OysterLink Job Platform Launching Sept. 2024
The OysterLink Job Platform is Launching September 2024

Sous Chef Job Description

A Sous Chef is the second in line of command in any restaurant or hotel kitchen.  Their main duty is to be the right hand of the Head Chef and provide support to all members of the kitchen staff. As such, they assist in food preparation, cooking and presentation, team management as well as health and safety regulations.

If you are running an establishment and are on the lookout for a Sous Chef, we get that the hiring process is already stressful enough. To make your life a tad easier, we’ve prepared a Sous Chef job description template that you can simply copy and tailor to your establishment.

Sous Chef Job Description Template 

We are looking for an experienced Sous Chef for the back-of-house team at [Restaurant/Hotel Name]. This role involves leading a team, managing health and safety regulations, taking charge of inventory and supply and ensuring that the Head Chef has everything they might need for a smooth kitchen operation.

Salary: $60,000–$65,000/year (non-tipped position)

Schedule: Full-time (40 hours per week, with overtime possibility)

Required Experience: 

Minimum of two years of Sous Chef experience

Minimum of five years of total kitchen experience in other roles

Degree: Bachelor’s or associate degree in culinary arts or similar

Benefits we offer:

401(k)

401(k) matching

Employee discount

Health insurance

Life insurance

Paid time off

Retirement plan

Sous Chef Responsibilities

Handle training of all new team members and lead the team by example.

Help the Head Chef with food preparation and presentation and be ready to take ownership in their absence.

Ensure all the supplies and inventory are up to standard for a smooth restaurant operation.

Take excellent care to ensure a strict health and safety compliance amongst all team members.

Help developing new recipes and menus.

Sous Chef Skills & Requirements:

Excellent cooking skills

Outstanding communication and leadership skills

Exceptional attention to detail

In depth knowledge of all health and safety regulations in the restaurant and hospitality industry

Overall pleasant demeanor

Sous Chef Education & Certification

A culinary arts degree is mandatory

Rewards from culinary competitions are a plus

Minimum of seven years of overall back-of-house experience

Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Sous Chef Job Description  

While many hiring managers and restaurant owner may benefit from copying the Sous Chef job description template provided above, there are managers and owners that choose a personalized approach.

If you are a person who envisions their next employee into the smallest detail, keep on reading for our step-by-step guide. We will cover all the things you should consider while creating your personalized Sous Chef job description.

Duties and responsibilities 

Even though a Sous Chef’s duties and responsibilities can vary on a daily basis, try to be as concise as possible and list only the most important ones.

These are some of the duties and responsibilities of a Sous Chef that you should mention in your job description:

  • Produce high quality food, and ensure plating is up to standard.
  • Help in recipe development and menu planning.
  • Manage and train new team members; take care of scheduling.
  • Manage inventory and supplier relationships and ensure the kitchen doesn’t lack any products for smooth operations.
  • Ensure strict adherence to health and safety protocols; suggest ideas to improve the adherence,
  • Take lead when the Head Chef is absent.
  • Communicate clearly with all staff members and ensure customer satisfaction levels are high.
  • Keep a professional and pleasant approach with staff members at all times,; even during peak hours.

Skills and qualifications

When it comes to the skills and qualifications, there is no better person to determine what you need in your establishment. You already know the team and customer dynamics and based on that you can come up with specific skills required for the Sous Chef position.

When writing these, ensure that you set up the candidate for success and excellence. While you might have a list of the perfect skills required for the position, also remember to look for the spark in the candidate’s eye during the interview process. The passion is something you can’t replace or learn.

We suggest sticking to the general skills and discuss the details later during the interview. You don’t want to discourage great candidate of applying due to a long list of the required skills and requirements. That said, here are the best items to include on this section of your Sous Chef job description:

  • A great understanding of various food preparation and cooking techniques
  • Proven leadership experience in a kitchen environment
  • In-depth knowledge of health and safety regulations

Salary expectations 

This is an important factor for all prospective Sous Chefs. If you are not sure how to determine the range you should put to be competitive, check out our Sous Chef salary page.

With that being said, we will mention the national average here. A Sous Chef usually earns $56,013 per year.

PRO TIP: We recommend you use a range for your Sous Chef job description. That way you will cater to both less experienced candidates and veterans.

Education and training requirements 

Every establishment takes a different approach when it comes to education requirements, but we suggest a traditional approach here.

Depending on your establishment you can use one of the following:

  • A culinary arts degree is mandatory
  • A culinary arts degree is a plus
  • We value real-life experience over a degree

PRO TIP: If you want to evaluate the quality of their education, check out our recommended culinary art programs on our Sous Chef Career Page.

Experience Requirements 

If you want to keep the talent pool broader, you can set the experience requirements in a couple of different ways.

Instead of being super specific you can use the following line:

“Previous hospitality experience is mandatory, but passion, dedication and creativity are what we are looking for in our leadership team.”

If you want to be a tad more specific, you can use the following line:

“A minimum of five years in cooking roles is required; previous Sous Chef experience is a plus.”

Tips for Writing a Compelling Sous Chef Job Description  

When writing any job description, ensure that your messaging aligns with the overall messaging of your establishment. Keep your mission and vision in mind at all times.

If you want to create a compelling Sous Chef job description, make sure to:

1. State the experience requirements clearly. This is to avoid any confusion and loose time on reviewing resumes that don’t satisfy your requirements

2. Communicate the salary range. In a recent poll done by OysterLink’s social media team, 82% of job seekers said that a salary range is the determining factor to apply for a position.

82% of applicants want to know the salary range before applying

Source: OysterLink LinkedIn

3. Mention the non-monetary benefits and perks. If you want to attract high-quality Sous Chef candidates, keep in mind that a lot of them will ask about the non-monetary benefits, so make sure you mention those in your job description.

4. Keep it short. Don’t forget that less is always more.

PRO TIP: Optimize the job description for mobile experience. Think about the fact that 60% of your traffic will come from mobile phones. Nobody wants to see chunks of text, so use bullet points and short sentences.

Similar Job Descriptions 

If you are looking to hire more kitchen team members, you might want to check out these other job descriptions:

Sous Chef Job Description FAQs 

A good Sous Chef can lead teams and making excellent decision during time of high-pressure. A great Sous Chef continuously hones their cooking skills.

A Sous Chef works with all back of house staff members and collaborates closely to front of house team members as well. A Sous Chef works always under and with the Head Chef.

Depending on what you are searching for in a Sous Chef prior experience could be the key component when hiring. However, the passion and willingness to learn can also be the determining factor. You might consider hiring a Sous Chef without prior experience in managing a kitchen team if their experience in other roles, such as Prep Cook and Line Cook is extensive.