Senior production chef

Occupation overview

Senior production chefs strive to produce customers’ meals consistently to perfection according to predetermined specifications. They have the ability to work independently and lead a team in often hot and highly challenging kitchen environments. Production Chefs are likely to work in organisations where brands, recipes and menus have been created by a central development team. Production chefs and their teams work quickly and efficiently, producing food often in high volumes, which is repeated day after day, requiring energy, highly methodical organisational skills and attention to detail


  • Understand the principles of food preparation and cooking, knife selection and handling, taste, diet and nutrition, and how to bring these together in a challenging and time bound environment
  • Know the business or brand specifications and understand how to use them to create standardised menu items and dishes
  • Understand how technology supports the preparation and production of menu items and dishes
  • Know how to recognise malfunctions or hazards and work to agreed practices and guidelines to ensure a safe, clean and hygienic kitchen environment
  • Understand how personal approach and performance impacts on the successful production of menu items and dishes
  • Keep up to date knowledge of product range, brand development, promotions and current trends
  • Know the food safety practices and procedures to ensure the safe preparation and cooking of food
  • Know what to look for in ingredients and how to handle and store them to maintain quality, in line with food safety legislation
  • Know how to support and influence the team positively to deliver a high quality product
  • Recognise how all staff and teams are dependent on each other and understand the importance of teamwork both back and front of house in achieving business objectives
  • Understand how to work with people from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures and recognise how local demographics may impact on the product range of the business.  
  • Know how to communicate knowledge and experience to the team and support individuals’ development
  • Know the business vision and objectives and brand standards and the principles of business success by growing sales, reducing costs and maximising profit
  • Understand how to operate efficiently to deliver profit margins, reduce wastage and support the overall financial performance of the business
  • Recognise and understand legislative responsibilities and the importance of protecting peoples’ health, safety and security
  • Know how to identify, plan for and minimise risks to the service and operation
  • Know the customer profile of the business, who its main competitors are and the business growth strategy



  • Demonstrate a range of food preparation, knife and cooking skills and techniques to produce quality dishes in line with business requirements
  • Produce profitable menu items and dishes according to business specifications
  • Use technology appropriately and efficiently to support the production of food and ensure maintenance issues and malfunctions are dealt with promptly
  • Support team to deal with unexpected malfunctions or hazards that disrupt work activities
  • Ensure positive business or brand image is upheld in work activities and the delivery of products at all times
  • Exceed customer satisfaction by maintaining consistency in product and service quality
  • Prepare, cook and present food to agreed food safety practices and guidelines, ensuring a clean and hygienic kitchen environment is maintained at all times
  • Ensure ingredients are stored, prepared, cooked and presented to deliver a quality product that is safe for the consumer
  • Support team members and ensure the food produced is of high quality, delivered on time and to specification
  • Maintain harmony across the team and with colleagues in other parts of the organisation, identifying and dealing with problems constructively to drive a positive outcome
  • Use effective methods of communication and operate in a fair and empathic manner that achieves the desired result and demonstrates a customer centric culture
  • Identify development needs and actively encourage and support individuals to enhance their skills and knowledge
  • Effectively use techniques that support cost reduction and improve performance, revenue, profit margins and customers’ experience
  • Monitor costs, using forecasting to set realistic targets with the team; effectively control resource allocation; minimise wastage and use sustainable working practices
  • Comply with legal requirements and inspire customer confidence by maintaining the safety and security of people at all times
  • Risk assess situations, identifying and isolating matters of concern, by establishing the cause and intervening accordingly to minimise any risk to people and comply with legislation
  • Carry out activities in line with business and brand values that actively market the business, support competitiveness and help meet business objectives



  • Remain calm under pressure and handle many tasks at once ensuring they are completed at the right moment and to the agreed standard
  • Take a flexible and adaptable approach to meet business requirements
  • Use technology and equipment responsibly to ensure it is maintained in good working order
  • Be solution focussed when dealing with unexpected challenges
  • Demonstrate a belief in the value of products and services the business offers
  • Take ownership for keeping up to date with the business offer and brand developments
  • Take responsible decisions that support high standards of food safety practices
  • Use a considered approach to managing ingredients to maintain their quality and safety
  • Encourage the team to take a pride in their role through a consistently positive and professional approach
  • Be solution focussed to achieve the required outcome and support positive, open communications that help team members achieve the best result for customers and the business
  • Actively listen and empathise with other peoples’ point of view, respond politely and promote a fair, nondiscriminatory and equal working environment
  • Celebrate personal growth and achievement of team members
  • Demonstrate a keen business sense, producing food to brand standards efficiently and cost effectively
  • Actively discourage waste and work to avoid complaint related wastage; demonstrating commitment to sustainable working practices
  • Advocate the importance of working safely and legally in the best interest of all people
  • Think and act quickly to address problems as they arise and keep customers satisfied and operations flowing smoothly
  • Visibly and authentically live the brand, culture and values of the business through a passionate enthusiasm to provide everyone with the best possible experience


Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements, but it is expected that to start on this apprenticeship the individual would have already achieved a level of skills and knowledge to be able to prepare and cook a range of dishes.



Based on the entry requirements the minimum duration for this apprenticeship is 12 to 18 months. The apprenticeship can be spread over a longer period to allow for seasonal business operations


Professional Qualifications / Recognition

Chefs will gain experience in an operational role, typically without supervisory responsibilities before progressing onto this apprenticeship. Individuals that successfully achieve the senior chef apprenticeship in production cooking will be ready to progress onto a higher level position, apprenticeship or further training.



Originally published on, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.


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