chef wearing chef whites and hat spooning sauce into a pot

What does a sous chef do?

What does a sous chef do?

Amandeep Chahal our consultant managing the role
Date posted: 27/02/2024

“Sous chef” literally means “under-chief”. But enough with the language lesson. Let's get to the juicy stuff. 


Being a Sous Chef is all about keeping the kitchen humming and the food steadily flowing. It's a role that's as vital as a well-sharpened knife in a chef's toolkit. Picture them as the Head Chef's right-hand person, helping out with everything from leading and training the team to keeping the kitchen supplies stocked up.

Let's roll up our sleeves and tuck into what it takes to be a Sous Chef.

An overview of the role

You might have decoded the job title, but you’re probably still wondering, ‘What is a Sous Chef?’, or ‘What can I expect from the role?’ So we’ve got a breakdown of the main responsibilities.

Executing dishes to perfection

Only perfection leaves the kitchen - after all, your guests deserve nothing less than a delicious feast! You’ve got a keen eye for detail and top-notch standards. It’s your mission to make sure that every dish leaves guests wanting to come back for more.

Supporting the team

As a senior member of the kitchen team, you’re also keeping an eye out for your chefs. When the heat is on and orders are flying in, you're right there in the thick of it, lending a hand to your teammates.

Leadership

Which leads us to your management skills. Your Head Chef counts on you to step in and help train the Chefs and Sous Chefs of tomorrow. This might look like guiding an apprentice in the art of veggie prep. Or, and here’s a little more French coming your way, it’s teaching a Kitchen Assistant the importance of “Mise en Place”. In other words, having your workspace set up before the shift begins.

Stock control

Your knack for managing kitchen supply levels will earn you the nickname "Stockmaster.” With your outstanding organisation skills and knowledge of your menu, you make sure the kitchen team is always equipped for success.

FAQs

Is a sous chef a manager?

Yes! As a kitchen team leader, you'll take charge of the kitchen when the Head Chef isn’t on shift, leading your team to deliver culinary greatness. It's the perfect springboard for anyone wanting to become a Head Chef.

How many Sous Chefs work in the kitchen at one time?

It depends on the size of the kitchen. But it’s not uncommon to find one or two Sous Chefs working alongside the Head Chef.

What does it take to be a Sous Chef?

It goes without saying that you need a passion for cooking. Beyond this, you need to be a first-class team player, have the ability to bring order to the kitchen and have a keen eye for detail.

How can you be a good Sous Chef?

Sharpen your culinary expertise and leadership skills. To really stand out, show your team that you’re the ultimate champion of brand standards as well as stock and labour management

How long does it take to become a Sous Chef?

There’s no strict limit. You don’t need to be a food expert to kick off a kitchen career. With the right drive and determination, you could go from Kitchen Assistant to Sous Chef in just two to three years. It's all about finding a company that will support you and working to achieve the goals set by your Kitchen Manager.

Why should you choose a Sous Chef job at Mitchells & Butlers? 

Well, this is an easy one for us to answer. Our Sous Chefs get to join the best kitchen teams. What makes them brilliant? They've got each other's backs, jumping in to lend a hand whenever it's needed. With diverse talents and personalities, they bring flavour and flair to the kitchen, all while having a good laugh along the way.


If you think an M&B kitchen might be for you, why not take a look at our open Sous Chef jobs? We've got options for everyone, from junior sous chef positions to part-time roles that fit your schedule.


And if you're craving something a bit different, head to our kitchen jobs page and see all the culinary roles that we have on offer.

List #1

Some articles you might like

two men wearing chef's whites cooking in a commercial kitchen
What can you expect from head chef responsibilities?

Teaser

Kitchen

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

01/29/2024

Summary

So you want to dive into the world of head chefs and unravel what goes on behind the scenes? Gone are the days when Ratatouille was our go-to kitchen reference. Nowadays, with a smorgasbord of films

Teaser

While each kitchen dances to its unique rhythm, some things remain true no matter what. Let's uncover the head chef responsibilities you'll find in any role.

Find out more
Amandeep Chahal

by

Amandeep Chahal

Amandeep Chahal

by

Amandeep Chahal

What to expect when you become a kitchen or pub manager

Teaser

Management

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

06/29/2023

Summary

<!-- Hotjar Tracking Code for https://www.mbcareersandjobs.com/ --> (function(h,o,t,j,a,r){ h.hj=h.hj||function(){(h.hj.q=h.hj.q||[]).push(arguments)}; h._hjSettings={hjid:2713474,hjsv:6}; a=o.ge

Teaser

With over 1,600 businesses across the UK, a restaurant or pub manager job might change from one place to the next. But here are some things you can expect.

