Kitchen Assistant

Job Description:

Kitchen assistants help chefs prepare food and keep the kitchen clean.

Job Category:
Tourism, Hospitality & Entertainment

What you will do:

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • supporting chefs in a specific work section
  • washing, peeling and preparing food items
  • using a variety of kitchen equipment such as mixers, special knives and cutters
  • unloading deliveries
  • organising the storeroom
  • washing kitchen appliances, work surfaces, floors and walls


You’ll need:

  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • business management & customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations (leadership skills)
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • the ability to use your initiative (ambition)
  • the ability to work well with your hands
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

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

  • have some basic kitchen skills, like food safety practices and the ability to prepare simple dishes
  • have gained some work experience, like volunteering with the food service at a charity event or as a kitchen porter washing up
  • have taken a short culinary course or workshop, to show your passion and build your skills

School Subjects

To become a kitchen assistant, you generally do not need specific GCSE subjects, as this entry-level position typically focuses on assisting with basic food preparation and kitchen tasks. However, having a few key GCSE subjects can still be beneficial and make you a more attractive candidate to potential employers. Here are some subjects that can be helpful for a kitchen assistant role:

  1. English Language: Good communication skills are essential in any job, as kitchen assistants need to take instructions, communicate with other staff, and possibly interact with customers.
  2. Mathematics: Basic math skills are useful for measuring ingredients, portioning food, and handling cash transactions if required.
  3. Food Technology or Home Economics: While not a strict requirement, having a background in food-related subjects can demonstrate an interest in the field and some basic knowledge of food safety and preparation.
  4. Design and Technology (Cooking): This subject can provide practical experience in food preparation techniques and kitchen equipment operation.
  5. Health and Social Care: Though not directly related to cooking, this subject can demonstrate an understanding of health and safety practices, which are crucial in a kitchen environment.

While specific GCSE subjects are not usually mandatory for a kitchen assistant role, employers may also consider personal qualities such as reliability, teamwork, attention to detail, and a willingness to learn.

Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll usually work shifts, evenings, weekends, and public holidays. If you’re based at a factory or catering business, your hours might be more regular than in a restaurant. Part-time, casual, or seasonal work may be available.

Your working environment will often be hot, busy, and noisy. You’ll spend most of your time working closely with other people.

You’ll usually be given a uniform to wear.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience and further training, you could become a trainee or junior chef.

You could also progress into management or move into bar work or food service.