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Kitchen porter Kitchen hand

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Kitchen porters clean, wash up and prepare food to keep hotel, restaurant and hospital kitchens running smoothly.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £13,000 to £18,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements, but it might help if you have:

  • GCSEs at grades 9 to 2 (A* to E) in English and maths
  • paid or unpaid experience of working in a kitchen
  • an interest in food
  • a good level of physical fitness, as you could be on your feet all day

You could also: 

  • do a college course in cookery or hospitality
  • get into general catering through a hospitality apprenticeship

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • the ability to carry out tasks quickly
  • the ability to work on your own and use your initiative
  • the ability to remain calm under pressure
  • the ability to follow instructions

3. What you'll do

You’ll help to keep a kitchen running smoothly by making sure everything is clean, tidy, safe and hygienic. 

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • unloading deliveries
  • organising the storeroom
  • collecting and washing pots, pans, plates and cutlery
  • getting pots, pans plates and cutlery back into use quickly
  • washing and disinfecting kitchen appliances, work surfaces, floors and walls
  • making sure kitchen equipment is properly stored
  • removing and recycling waste from the kitchen
You might also help with basic food preparation before the kitchen or restaurant opens.

4. Salary

Starter: £13,000

Experienced: £18,000

You might be paid by the hour.

A lot of restaurants share tips with the kitchen staff, so you may get a small bonus at the end of the week.

Your salary will depend on the type of restaurant you work for, and where it is.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 37 to 40 hours a week including shifts, weekends and public holidays. Part-time, temporary and seasonal opportunities are often available.

Working conditions are usually hot and humid, and you could be working over a sink full of hot water for long periods of time.

Your employer will often provide you with a uniform.

6. Career path and progression

With experience and training you could progress to kitchen assistant or chef.

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Last updated: 10 September 2018