Hiring Executive Chef: What To Look For? How Much Does It Cost?

What To Look For Hiring Executive Chef

On the lookout for an Executive Chef to enhance your restaurant business? Are you wondering what would be the best approach to attract the kind of talent you need?

If you are new to the restaurant industry, then you need to prepare a superb pitch to sell your job offer to an exceptional candidate. Even if you have been in the restaurant industry for a while, finding the ideal Executive Chef is still a daunting task.

The very first step is to know what kind of skills and experience the Executive Chef should hire. If you are hiring an Executive Chef for the first time, here’s a list that can inspire you to prepare the right checklist of requirements before you start looking for an Executive Chef.

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8 Key Skills, Experience To Look For In An Executive Chef

We’ve narrowed the search to focus on 8 skills that your Executive Chef must possess. Their job description requires them to possess expertise in all aspects of food preparation as well as kitchen management.

Knowledge of the Restaurant Business

An Executive Chef must be well-versed in the restaurant business if they are to serve the establishment skilfully, wouldn’t you agree? It is a prerequisite to be aware of how restaurant businesses run to serve as an able Executive Chef. They should know the ins and outs of operating a kitchen and a restaurant.

A candidate needs to have an in-depth understanding of their competition in the market, possess a thorough knowledge of how a restaurant runs and must have innovative ideas to take the business to greater heights. Sufficient familiarity with the field is something you should stress on.

Managerial Capability

The culinary world has a lot of processes that require smooth integration. The Executive Chef must have management skills that facilitate an error-free environment. They should be armed with the practical skills of inventory management of food supplies and equipment to run a kitchen effectively. Recruiting and managing kitchen staff falls under the ambit of their duties.

When hiring Executive Chefs, restaurant owners should ensure that the candidates aren’t easily overwhelmed by their responsibilities but are capable of carrying them out with diligence and authority.

Ensure that they can live up to the challenges in the kitchen. Delegating multiple tasks at the same time shouldn’t be scary to them. This is one essential skill you can’t afford to ignore!

Clever Menu planning and Pricing

The Executive Chef is much more than just the person who runs the kitchen! He or she should be well versed in the competitive world of menu planning, which is key to attracting customers and orders. It required an acute business sense in addition to market knowledge.

For this, Executive Chefs need to be conscious of the current best practices and food preferences trending. Restaurants have had to close down for much less than pricing the food wrong.

Over time, the Executive Chef would be required to modify and update the menu as per changing trends. The candidate needs the skills to plan an innovative menu and ensure the food prices are desirable and accurate.

Giving this level of authority and control in the hands of the wrong person puts a lot at risk! For executive chef recruiters, most successful restaurants prefer to work with a chef headhunter.

Ensuring Health Standards

A restaurant should never compromise with its safety regulations. To carry your restaurant to greater heights, it needs to offer a top-notch quality experience in compliance with health standards and safety measures.

If you are looking for an Executive Chef, find out more about the track records of chef candidates. He or she must ensure that the staff is strict about regulations. That includes stringent checking and an uncompromising attitude while providing that no one in the kitchen violates the rules.

A restaurant’s good name once lost is lost forever, and violating safety standards could result in a health hazard! Ensure that the person you’re hiring has an inflexible attitude towards complying with safety measures.

Ample Industry Experience

Hiring a person without adequate industry experience can be tiresome for you and them. Living up to the challenges of the culinary world demands experience. Your kitchen could be turned into a mess with an inadequate person in charge. Asking for their professional expertise is a must!

When considering Executive Chef hire, the candidate needs to possess 7 to 10 years of experience in managing kitchens and chefs. For a bigger restaurant, the Executive Chef hire has to be someone who has the required expertise acquired through managing large kitchens.

Academic qualification is essential, but it should be complemented with industry experience when considering an Executive Chef hire.

Shortlist your candidates with their professional capacities in mind when hiring Executive Chefs. The restaurant would be in chaos with an inept Executive Chef in charge of the kitchen. Previous experience is mandatory to manage the kitchen skillfully.

