What's it like to be a kitchen porter?Watch
Was just wondering, has anyone else worked as a kitchen porter, and if so, what's the job like?
I've heard from a friend that it's really crappy, but I'd like a few more opinions.
Also, is it just doing lots of washing up or anything else?
Hey, am looking for a part-time job for over summer, and a local Italian restaurant are looking for a kitchen porter.
My partner started life as a kitchen porter at the age of 14. He worked damn har and proved his worth. He's currently Chef du Parti (Head of Larder) at Michelin's Pub of the Year 2008. He's never got a qualification top his name, everything he's got is off his own experience. He worked so damn hard at his job, and kept bugging Head Chef to give him a break and he got it.
On the original question, it's damn hard work. I KP as bank staff for a few pubs around the area. It's dirty, filthy work with a lot of graft involved. But, when you get the right place that respects their staff, you are genuinely treated as a member of the team, as important as the chefs. Plus, the tips aren't bad!! (Partner is bringing home over £200 in tips every week. :O)
You have to make sure all the pots/pans/plates/knifes/forks all that jazz are cleaned dried and put in the correct places otherwise the chefs are going to scream at you.
it's hectic, hot, chefs shouting, swearing heads off.
You have to take out rubbish to the bins, make sure all the kitchen area is tidy and wash all the stuff, basically it.
sucks when its a busy fri/sat night too..
It's really crap i was a kitchen porter for a week then i quit!
You have to make sure all the pots/pans/plates/knifes/forks all that jazz are cleaned dried and put in the correct places otherwise the chefs are going to scream at you. Well, yes. That's because in a busy kitchen, you're turning the whole restaurant around 3 times or more every night. That works out to be about 10 minutes cooking time per table, really. And that can't be wasted finding cutlery that some jumped up KP hasn't put in the right place!! Equally, if the cutlerys not clean, tips go down. It's a simple equasion, and no one likes losing money.
it's hectic, hot, chefs shouting, swearing heads off. Someones been watching too much Kitchen Nightmares.... Either that, or the chefs REALLY can't work together
You have to take out rubbish to the bins, make sure all the kitchen area is tidy and wash all the stuff, basically it. Were you expecting something different?
sucks when its a busy fri/sat night too..
The job varies a lot depending on a few things, mainly:
- The kitchen team of the evening
- Responsibility - though cleaning is the main job, you can get experience to actually cook the meals and help prep the final product
- How busy the evening is
Usually, the evening is pretty chilled out if you work in a quieter small restaurant (the kitchen where I work is only big enough for about 4 members of staff to work at the same time!). However, sometimes the evening is too busy and chefs can be rude, it just makes you want to scream at someone It comes with the territory I suppose...
At least the tips can be good. You can get paid minimum wage, not earn enough to pay any tax or NI contributions but then get like an additional £10-15 tip at the end of the evening to spend on whatever
Chefs are always asking me to do random stuff like desserts, starters, get them stuff from out the back, clean this, clean that, hurry up we got to be out here by 10 etc. List goes on. Also some encourage me to give **** to others if they aren't doing their job right but if I do they just won't help me for the rest of the night so it's not worth it. It just ****s me right off how I'm treated as the lowest member of the team when I'm working the hardest. I've done their job, I got to do it when we had 2 KP's going throughout the week and it was ****ing bliss, you do barely any work, you basically wait for food to cook and clean in the meantime, not hard and you have a kp working their butt off which makes it even easier.
The support for learning the job is left down to the other KP that happens to be on shift. This means that I've had to learn different, often conflicting, methods of getting the job done and this has led me to having big gaps in knowledge of the job; there have been way too many times when I've been asked to do something, I reply asking how it is done, only to then hear the other KP say "oh, you don't know?". No dips**t, I've been here for three days, of course I know- I know everything
The job itself is a combination of graft and timing- grafting to get things cleaned and timing to take out rubbish, return dishes and equipment to the kitchen, and glasses to the waiting staff. What would make the job easier is if the waiting staff organised the trays they brought back to me so that I didn't have to organise plastics, wood, paper and food waste into separate bins before even getting started on washing dishes. Of course, they throw the s**t in whatever way is quickest for them so my job takes longer than it has to.
In addition to dish washing and crap like that, I have to bring in the delivery, check it, and then put it away into fridges etc. This, like the rest of my job, should be easy as it is really simple, but it isn't because the fridges and freezers are both tiny and already full of produce.
The staff are a mixed bag: some are friendly- typically the ones that can't or won't ever care if you're doing your job well, such as the waiting staff. The kitchen staff are less friendly and expect a lot but as of yet they have been okay to me. The management are friendly and might ask how it's going but they mainly seem concerned with whether or not I continue to show up for work.
All in all, I would suggest anyone to seriously reconsider taking on a job as a kitchen porter unless you intend on building up a career in the restaurant business. The only reason I'm not going to jack it in is because it's easier to get another job you're already employed, otherwise I'd be saying Sayonara!