Find out more
Steph  Baker

by

Steph Baker

Steph  Baker

by

Steph Baker

man and woman wearing chef uniform smiling at each other
How to nail being a chef and manager all in one

Teaser

Kitchen

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

03/31/2023

Summary

Alright, let's cut to the chase. Being a chef or a manager requires a specific set of skills. That said, there are certain skills that overlap, and if you have a good dose of these, you've got wh

Teaser

Find out more
Jess Birch

by

Jess Birch

Jess Birch

by

Jess Birch

male chef cooking in a kitchen
4 steps for a successful Head Chef job application

Teaser

Kitchen

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

01/16/2023

Summary

Are you looking for a new restaurant to showcase your Head Chef skills? Or maybe you're working as one of the most senior chefs in the kitchen, and it's time to find a business that will give you

Teaser

Find out more
Carly Clark

by

Carly Clark

Carly Clark

by

Carly Clark

girl in chef whites standing in a commercial kitchen holding up a plate and smiling
The 5 best things about having a chef job at Christmas

Teaser

Kitchen

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

11/18/2022

Summary

Whether you relish the thought of covering yourself in tinsel or consider yourself to have more scrooge-like tendencies, we think a chef job is the ideal Christmas job. In fact, we've select

Teaser

Find out more
Felicity Winsley

by

Felicity Winsley

Felicity Winsley

by

Felicity Winsley

How a temporary Christmas job at M&B kickstarted Kayleigh’s career in hospitality

Teaser

Management

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

11/08/2022

Summary

Temporary Christmas jobs are a great way to get your foot in the door and make that extra cash for those Christmas parties and gifts for your loved ones. And the benefits don’t stop there! Tempo

Teaser

Find out more
Amandeep Chahal

by

Amandeep Chahal

Amandeep Chahal

by

Amandeep Chahal

male wearing chef whites, smiling with arms behind his back
The MABsterchef awards: celebrating our chef apprentices

Teaser

Kitchen

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

06/27/2022

Summary

Every year we host MABsterchef. Yes, you read that right. Think Masterchef, but better. The cook-off competition is a chance for any chef apprentice to create and cook a dish that will blow our

Teaser

Find out more
Rebecca Houseago

by

Rebecca Houseago

Rebecca Houseago

by

Rebecca Houseago

Food planning
5 things you didn't know about a kitchen manager job at M&B

Teaser

Kitchen

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

06/13/2022

Summary

Kitchen managers (KMs) are the backbone of the kitchen. When everything is going at full speed, they make sure teams stay motivated, on track and serving up a good time. The roles and responsibi

Teaser

Hear from Andy, a Kitchen Training & Development Manager for our pubs division, about the insights of a KM's job

Find out more
Emily Smith

by

Emily Smith

Emily Smith

by

Emily Smith

woman and man standing behind a bar lent in laughing
Why a pub job is the perfect summer job

Teaser

General

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

06/08/2022

Summary

Whether you’re a school leaver, a student, or a parent looking to put some extra cash in the bank, a summer pub job can be the perfect solution. But how do you find that ideal summer job that’s fun, a

Teaser

Find out more
Rachael Langley

by

Rachael Langley

Rachael Langley

by

Rachael Langley

man in chef whites passing plated food to a woman
Why a uni transfer at M&B was the best summer job for Ben

Teaser

General

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

06/01/2022

Summary

Are you heading off to university in September? Are you looking for a job for the summer holidays before you go? Do you want to keep working for some extra cash whilst you’re studying? Enter: M&

Teaser

Find out more
Hazel Laughey

by

Hazel Laughey

Hazel Laughey

by

Hazel Laughey

Jobs

Jobs you might like...

Kitchen Team Leader

Salary

Competitive Salary

Location

Lord Louis, Plymouth, PL7 2DE

Departments

Kitchen Lead

Hours

Full Time

Vacancy Type

Other role

Brand

Stonehouse Pizza & Carvery

Location

Plymouth

Description

No CV to hand? No problem! We've made our application process mobile friendly and removed the need for a CV. Our form takes 2 minutes to complete and tells us all we need about you! As Kitchen Team Le

Reference

2163814

Expiry Date

01/01/0001

Apply Add to shortlist
Chef

Salary

Competitive Salary

Location

Toby Carvery - Whitchurch, Cardiff, CF14 6BH

Departments

Chef

Hours

Full Time

Vacancy Type

Other role

Brand

Toby Carvery

Location

Cardiff

Description

No CV to hand? No problem! We've made our application process mobile friendly and removed the need for a CV. Our form takes 2 minutes to complete and tells us all we need about you! As a Chef at {{Loc

Reference

2163811

Expiry Date

01/01/0001

Apply Add to shortlist
Sous Chef

Salary

£28000.00 - £32000.00 per annum plus tips

Location

Wolseley Arms, Wolseley Bridge, ST17 0XS

Departments

Kitchen Lead

Hours

Full Time

Vacancy Type

Other role

Brand

Vintage

Location

Wolseley Bridge

Description

No CV to hand? No problem! We've made our application process mobile friendly and removed the need for a CV. Our form takes 2 minutes to complete and tells us all we need about you! As a Sous Chef at 

Reference

2163819

Expiry Date

01/01/0001

Apply Add to shortlist
 

job search