What to expect when working in a commercial kitchen

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If you’ve never worked in a commercial kitchen before and you’re thinking about giving it a go, then it may take a bit of getting used to. Whether you’ve applied for a job as a KP (Kitchen Porter), pot washer or even trainee chef, a commercial kitchen is a challenging and exciting place where food dreams are made and careers are started. Read on to find out what to actually expect when working in a commercial kitchen.

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No tips for kitchen staff

Kitchen staff often earn less than front of house because they are on the same basic wage, but don’t get a share of tips. Furthermore, once you become a chef and begin to earn a salary, you often end up doing so many hours it equates to minimum wage anyway. Working in a kitchen is often for those with a passion for cooking, not those with a love of money.

No more weekends off

Getting a Saturday or Friday night off when you work in a busy kitchen is unlikely, and getting a whole weekend off is almost impossible. Those that work in kitchens often get Mondays off, but tend to work all through the weekend, including doing plenty of double shifts.

Catering appliances and kitchen features

You also need to become accustomed to different kitchen features and appliances that are specially designed, such as grease traps for commercial kitchens, from retailers such as http://www.ukgreasetrapsdirect.co.uk/. Other commercial appliances that you are unlikely to have ever used in a domestic setting include combination ovens, fryers, sous vide equipment, contact grills, electric meat slicers, smokers and many more appliances designed specifically for use in catering premises.

Kitchen code and speech

When you first enter a kitchen, you’ll hear the chefs say all sorts of code words you don’t at first understand. Get a handle on these quickly or you may miss important info. If you’re not sure, ask the pot washer. When it comes to speaking, it must be clear. ‘Yes Chef’, ‘no Chef’ and absolutely no mumbling.

Working in a commercial kitchen is a terrific experience, the sense of achievement and camaraderie is great, and you’ll meet people from all walks of life. At first, though, getting used to the heat, the language, the hours and the appliances is the biggest challenge.

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