How Many Hours Do Chefs Work a Week?

Last Updated on May 31, 2023 by Lauren Beck

As a culinary enthusiast who has spent countless hours in bustling kitchens, I understand the demanding schedule that chefs endure. 

So, how many hours do these kitchen maestros work in a week? Let’s delve into the world of chefs and uncover the truth behind their often intense and time-consuming profession.

How Many Hours Do Chefs Work a Week?

Chefs typically work around 50 to 60 hours per week, but the exact number can vary based on the establishment and kitchen demands.

How Many Hours Does a Chef Work a Day?

The number of hours a chef works daily can vary depending on the establishment, their role, and the kitchen demands. 

However, it’s not uncommon for chefs to put in long hours, ranging from 10 to 14 hours or even more during busy periods.

Do Chefs Get Breaks?

While breaks are essential for productivity and well-being, the reality is that chefs often have limited time for breaks, especially during peak service hours. 

However, many professional kitchens try to incorporate short breaks or “family meals” where staff can quickly grab a bite to eat and recharge.

Do All Chef Jobs Have Long Hours?

While the culinary industry is notorious for its long hours, not all chef jobs require extensive shifts. 

The hours can vary depending on the type of establishment and the specific role within the kitchen. 

Fine dining restaurants and high-end establishments generally demand longer hours, while other settings like catering or corporate dining may offer more regular working hours.

What Is the Average Day of a Chef?

The average day of a chef starts early, with preparations for the day’s service, including menu planning, ingredient sourcing, and prepping ingredients. 

As the day progresses, chefs oversee the cooking process, manage staff, handle food orders, and ensure quality control. 

The day usually ends with post-service tasks, such as cleaning, inventory management, and planning for the next day.

Is Chef a Stressful Job?

Staff Working on a Kitchen

Being a chef is undoubtedly a demanding and stressful job. The pressure to deliver consistently high-quality dishes, manage a team, and meet customers’ expectations can create a highly stressful environment. 

However, it’s important to note that the stress level can vary depending on the establishment, the chef’s experience, and their ability to manage the kitchen effectively.

Can You Live Comfortably as a Chef?

The earning potential for chefs can vary greatly depending on their experience, skills, location, and the establishment they work for. 

While top chefs in high-end establishments can command substantial salaries, entry-level positions may not provide the same financial stability [1]. 

Living comfortably as a chef is possible, but it often requires dedication, experience, and career advancement.

What Happens When a Cook Walks Out?

In high-pressure kitchen environments, it’s not uncommon for a cook to walk out, leaving the rest of the team to pick up the slack. 

When this happens, the remaining staff must rally together, adapt to the situation, and continue serving customers as smoothly as possible. 

It’s a challenging moment that tests the teamwork and resilience of the kitchen staff.


In my culinary adventures, I’ve witnessed firsthand the dedication and hard work chefs put into their craft. 

While the number of hours chefs work in a week can vary, it’s not uncommon for them to log around 50 to 60 hours, and sometimes more during busy times. 

The demanding nature of the culinary industry demands long hours, irregular schedules, and a relentless pursuit of culinary excellence. It’s a profession that requires passion, resilience, and a love for the craft. 

So, the next time you savor a delicious dish, remember the countless hours chefs devote to creating culinary magic.


Lauren Beck
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