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A day in the life of a Toby Carvery Kitchen Manager at Christmas

A day in the life of a Toby Carvery Kitchen Manager at Christmas

Emily Smith our consultant managing the role
Date posted: 13/12/2021

Seasons greetings! 

Have you ever wondered what it’s like working as a Toby Carvery chef or Kitchen Manager at Christmas? Well, John from our Kenton Bank restaurant has told us all about sleighing kitchen management at the most flavoursome time of the year.

Read his career story to date, why he enjoys working at Toby Carvery and, crucially, how to make the BEST roast potatoes this Christmas.

How long have you been with Mitchells & Butlers and why did you join?

‘I joined M&B in 2007, so 14 years so far, 11 of which I’ve been a Kitchen Manager. I did an NVQ Level 3 in catering at college and started my chef career in an Italian restaurant. 

I left to join M&B for the career progression opportunities they offer and have been working my way up since then. Much of my career I have spent in the Northeast of England, but I have worked around Scotland in other Toby Carvery’s.’

Career progression is just one of many benefits we offer here at M&B.

What does your career journey to date look like?

‘I started off as a pot wash and I've progressed to Kitchen Manager, so it's a great sense of achievement. 

I was involved in the opening of Toby Carvery Shiremoor, when it first opened 7 years ago and interviewed most of the kitchen staff there – I am actually still good friends with them all. I worked closely with Tony Broom, a Kitchen Skills Trainer, who helped me develop into the Kitchen Manager that I am today.’

It’s great to hear that John is still friends with some of his team. Working at M&B is more than just a job; we’re one big family, and this is exactly why so many of our teams end up as lifelong friends!

What is the best thing about being a chef or Kitchen Manager at Toby Carvery?

‘The best thing about being a Kitchen Manager at Toby Carvery is developing the team and getting the best out of them. I like people who come in and want to develop themselves and learn more about the business. More importantly, I like making guests happy and ensuring I am giving the best service that I can for the business.’

We love to hear it. If you’re looking to develop new skills or start a new role before the New Year, we know that a job in hospitality isn’t just for Christmas and you may find that we’ve got all the ingredients to create the recipe for a successful and happy career.

What is it like working at Christmas time at Toby Carvery?

‘It’s no secret that the kitchen at Toby Carvery during Christmas can be hard work, but I enjoy it, especially the festive fare menu. We get very busy here at Toby Carvery Kenton Bank and it is very enjoyable; serving guests and providing them with the best service is what Christmas is all about.’

Dedicated kitchen team members like John are the reason Toby Carvery is known as the home of the roast!

What tips would you give to someone thinking about becoming a chef?

‘To someone thinking of becoming a chef, I’d recommend taking on board all of your training and to keep pushing yourself to be the best you can. It is definitely hard work, but it pays off and knowing you can always progress in M&B is very motivating.’

Finally, give us your top tips on how to cook the perfect roast potatoes!

‘First is to parboil them, once that is done, drain them and add a little bit of seasoning. I like to add salt, pepper, rosemary, and a beef stock cube. The most important part is to ruffle them, just like we do at Toby Carvery, and that should make them crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.’

…Anyone else craving roasties now?

Join us for a rewarding Christmas thyme at Toby Carvery

Life at M&B is about working hard, having fun, feel valued, and being recognised and rewarded along the way (plus much, much more).

If you’re interested in learning some top skills from the very best chefs and kitchen managers this Christmas, you won’t find a place better than M&B. Every member of the kitchen team receives the training they need and there are ample opportunities to develop if you wish to do so. 

Find out more about roles and responsibilities of a kitchen manager or browse our available kitchen jobs today.

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