Life on the Line is a book written by Grant Achatz, owner and chef of the best restaurant in the world: Alinea. The book is about how Grant rose through the ranks to finally become an executive chef and a pioneer in molecular gastronomy. I loved the book. Not only was it a remarkable story about perseverance, it gave a glimpse of what it means to work in a restaurant.
While reading the book, you get an idea of what happens behind the scenes. Like every other restaurant, Alinea has the regular mix of members on the team: a general manager, restaurant manager, executive chef, sous chef, commis, sommelier, the captain waiter, regular waiters, bartender. The whole orchestra.
Most of this was new to me. My knowledge on restaurants went as far as:
And that’s about it.
So a breakdown on how restaurants work from a management perspective was an eye-opener to say the least. Naturally, restaurants around the world have the same structure. Singapore is no different. Given below is a little summary of the standard jobs in any restaurant. Not all restaurants have all the components. Most hiring admins in restaurants go by this convention:
General Manager: The CEO of the restaurant. She makes sure things run smoothly. She oversees operations, makes sure supplies arrive on time and hiring and firing activities run smoothly. She tries to cut costs and improve sales too.
Restaurant Manager: He makes sure that training of new employees runs smoothly. He deals with customers, allocates manpower and deals with the maintenance of the place.
Maître d’: She manages the front of house operations. By maintaining the customer database, the maître d’ makes bookings. She also welcomes customers as they enter the restaurant.
Executive chef: The executive chef creates new dishes and plans the menu for every outlet. He looks after the overall direction of the restaurant or outlet.
Head Chef (chef de cuisine): The head chef is the CEO of the kitchen. She allocates duties and ensures there are supplies. She manages daily operations in the kitchen.
Sous Chef: The second in command. He works under the head chef and makes sure things run smoothly in case the head chef is not around. He also ensures the quality of supplies coming in.
Chef de Partie: This is a chef who is in charge of a particular section: grill, pastry, whatever was allocated to her. She makes sure the cooks under him deliver what is required from the section.
Sommelier: Everyone loves the wine guy. He is an expert on wine and food pairing. He maintains the inventory, trains the staff on what wines to suggest and teaches them the convention on serving wine.
Head Waiter: A head waiter is in charge of other waiters/waitresses. She trains them. She also waits on tables and suggests dishes and wine pairings.
Waiter: He waits on tables. He also suggests dishes from the menu. Waiters are trained on how to serve the dishes and the wine that goes with them.
With that crash course on who is who in a restaurant, below we have a table on their average monthly salary in Singapore. This varies based on the location of the restaurant and the type of restaurant.
|Restaurant Assistant Manager
|Chef De Partie
We hope this gives you a better idea on the industry!