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head chef

Wagamama

About Wagamama

Wagamama is a restaurant chain. They serve Japanese-inspired food.

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Job description from Wagamama

head chef | full time

at wagamama, we’re an eating house for the soul. with over 165 uk restaurants and growing, our purpose is to nourish the world from bowl to soul. inspired by fast-paced, japanese ramen bars since 1992. a celebration of asian food brought wagamama to life

we’re looking for a head chef to join us on our continuous journey of true nourishment

the role |

as a head chef at wagamama you'll lead your kitchen team in the wagamama way, live + breath our people promise, values and embody core leadership behaviours. you’ll be responsible for ensuring that every dish served by the kitchen team meets our high standards. you’ll look after the development and growth of your team through inspiring leadership, ensuring they are engaged, motivated, and high performing

our perks + quirks |

  • bonus scheme | up to £8,000 a year bonus opportunity

  • private medical insurance + pension scheme

  • dedicated 6-week training programme

  • dry-cleaned chef whites provided every shift

  • £14 - £25 of free food allowance on every shift

  • 50% discount at wagamama + 30% off all other trg brands with family and friends

  • internal progression opportunities | fully funded apprenticeship programmes to support your growth

  • 28 days holiday

  • kintsugi wellness | access to councillors, cycle to work scheme, discounted gym + leisure

  • family friendly policy | any expectant person or anyone adopting a child will receive 26 weeks full pay + 13 weeks half pay

  • financial wellbeing support | access to loans repaid through your salary for those ‘strapped for cash’ moments in life

what we look for |

  • an experienced head chef that is able to lead a kitchen team through positive behaviour + actions to drive performance in a fast paced + complex environment

  • a strong communicator that has real conversations with consideration + care, ensuring your team feel heard + supported

  • experienced in ensuring your kitchen’s food, health and safety standards are spotless

  • experienced in understanding the financial performance of a kitchen including gross profit and stock control

  • comfortable managing the labour cost of your team, reacting to changing demands where necessary

  • passionate about creating an inclusive environment where your team feel respected + that they belong

  • an individual who leads to inspire and engage their team to nourish + flourish in their role and career

the wagamama way |

kaizen, meaning ‘good change’, is the philosophy that sits at the core of who we are. it shapes every dish we create and pushes us to find better ways in all we do. our food, how we think, how we work, it has to be fresh. committed to championing change in both our communities + the impact on the planet

three whole decades of acting different, we don’t conform, we celebrate difference. appreciating personality over perfection. welcoming everyone and their unique story to our benches. we promise to have your back. working together to build close bonds of trust + support. creating safe spaces where we can have real conversations with open hearts + open minds

all we ask is for you to dish up what makes you different 

be you, be wagamama

wagamama is proudly part of disability confident

Map

Birmingham, new street, B2 4HS, United Kingdom

A map of the rough location for this vacancy

What employees say

Pay

    Okay
  • Only some people are paid a living wage

    Do Wagamama pay a living wage?

    Some people are not paid a living wage.

    How we know this

    46% of people say they are paid below the Real Living Wage for where they live.

    Based on data from 153 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    Everyone should be paid enough to live on.

    The Real Living Wage is a voluntary rate employers can sign up to that is based on the real cost of living.

    The current rates are £12.00 per hour, and £13.15 per hour in London.

    Find out more in our explainer about the Real Living Wage.

  • Good
  • Most people are paid market rates

    Do Wagamama pay market rates?

    Most people are paid above average for their job.

    How we know this

    80% of people are paid above average for the type of work they do.

    Based on data from 153 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    Pay can vary a lot between types of job. Employers should be ensuring that the rates their staff are paid are in line with similar roles elsewhere.

  • Needs improving
  • Under 18s get paid less than everyone else

    Do Wagamama pay the same regardless of age?

    No, people under the age of 18 get paid less than those above 23.

    See what Wagamama pays different age groups

    How we know this

    The average pay of under 18s is less than those who are over 23.

    Based on data from 229 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2022 and February 2024.

  • Okay
  • Only some people get paid breaks

    Do workers at Wagamama get paid breaks?

    Sometimes. Only some people get paid breaks.

    How we know this

    38% of people say they don’t get paid breaks.

    Based on data from 141 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    A good job should have paid breaks.

    You should be paid for all your time at work, whether you’re on a break or not.

  • Needs improving
  • Most people don’t get sick pay

    Do Wagamama pay sick pay?

    No. Most people don’t get proper sick pay.

    How we know this

    91% of people say they wouldn’t get paid if they were sick but scheduled to work.

    Based on data from 150 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    Everyone gets sick sometimes. You should be able to take time off without worrying.

    At a good job you should still get paid if you’re scheduled to work but can’t due to sickness. Your contract should say how many sick days you can take each year.

    This is more than the legal minimum, which says you should only get paid if you are unwell for 4 full days. See Citizens Advice for more details.

  • Okay
  • Some people do unpaid extra work

    Do workers at Wagamama do extra work that they don't get paid for?

    Sometimes. Some people do unpaid extra work.

    How we know this

    38% of people report that they do extra work that they don’t get paid for.

    Based on data from 141 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    Everyone should get paid for any extra work they do, even if it is outside your contracted hours. At a good job, you should be paid for all the time you spend at work.

Hours and flexibility

    Needs improving
  • Less than 4 weeks notice of shifts

    How much notice do people get of their shift pattern at Wagamama?

    Most people don’t get 4 weeks notice of when they’re working.

    How we know this

    • 80% of people with changing schedules report getting one week notice or less.
    • 17% of people with changing schedules report getting two weeks notice.
    • 1% of people with changing schedules report getting three weeks notice.
    • 2% of people with changing schedules report getting four weeks notice or more.

