Catering Jobs

At the John Lewis Partnership, we’re passionate about using ingredients with provenance to produce fresh seasonal meals that are second to none.

It’s not just for our customers either – whether you’re visiting The Place To Eat at John Lewis & Partners or backstage in our Partner Dining Rooms, you’ll find the same quality food on offer, cooked to the highest possible standards.

That’s because great dishes are for everyone, and we’re proud to put ethically sourced and delicious food first throughout the UK’s largest in-house Catering offering.

At the heart of that are our Chefs, who use their passion for fine food to cook up great dining experiences for customers and Partners alike. We’re always looking for fresh talent to join us, and in return, you’ll enjoy the outstanding benefits and rewards that come from cooking with the John Lewis Partnership.

John Lewis Chef preparing food in the kitchen

What will I do?

As a Chef, you might be preparing fresh meals for both customers and Partners at one of our John Lewis and Waitrose branches, in our Partner Dining Rooms, and or in some of the UK’s most beautiful landscapes at our exclusive Hotels. We also recruit Chefs for our Waitrose Cookery Schools, where you’ll entertain customers and Partners alike and help them master everything from breadmaking to that perfect pastry.

These roles are all underpinned by the same values for providing great food to the highest standards, as it doesn’t matter whether you’re cooking meals for customers, other Partners, or the Chefs of tomorrow attending your workshop.

Wherever you’re based across the John Lewis Partnership, you’ll work with fresh and quality seasonal produce. Day to day tasks could include:

  • Prepare, cook and present meals to the highest standard in fast-paced environments
  • Maintaining a clean, tidy and safe kitchen environment
  • Avoiding food wastage through portion control, preparation and storage methods
  • Controlling and monitoring stock
  • Operating and cleaning cooking equipment
  • Putting together menus
  • Training and upskilling other Partners in the Catering team
Who will I work with?

No matter where you’re based, as a Chef with the John Lewis Partnership you’ll lead, support and upskill our teams of Catering Partners at John Lewis, Food Service Partners at Waitrose, and Hospitality Partners at our Partner Hotels.

If you’re based in one of our Partner Dining Rooms, then you’ll be bringing a smile to hardworking Partners by providing them with delicious breakfasts, lunch and dinner at our Head Offices, Contact Centres, Warehouses, and at our Distribution Centres.

The other internal and external stakeholders you’ll be in contact with include:

  • Line Managers
  • Leadership Teams
  • Maintenance
  • Group Food Hygiene & Safety Managers
  • Operations Managers
  • Environment Health Officers
  • Suppliers
What do I need to be a Chef with the John Lewis Partnership?

As a Chef with the John Lewis Partnership, your passion for food must be vast and your motivation needs to be top notch in order to inspire others around you and succeed. The role involves using your knowledge, experience and expertise to support and train your colleagues to deliver quality food to a high standard.

There will be different required qualifications and experience depending on which level of our Chef roles you’re applying for, whether those are Chef de Partie, Sous Chef, Commis Chef or Head Chef opportunities.

You’ll need Kitchen Experience, PC Literacy and cooking qualifications such as a BTEC or HNC will assist you in your application. Food Safety Level 3 is highly desirable across the board, but for all roles excluding Head Chef, this can be taught within three months of joining. Strong communication skills to keep up with the rest of the kitchen are essential, as well as keen attention to detail and health and safety to uphold our high standards.

We look for the highest standards because this role is unique among Catering industry roles. That’s because as a Chef with John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose& Partners, you’re not just preparing fine food, but a co-owner of the John Lewis Partnership, the largest employee-owned company in the UK.

This means that:

  • You’ll receive a percentage of the profits from John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners each year as an annual Bonus.
  • We care for your wellbeing both in and out of work. We put in a range of measures to nourish interests out of work with ticket subsidies, sports and social clubs, and subsidised stays at our exclusive Partnership hotels.
  • As a democracy, you can make your voice heard on everything from new initiatives to the overall direction of John Lewis and Waitrose through our Partnership Voice system, voting, and representatives on our elected councils.

Co-ownership is a privilege, but it also carries a responsibility – we work hard because we want to do well. We want people who appreciate what the Partnership difference means and who are willing to do that extra bit more as a result.

What training and development will I receive?

Alongside the on-the-job training you will receive from your colleagues and the day to day experience, we recognise that providing training and development programmes are key to progression. For example, if you are aiming to progress from Sous Chef to Head Chef, we can guide you through development pathways to achieve your goals and develop into the best Partner you can be. We believe that encouraging our Partners to be constantly curious and mindful is key to discovering new opportunities.

