A kitchen assistant helps the cook or chef by doing basic kitchen work in hotels, restaurants and other catering facilities. They are also called kitchen porters.
You could be:
carrying in food deliveries and putting them into store
cleaning ovens, dishes, pans and other equipment
cleaning the floor and disposing of kitchen waste and rubbish correctly
keeping kitchen walls and work surfaces clean
bringing food in from the storeroom
checking sell-by dates and rotating stock
peeling and cutting vegetables, chopping meat, plucking poultry, skinning and gutting fish
preparing simple food
using machinery such as grinders, mincers, slicers and mixers.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
The starting salary is often based on the National Minimum Wage (NMW).
As of 1 April 2021 the National Minimum Wage is £4.62 an hour for workers aged 16 to 17, £6.56 an hour for workers aged 18 to 20 and £8.36 an hour for workers aged 21 to 22. The National Living Wage is £8.91 for workers aged 23 and over. This may rise to around £10.00 an hour with experience.
You work shifts, including split shifts (working in the morning and evening with time off in the afternoon), early mornings, evenings and weekends.
Part time work is common.
Work can be seasonal with more vacancies in summer.
The kitchen can be hot and noisy.
There may be some heavy lifting.
You will usually have to wear protective clothing such as apron, gloves, hairnet or hat.
You do not need formal qualifications but a good general education is useful.
You must be physically fit to do this job.
You need to be over 18 to handle certain kitchen equipment, such as meat slicers.
You should not be allergic to cleaning detergents.
Jobs are in a wide range of places including restaurants, hotels, works canteens, hospitals and nursing homes.
There is often a high turnover of staff, and so there are usually a lot of vacancies in jobcentres.
For some jobs, for example in care homes, you may require a satisfactory criminal record check from Disclosure Scotland to show that you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details on the type you would need.
People 1st is the Sector Skills Council for the hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism industries.
UKSP is now part of the Hospitality Guild, which provides information on careers in the hospitality and tourism industry. The website has an online 'personality' test designed to help you identify suitable careers within the above industries.