CHOOSING A CAREER / AUG. 20, 2014
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How to Become a Kitchen Porter

There are basically two main requirements of a kitchen. These include efficiency and sanitation. This brings out the importance of a kitchen porter. Kitchen porters also known as kitchen hands toil in kitchens of restaurants, hotels and other places that prepare food for the public. This job requires an individual with good physical health since you are required to be on feet for a greater part of your shift.

What Do Kitchen Porters do?

Kitchen porters are responsible for keeping the kitchen activities running smoothly by ensuring that everything is tidy, clean, safe and hygienic. It is also your duty to:  

  •          Unload food deliveries to the kitchen
  •          Organise the storeroom
  •          Collect and wash plates, pans, pots, and cutlery
  •          Get utensils back to work as fast as possible
  •          Wash and disinfect kitchen surfaces, walls, floors and appliances
  •          Ensure proper storage of kitchen equipment
  •          Remove and recycle kitchen waste

Salary

Kitchen porters receive hourly wages of about £6.31- £6.50. Many restaurants share tips with kitchen workers hence some bonus at the end of each week. Below is the breakdown of kitchen porters’ annual average earnings in various sectors:

Sales

 

£48,000

Banking & Finance

 

£24,000

Catering &Hospitality

 

£21,000

Education

 

£15,000

Source: Salarytrack

Skills

To serve well as a kitchen porter, you need to have the following skills:

  • Ability to perform tasks quickly
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to work to lead and work as part of a team
  • Be able to work alone and utilize your personal initiative
  • Be able to maintain calmness when under pressure
  • Be aware of hygiene and safety requirements
  • Be able to adhere to instructions

Qualifications

Kitchen porters usually receive on-the-job training while working for various employers. This is considered to be the best way to learn since being part of a professional kitchen staff provides you with the important basic kitchen skills. Though not essential, most employers prefer candidates who have earned at least a GCSE qualification. Individuals with experience in the following qualifications have a competitive advantage when seeking for employment opportunities:

Additionally, you can consider pursuing a catering apprenticeship program to gain more insight in the catering field. With experience, you can proceed to the position of a kitchen assistant. Moreover, you can advance your training and become a chef. There are many Intermediate Level Apprenticeships available in various locations that train individuals to become chefs.  These training schemes however depend on the types of skills required by employers and the local jobs market.

Career Prospects

Kitchen porters are likely to find jobs in large kitchens within colleges, hotels, prisons, restaurants, armed forces and hospitals. Most jobs are publicized and advertised through social media and local and national press. Job prospects for people working in this sector are quite good. Apparently, there are approximately 614,100 serving in the restaurant trade in the UK.

Once you are trained, you can assume roles in various positions. For instance, you can work as a bar manager, kitchen assistant, chef, waiter/waitress, cleaner, wine waiter, restaurant manager or conference and banqueting manager.

If you are able to pay close attention to detail and love working within the kitchen environment, this career is the best choice for you.

Image Source: BBC

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