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Good day to all,

Bit of a problem here, I run a 350 room, 5* hotel kitchen with 9 outlets plus banqueting for up to 2000 (average is about 400/night).    The hotel is currently in a third world country so staff have minimal knowledge of western cuisine.   The outlets are 1 large buffet seating 120 + small a la carte menu and room service, 2 a la carte restaurants seating 60, one dessert bar seating 50, 1 lobby lounge for 20, 1 Exec. lounge seating 20, 1 asian restaurant seating 90, and one Pool bar with sandwich menu's and the Banquet kitchen.    My question is assuming 1 day off a week + 1 month annual leave and 15 public holidays, what amount of cooks will you require?    Im asking as Im butting heads with our budgeting department as I feel we need more staff and he believes its to much.    Ill let you know my staffing level in a few weeks when i get everyones thoughts.   (This does not include stewarding)


EDIT: Please will the idiots who are posting resumes just stop posting here, its a discussion, if i was looking for employees I would say that!!!



All Im looking for is a rough estimate of how much staff you could use to run a 5* kitchen so assume we have lots of live cooking and provide the best for our guests!

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you can always contact with me i'am ready to help 00639284105686 international Executive chef Malek Mike Elsafadi
Dear Chef,
Speaking from experience, you will have to provide a detailed "working time line" of your chefs and stewarding team if you want to prove your case. Depending on the type of cuisine, fine dining vs. buffet vs, coffee shop, room service etc, you'll have to make a time line for each outlet per hours of operation, mis en place and closing / cleaning up.

Develop a 24 hour time line laying out your team position by position per outlet / or person to position per outlet. Depending on the level of cooking will determine the amount of cooks. Some restaurants 30 covers to 1 cook will be sufficient while in other outlets it could be up to 100 covers to 1 cook. Pay very close attention to occupancy's and banquet forcasts as they are your key indicators. You might have to use chefs that can be used at peak times in one reatuarant and then switch to another outlet throughout the day. Think outside the box at creative schedualing. Example: do you really need 3 cooks in at 7:00 am when the rush is at 9:00am? Use your best stewards in down times to assit with mis en place, they in turn will make your best new cooks. You can purchase such software programs like "Time Saver" to assist you with this but, I personally as a Chef, I would stay away from this. It can be brutal!!

Coming from an Executive Chef background with over 20 years in Asia, you need to multi-skill your team and keep them active and productive. Since leaving the kitchens and now Corporate Director of F&B / GM and Managing Director, you want to ensure that your team is productive and not standing around. I would also make it clear to your team, that you are under the gun and the management are looking to maximise productivity / productive Chefs.

Depending on your relationship with your team is how motivated your team is in helping you achieve your guidelines. Put pressure on your Sous Chefs to keep the Chefs productive in all aspects. Any manager can cut, cut and cut, but the key is to maintain a very high level of committment from your team, high levels of productivity and motivation, maintaining the highest levels of quality without compromising quality or service to the guests. If you can find this balance, you've found the key.
Good luck,
Please see my website at if they require a chef.

Best Regards,

Chef Tony Baran
dear chef
im executive chef still pending for position and willing to make move with any destination with extensive experience and hand on with western cuisine as french ,italian,mediteranean,american brasserie style and large experience with south asia cuisine as malaysia,singapore,thailand,vietnam ,plus chinise and japenese and indian cuisine that my email if you need any help
with rhanks
Can you please advise hours of operations of each Outlet;-

1) Banqueting for up to 2000 (average is about 400/night).
2) The outlets are 1 large buffet seating 120 + small a la carte menu and room service,
3) 2 a la carte restaurants seating 60,
4) one dessert bar seating 50,
5) 1 lobby lounge for 20,
6) Exec. lounge seating 20,
7) 1 asian restaurant seating 90,
8) One Pool bar with sandwich menu's

It would be helpful to know which Outlets have attached satellite kitchens and which ones are catered through the Main Kitchen. Besides you will need staff for Butchery, Garde Manger, Bakery, Pastry, Saucier etc. In the country of your operation, are break shifts allowed, and if allowed then within how many total hours should the break shift be completed. For eg. 9 hours of break shift within 12 hours or period. In some countries one can call staff 11-3.30 and 1900 to 2330 p.m., which is within a 14 hours period but not 0700 to 1100 and then 1900 to 0000 which is a 17 hour period.

Please advise what is requested and we can accurately help you out.


Dhiren Johar
1) Banqueting for up to 2000 (average is about 400/night). open any time usually weddings till 3am
2) The outlets are 1 large buffet seating 120 + small a la carte menu and room service, 24 hours
3) 2 a la carte restaurants seating 60, lunch and dinner
4) one dessert bar seating 50, all day till 10pm
5) 1 lobby lounge for 20, 24 hours
6) Exec. lounge seating 20, 24 hours
7) 1 asian restaurant seating 90, lunch and dinner
8) One Pool bar with sandwich menu's 9am-9pm

These are the hours. I know the proper staffing and all, I'm just curious what other proffessionals would ask for in staffing. For the guys who want a job, please look elsewhere. The thing I want to know is, our GM wants us to cut our staffing to 80 and we in the kitchen are not finding it possible so i thought if I get some other opinions i can go to him as well and show him that most if not all chefs agree 80 is to little.
Dear Mr. Mike,

Culinary Greetings...........

Thanking You for the facts given:

Though Occupanacy level(Expected), nature of demand of Guests, Guest Mix etc., Equipment Support level, training levels etc. etc. were not provided:

Assuming a 70% Average Occupancy,(on a swing bwetrween 50 - 70 %), that it is a newly opening Property, and that adequate Training: Staffing of 95 in Kitchen would be sufficient for the start.

High Regards

Philip Varghese
Hello Be and greetings from fellow canadian hotelier,

It's hard to help you as we don't know what type of hotel is it, if buffet has many show cooking stations, opening hours of the outlets, type of food in the bars if any, etc... In which location are you working? It sounds to me like your first expat experience, isn't it?

you can email me,

Alain Richard
Hi Chef
If you can get the labor cost for the last few years and place a % of rev. Then when you have the total cost. make your schedule on numbers not cooks, when you have a clear picture , just ask the finance department what % of rev is allotted to kitchen for the year. Let them come back to you with a %. If I am right they are Not considering the kitchen separately, they maybe considering total F&B in the Philippines after long discussions :( my labor was 6% of total food sales, and then I worked around that number. Look at forecast sales that your sales department or finance has for up-coming year and then you will know what you are able to spend on labor. (it should be good) its a long process but if you do your homework first then have a plan of attack.. THEN HIT THE GM WITH YOUR SOLID SCHEDULE IT MAY WORK OUT FOR YOU. Good Luck and culinary regards
chef can you tell me the exact manpower you have right your kitchen labour cost is crossing 7% of your sale.if you are working with 68 to 72 person u nnder your hand it means your kitchen staff is enough, but with this manpower you you will require to start breakshift. with multi tasking people. any way you dont require more than 80 staff. any way if you have same type of setup in india we run the hotel with 72 staff.
all the best incase of any holp contact me-08109012136
Dear Chef

As per your details and my calculation of total cover including room guest and as per normal occupency of Hotel keyway and cover visitor you have to caluculate 26-28% as per cover, means you need total production staffing only 92 to 97 people who can worked as per roaster,
If you need Hotel Consultancy services than you contact me at 0091-9999927719
Rakesh Kadam
Principal Consultant
hi chef
my advice to you is to take it easy, keep calm,use your brain and not your emotions to deal with the situation. what ever your religion, pray to god and he will show and guide you.
all the best.


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