Finding the Right Development Chef Job
Now you have established you have the right skills and experience for a Development Chef role, you need to find a job. But how?
We advise looking on our website primarily Chef Jobs. We are the market leaders in Development Chef recruitment and the majority of our clients will only use Focus Management and its Focus Chefs division due to the expertise we can offer.
Next, you need to apply for the role by sending your CV. It is important to make sure your CV is perfect before submitting your application. Recruiters receive hundreds of CVs on a daily basis so there is no room for poor grammar and spelling mistakes. Your CV needs to be the best it can be so please read our tips on writing your CV. before applying. The recruiter will then contact you if your CV is of interest for current jobs or possibly for the future.
The first thing to establish is the location of the role. Is it a job you can easily commute to? Or one that you would be willing to relocate for? You may be very eager to get in to a Development Chef role but agreeing to commute for 90 minutes each way everyday may seem ok in theory but in reality is a very big commitment. If you are required to start early or work late one day, it can have a big impact on your lifestyle, and clients want employees who are going to be loyal and not leave after a short time because they have over-promised.
The next factor to consider is the type of business you will be working for and most importantly the products it manufactures. If you are an experienced pastry chef and your passion and forte is desserts, then a role developing premium-end desserts for the business that supplies major retailers such as Waitrose and M&S would be ideal. However, working on the development of chilled soup products would not be a match for your particular skills and experience.
If you have strong knowledge across a variety of cuisines then working in a very broad role developing ready meals for example would be a fantastic opportunity for you; similarly if you were a specialist in Indian cuisine then a role focusing on Indian style products would be a great fit.
We may advertise a business development role where you would be employed by an ingredients business working with end-users on starches for their sauces. This not only requires chef knowledge but also a commercial element, so would suit a chef with good business acumen who is comfortable working with numbers.
It is also important to consider what training a potential new employer can offer you. Making the transition from a restaurant environment to a Development Chef role within a manufacturing environment will require support, so it’s important to consider the size of the New Product Development (NPD) team and if there is resource within that team you can learn from.
Salary and benefits are another very important consideration. There is great potential to earn well in a Development Chef role but starting salaries can on occasion be lower than your current wage. After all, an employer is potentially taking a risk and may need to provide costly extensive training and development to help you in your job change. This is an important consideration and you must be very comfortable with salary and package before taking an application any further. It is key to demonstrate to the recruiter and employer your commitment to the role and that you have thought through all aspects of the role in detail.
The job level and its accountabilities are the next thing to consider. We recruit for all types of Development Chef role including:
• Sample Chefs – this involves making up customer product samples. It requires a chef who can work to high standards of quality and accuracy and who is comfortable carrying out quite repetitive tasks.
• Junior Development Chef – this would typically involve supporting a more senior Development Chef on projects as well as being given some of your own projects. A great first step for a creative junior chef wanting to transition into the industry and gain experience.
• Development Chef – this would be for the more experienced restaurant chef who is highly creative with substantial food knowledge and well-honed communication skills.
• Senior or Executive Development Chef – would only suit a highly experienced chef who has worked across the industry, probably internationally, and has gained significant recognition and awards.
• Ingredients Development Chef – This role would operate within a supplier rather than an end-product manufacturer and involves finding end uses for ingredients, showing how these can be used across a wide variety of dishes.
It is also important to think about what career opportunity the potential new employer can offer you. Are you a steady-eddy who is looking for a stable role that fits your current skills, in which case a job with clearly defined daily tasks would be important? Or are you more ambitious and looking for a career path and opportunities to work on different product areas and categories?
It is really important that all of this is taken into consideration in choosing which jobs to apply for. You are much more likely to get, succeed in and enjoy a well-matched role.
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