Inspiring and Inventive Vision

It is not enough that your candidate is skilled in managing the kitchen; they should be innovative and inventive if they are to make the kitchen stand out from the tough competition out there. Merely carrying out their responsibilities is not enough. Assure that the Executive Chef hire has a definite vision for the restaurant to act on. Without direction, your establishment would fail to stand firm for long. The Executive Chef’s plans to ensure the best customer experience matter significantly in the long run.

Without a creative mind in charge, the restaurant would fall out of favor with customers. Their passion for running the kitchen and extending culinary value should be an essential factor that helps you make your decision. Unoriginal vision and laziness is the last thing you need!

Administrative Skills

An Executive Chef must possess administrative skills to run the kitchen effortlessly. The ability to integrate several departments within the kitchen falls under their responsibility. Someone with excellent organizational skills must control the noise and hassle inside the kitchen.

Restaurants are known to be fast-paced, high-pressure environments where authority must be present for flawless functioning. Consistency can only be achieved by exercising an excellent command over the team in the kitchen.

The Executive Chef hire should be able to live up to the demands of the kitchen and perform exceedingly well to see to it that the kitchen is well and thriving. The Executive Chef hire should have the right temperament to manage the intimidating atmosphere. The kitchen can be stressful, and the Executive Chef must navigate it well.

Experience with Staff Management

We don’t think of the kitchen as requiring great fellow feeling within to work efficiently. But. the truth is that it is an environment that demands appreciable coordination and amity. The kitchen staff plays a significant role in producing the desired results.

The Executive Chef must make meaningful connections with the team working for them and build professional bonds to ensure the environment runs frictionlessly. Seamless cooperation is key to delivering high-quality food to the table. The ability to remove even the slightest strand of miscommunication in the kitchen is a skill the Executive Chef needs to master.

Ensuring that your staff is efficient and happy assures the harmony of the kitchen. They’ll need to bring them all together under the same roof and manage their payroll. For that, the Executive Chef requires a detailed study of the wages they deserve for their work. Underpaying them would end in conflict and hostility. A person with good interpersonal skills would be perfect for the role. Discord between the Executive Chef and the staff would mean a disaster for the kitchen!

Qualifications of an Executive Chef

Graduate/Postgraduate degree in Culinary Arts or Hotel Management

The Executive Chef’s formal qualifications include a graduate/postgraduate degree in Culinary Arts or Hotel Management. People with previous experience working in a restaurant with similar titles are preferred. Depending on the size and type of your restaurant and its culinary offerings, you might have to look for specialized certifications.

Knowledge of Restaurant Management Software

A Restaurant Management Software helps manage a restaurant easily by carrying out critical functions. The academic qualification of the Executive Chef must be supplemented by knowledge of the restaurant management software. Its working knowledge is necessary to stay ahead of the competition and make an impact.

Financial Knowledge of Restaurant Business

Before hiring Executive Chefs, restaurants should be able to manage the financial aspect of the restaurant business. When hiring Executive Chefs, restaurants should check if the candidate has excellent financial knowledge, which is necessary to accumulate profit effectively. Financial literacy is a much sought out skill in an Executive Chef.

Knowledge of Food Sanitation Regulations

The candidate should have an understanding of food sanitation regulations and health standards. Strong knowledge of local and state food sanitation regulations is necessary. The kitchen staff should be supervised with utmost focus on detail to ensure the regulations are carried out. Planning and directing food preparation that complies with safety standards is a duty they need to carry out with rigor.


The hiring process can make or break your business because an Executive Chef is responsible for much more than just the kitchen. The best way to ensure getting access to superior candidates and win their trust is through an established chef recruitment agency with chef headhunters who are experts in managing the end-to-end Executive chef hiring process. Make sure to be mindful of all the skills mentioned above while making your choice!

Connect With Great Talents

Alliance Recruitment Agency

Alliance Recruitment Agency makes your job easier by helping you recruit the best available chefs for your kitchen. They understand the hiring process better than any other, and the services they offer are unparalleled globally. A trusted name in the hiring process, the agency’s reputation soars high above all others. Consult with Alliance Recruitment Agency if you are looking for an Executive Chef, and find an outstanding Executive Chef hire!