As a Chef, you’ll find a clearly structured development pathway as you progress in your Catering career:

Head Chef Opportunities

As Head Chef, you will lead an eager team of Chefs and Kitchen Porters. Your passion for food must be vast and your motivation needs to be top notch in order to inspire others around you and succeed. The role involves using your knowledge, experience and expertise to support and train your colleagues to deliver quality food to a high standard. A Food Safety Level 3 qualification is required for this role.

As Head Chef, you will:

  • Take responsibility for our business success
  • Build strong internal and external relationships powered by our principles
  • Create real influence over colleagues working lives and training where necessary
  • Interpret financial snapshots, relaying information to the Catering team

Commis Chef Opportunities

As a Commis Chef, you will be a vital member of the Catering team and must be motivated, with a passion for food. You’ll assist in the planning, production and delivery of the food on offer to customers and Partners. You’ll play an active role in your own progression by taking initiative and responsibility for your own learning and self-development within John Lewis. It’s also important to comply with all the food safety policies necessary to maintain our impressive food reputation at all times.

As a Commis Chef, you will:

  • Be proactive in your own self-development in order to progress
  • Report to the Head Chef, learning from them where possible
  • Respond in a polite and effective manner to all customer queries
  • Achieve sales targets by ensuring excellent execution of food selling

Sous Chef Opportunities

In the role of a Sous Chef, you will assist the Head Chef in planning, producing, delivering food, and taking responsibility for the kitchen for them in their absence. You’ll be bursting with ideas to invent, produce and present quality dishes that perfectly match what’s in keeping for the particular establishment. A combination of managing food production, balancing a passion for sales, alongside the need to deliver profit through strict cost control, are all factors needed to perform well.

As a Sous Chef, you’ll:

  • Flexibly support other areas of the Catering department
  • Achieve sales targets through ensuring maximum availability and execution of the menu
  • Provide outstanding guest experiences through becoming a brand ambassador
  • Respond in an effective and positive manner to all guest queries or complaints

Chef de Partie Opportunities

The Chef de Partie moves between helping at the heart of the Catering team and assisting the Head Chef and Sous Chef, as well as deputising in either of their absences. You’ll be starting to invent, produce and present quality dishes, and begin taking responsibility for your own learning and self-development with the assistance of colleagues, primarily the Head Chef.

As a Chef de Partie, you will be:

  • Building internal and external relationships
  • Carrying out stock control processes to manage wastage and minimise loss
  • Responding in a positive and effective manner to queries or complaints
  • Achieving sales targets by ensuring excellent execution of the food dish by dish as well as through the overall menu
What benefits will I enjoy In the role?

As a Partner at John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose& Partners, you’ll be entitled to our industry leading benefits. Cooking with the John Lewis Partnership will pave the way for you to enjoy our annual bonus, discounts at both Waitrose and John Lewis, subsidised stays at our exclusive Partnership hotels, generous Pension Schemes, Sports Clubs and Societies and even Extended Leave.

What shift patterns are available?

Whether you’re looking for full-time or part-time jobs, we have a range of shift pattern and hours to fit your lifestyle, whether you’re looking for weekend work only or for a weekday Chef role. Please check job descriptions to find the specified hours for our roles.

Across the year temporary roles may become available. Whether you’re looking for work over the summer or winter season, there’s sure to be an opportunity to do that. Register for an account and create a job alert to learn about specific opportunities or continue to check back regularly.

Apply Now For Chef Job Opportunities

With 50 John Lewis & Partners branches, over 348 Waitrose & Partners shops around the UK, we have a huge range of Chef opportunities available, whether you’re looking for cooking jobs in London, the South West, the Midlands or Scotland. Search for a current Chef opportunity near you.

Available roles at our exclusive Partner Hotels could see you enjoying a Chef role from some of the most beautiful locations in the UK. Learn more about our Partner Hotels and our Chef job opportunities in Berkshire, Poole, Hampshire, Wales, Snowdonia and the Lake District.

Take a look below to see our most recent Chef jobs across the John Lewis Partnership. Apply now.

See our current Chef jobs

Latest Head Office opportunities

Head Office

Restaurant Supervisor, Odney Hotel

 Cookham

 South East England

£8.53 - £11.14

Closing Date: 18/11/2018

Head Office

Commis Chef - Odney Hotel

 Cookham

 South East England

£8.53 - £ 11.14

Closing Date: 25/11/2018

Head Office

Chef De Partie - Odney Hotel

 Cookham

 South East England

£ 9.76 - £ 12.67

Closing Date: 25/11/2018