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How to Become a Kitchen Porter

Doris Benitez
Reading time: 3 min

Working as a kitchen porter involves a lot more than washing dishes, and it’s the kind of role that will never leave you bored. It is an excellent starting point for working in catering, giving you the chance to be a team-player in busy kitchens. You can develop a range of skills, supported by practical experience as well as obtaining work-related qualifications. There are strict guidelines you will be required to work within, which include health and safety and basic food hygiene.

Check out the following information on working as a kitchen porter, so you can decide whether this is something you want to take further.

Job Basics

• Entry Salary – £13,000
• Experienced Salary – £18,000
• Average Hours – 37-40 (full-time); approx 20 (part-time)

What does a Kitchen Porter do?

The list below isn’t exhaustive but provides details on key aspects of the role. You will have responsibility for keeping the kitchen hygienic and safe to work in.

• Organise the storeroom(s)

• Unload deliveries

• Collect and wash plates, cutlery, pots/pans

• Make sure clean pots/pans, plates and cutlery are quickly reusable

• Disinfect and clean work surfaces, appliances, floors and walls

• Ensure kitchen utensils/equipment/appliances are correctly stored

• Waste disposal and recycling

• Where appliable, basic food prep

You will assist in the efficient running of very busy kitchens and will be responsible for maintaining a clean and tidy environment.

What Qualities Should You Have?

You will be working in very busy, fast-moving kitchens so it’s important that you enjoy this type of environment. As well as applying your practical skills and experience, you need to be quick thinking and able to draw on your own initiative to identify and carry out tasks. Being observant is essential – noticing a spill on the floor that needs cleaning – and you must be able to follow instructions and remain calm under pressure. Kitchens can get stifling to work in, and you will be washing dishes at hot sinks, so physical and mental stamina are essential. Having a can-do and enthusiastic attitude will serve you well in this role.

How do You Become Qualified?

If you are looking to progress, there are opportunities to train as a kitchen assistant, chef or front-of-house. Although a kitchen porter is an entry-level role, it will be beneficial to have a basic grasp of food hygiene. You may get on-job opportunities to get certificated in health and safety. There is a range of college-based and online training that offer courses from food preparation and hygiene to diplomas in kitchen management. You will also need command of English and it’s an advantage to have a good secondary education.

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