In other words, a head chef must usually work both day and night, on weekends, even holidays.

Of course, the better qualified you are to perform the functions and responsibilities of a chef, the more and better job opportunities you will have.

And don’t think that you can only work as a chef in a restaurant. The hotels , private clubs , as well as institutional kitchens , including cruise ships , are areas where you can also desempeñarte professionally. The duties of a chef and their salary