Chef required for Manchester's first waste food pay-as-you-feel restaurant!
Job Title: Chef
Responsible To: Head Chef
Working With: Sous Chef, Front of House Manager, Project Directors, Volunteer Coordinator and Volunteers.
Hours: Approx 20 hours per week. Regular hours are open to negotiation. Ideally we would like someone who could do a mix of days and evenings. Hours are likely to increase as the project grows.
Pay: £8.45 per hour - Real Junk Food Manchester is committed to being a Real Living Wage Employer
Contract: Initial 12 month contract, with 6 month probationary period. Minimum hours contract (15 hours minimum each week)
Holidays: 28 days per annum FTE
Location: Real Junk Food Manchester Restaurant. 85 Oxford Street, Manchester City Centre, M1 6EQ
To produce high quality dishes using only “wasted food” ingredients whilst supporting the Head Chef in the day to day running of the kitchen. Supervise and support volunteers through food production, presentation and service, with support from Head Chef & Front of House Manager, Directors and volunteers. Support the Head Chef and the Volunteer Coordinator in inductions, and formal and informal training and teaching of volunteers and staff. Ensure a high standard of hygiene is achieved in food preparation areas at all times and instil a culture of food safety throughout the project. To work with social media volunteers to share recipes and images that inspire people to reduce food waste. When the Head Chef is absent your role will be to manage the food operation making sure the day to day running of the kitchen is smooth and efficient and the relevant paperwork and procedures are followed.
Duties & Responsibilities
• To develop new breakfast, lunch and evening fine dining menus each day using only intercepted “waste food” ingredients. The menus should be appropriate for the type of service. The menu each day should include a range of dishes to support the project in attracting a range of customers, including vegetarian, vegan, healthy, and gluten free options.
• To develop menus and dishes for external and social events a required.
• To work creatively with waste food ingredients to ensure the absolute minimum of food goes un-used from the project. This includes regularly checking stock to use ingredients that are likely to become unusable
• To consider fast and efficient service in the development of dishes. The vast majority of dishes to be taken away should go from order to service in 5 minutes or less. Any dishes that will take longer than this to be served should be communicated to the front of house manager, or served only on an eat in basis.
• To ensure that each service (breakfast, lunch or evening service) is ready to serve on time, and to ensure that the front of house team have a written menu, with dietary and allergy information at least 15 minutes before the start of each service to ensure menu boards are written on time.
• To support on capturing, storing (and sharing) images of food for social media.
• To ensure that hygienic working practices are carried and that a culture of food safety is instilled throughout the project. This includes following strict cleaning schedules, opening and closing checks and monitoring volunteers and other staff members.
• To work closely with volunteers, and embed informal training and “up-skilling” into working practices.
• To ensure that all administration and recording procedures are carried out in relation to food safety.
• Responsibility for safe food storage, labeling, and stock rotation to further reduce food waste for the project.
• Keep an accurate record of your own working hours for the project, and any holidays, sickness or absence.
• Attend regular briefing meetings with the team.
Qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience
• An excellent chef with a flexible style
• Someone with a real passion for, and knowledge of food. We are looking for an incredibly creative person who will enjoy the challenge of ever changing ingredients, and developing new recipes to reduce food waste.
• Strong ethics – someone who supports our mission to reduce food waste, has an interest in sustainability, and values people over profits. Someone who wants to make a real difference in this world.
• A good team player – this role involves working with an incredibly varied customer base, as well as working with a range of staff and volunteers. The project is also gaining significant media attention which we expect to increase.
• Someone who is willing to learn how to train others. We are looking for someone with patience and good informal / on the job teaching and training skills who can bring out the best in those around them.
• Team work – someone who enjoys working as part of a strong team with clear goals.
The Chef will be based at the Real Junk Food Project Manchester restaurant at 85 Oxford Street, M1 6EQ. You may be asked to work at other sites from time to time, and may be asked to work off site for events. You are expected to maintain a smart appearance and good level of personal hygiene for the role.
Physical Requirements of the Job
The role involves standing for long periods of time, running up and down stairs to liaise with the front of house team, and involves regular lifting of crates of food, which can be quite heavy (up to 15kg). The staff member will need to be in physical condition to meet the requirements of the job. All efforts will be made by the project to adapt the job role should the staff member suffer any injury or illness that affects physical ability.
About the Project
Real Junk Food Manchester is an innovative social enterprise. In September 2017 we opened Manchester’s first waste food pay-as-you-feel restaurant. The project sources food that would otherwise go to waste from supermarkets, wholesalers, and other sources, creates amazing meals, and serves them to anyone and everyone on a pay-as-you-feel basis.
This is not a food bank; at its heart the project is about waste and sustainability, highlighting the astounding amount of perfectly edible food that goes to waste at every point in our food chain. The project aims to rescue as much wasted food as possible, and do the lowest carbon thing we can with it - feed bellies not bins. The project also has a strong ethical base, fighting for equal access to good food for all, and campaigning for changes that help our environment and our communities, and make our food system fair and more sustainable.
Since we started in May 2014 we have been a pop-up project, rescuing food destined for the bin and using it to make meals for a variety of audiences. In that time we have catered weddings and gala fundraising dinners, taught cooking lessons, and supported people in severe food poverty. The project demonstrates that the vast majority of food that is wasted in the UK is perfectly edible by turning it into amazing dishes for everyone.
All of our meals are served on a pay-as-you-feel basis because we feel strongly that everyone has the right to enough food and great food, and we work hard to make our project inclusive and accessible to all. All of the ingredients we use are 100% food that would have otherwise gone to waste - no exceptions. The project is a great mix of practical and political and we campaign strongly through social media for changes to our food system.
We have moved into a new phase of our project, operating Manchester’s first “waste food” restaurant in the heart of the city centre. The vibe is a cool city centre eatery that attracts a wide range of customers, where all of the meals just happen to be created from food that would have been wasted, and served on a pay-as-you-feel basis. This is an innovative social experiment that is already gaining a great deal of media and academic attention.
The restaurant is busier every day, and we are now expanding the team to increase the number of days and evenings we open.
The project is staffed by a mix of paid employees and volunteers, so we are also looking for someone who is a great communicator and enjoys supporting and teaching others. We are investigating the potential to offer more structured placements and training opportunities, and may look to offer more formal qualifications in the future, which would come with more support and links to education centres.
This job description covers the main areas of duties and responsibilities of a Chef at Real Junk Food Manchester. It is not exhaustive and the duties and responsibilities may change from time to time in line with the project needs. This will always be negotiated.
What can we offer you?
Real Junk Food Manchester is a small, innovative organisation with a clear mission and a good sense of ethics. We value people not profits, and are looking for the right person to get stuck in and help us build something amazing.
We are a caring organisation and will invest in the people who invest in us, whether that be training, support or equipment. Unlike a lot of positions in the food industry we are happy to be flexible with hours and holidays. The opportunity exists here to join a small team and create the job you want. Hard work will be essential, but we are an organisation that believes you should get back as much as you put in. Also, free meals for life.