    Based on data from 157 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    At a good job, you get plenty of notice about when you’re working.

    This makes it easy for you to plan the rest of life, as well as your finances, because you know how much you’ll be working and when.

  • Okay
  • Some people worry about their hours

    Do workers at Wagamama worry about hours?

    Some people worry about getting enough hours.

    How we know this

    59% of people report they worry about getting enough hours.

    Based on data from 136 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    At a good job, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting enough hours each week.

    A good job should guarantee you a minimum number of hours in a contract, if you want it.

    This makes it easier to plan your finances, because you know how much you’ll be earning.

  • Okay
  • Only some people get a choice of shifts

    Do Wagamama workers get to choose the shifts they work?

    Some people don’t get enough choice over which shifts they work.

    How we know this

    45% report that their manager doesn’t give them enough choice over which shifts they work.

    Based on data from 143 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    A good job is flexible around your personal life. This means you get a say in when you prefer to work.

  • Okay
  • Can be hard to change shifts

    How easy is it for Wagamama workers to change shifts?

    Some people find it hard to change shifts.

    How we know this

    57% of people report that it’s hard to change shifts if they need to.

    Based on data from 134 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    A good job is flexible around your personal life. It should be easy to change a shift if you need to, whether that’s in an emergency or for planning ahead.

  • Good
  • Easy to book holiday

    How easy is it to book a holiday at Wagamama?

    Most people find it easy to book holiday.

    How we know this

    70% of people report it’s easy to book holidays.

    Based on data from 141 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    A good job should let you take time off when you need it, and it shouldn’t be a nightmare to arrange.

  • Okay
  • Shifts can get changed at short notice

    Do Wagamama managers change shifts at short notice?

    Some managers change people’s shifts at short notice.

    How we know this

    62% of people say their manager changes their shifts at the last minute.

    Based on data from 151 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    If your manager is often changing your shifts at short notice that’s a sign of poor planning. At a good job you won’t be messed around at the last minute.

  • Okay
  • Some people find it hard to take sick leave

    How easy is it to take sick leave at Wagamama?

    Some people find it hard to take sick leave.

    How we know this

    42% of people report that it’s hard to take time off if they are sick.

    Based on data from 136 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between March 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    Everyone gets sick sometimes. You should be able to take time off when you need to.

    A good job should support you when you’re unwell and have systems in place that will allow you to take time off to recover when you need it.

  • Good
  • Most students say it’s good

    Is a Wagamama job good for students?

    Most students say this is a good place to work if you’re studying.

    How we know this

    82% of students report this is a good place to work if you’re studying.

    Based on data from 56 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    A good job should allow you to fit work around important things in your life, like studying.

    Life isn’t just about work. Good jobs make space for you to do well in both.

  • Needs improving
  • Most parents say it’s bad

    Is working at Wagamama good if you’re a parent or carer?

    Most parents and carer say this is a bad place to work.

    How we know this

    81% of people who care for a child or other relative report this isn’t a good place to work.

    Based on data from 27 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between April 2022 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    Whether it’s looking after children or caring for a relative, a good job should support your responsibilities outside of work.

Workplace

    Good
  • Most people feel treated with respect

    Do people at Wagamama feel treated with respect by their managers?

    Most people feel treated with respect by their managers.

    How we know this

    71% of people say they’re treated with respect by their managers.

    Based on data from 134 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    Everyone should get treated with respect by their managers. You shouldn’t feel discriminated against or bullied, and if you have a problem you should be able to speak to someone about it.

  • Okay
  • Only some people get proper breaks

    Do people at Wagamama get proper breaks?

    Some people don’t get proper breaks.

    How we know this

    44% of people report that they don’t get to take proper breaks.

    Based on data from 140 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    When you take a break it should be a proper rest. It should last the full duration and you shouldn’t get pulled off it.

  • Needs improving
  • Most people are stressed

    Is it stressful to work at Wagamama?

    Most people feel stressed here.

    How we know this

    84% of people say they often feel stressed at work.

    Based on data from 148 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    Work isn’t always easy, but if you’re frequently feel stressed, that’s not good.

    Your employer should support you with enough people and resources to get your job done without feeling overwhelmed.

  • Okay
  • Only some people enjoy their job

    Do people at Wagamama enjoy their jobs?

    Only some people enjoy their job.

    How we know this

    37% of people report they don’t enjoy their job.

    Based on data from 131 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2023 and February 2024.

  • Okay
  • Only some people recommend their team

    Do people at Wagamama recommend working with their team?

    Only some people recommend working with their team.

    How we know this

    51% of people report that they wouldn’t recommend working with their immediate team to a friend.

    Based on data from 61 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between August 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    A good job means enjoying the place where you work.

    The people you work with every day really matter. They can be the difference between a terrible day and a great one.

    If you’d recommend your team to a friend, this shows that something’s going right.

  • Okay
  • Only some people get enough training

    Do people get enough training when they start at Wagamama?

    Some people did’t get enough training when they started.

    How we know this

    45% of people report they didn’t get enough training when they started working here.

    Based on data from 148 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    A good job should give you good training when you start, not just drop you in at the deep end.

    This means that you’ll be happier and more productive from day one and shows that your employer values you.

    It’s also very important if your job involves anything that could be dangerous. Good training from the outset keeps you and your team safe.

  • Okay
  • Only some people get support to progress

    Are people given support to progress at Wagamama?

    Only some people are given support to progress here.

    How we know this

    In the last year, 58% of people report not being given an opportunity to get better at their job, learn a new skill, learn to manage a team or get more responsibility in their role.

    Based on data from 139 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    A good job should help you progress at work, if you want to. That might be supporting you to get better at the job you currently have, learn something new, manage a team or take on more responsibilities.

    This means you’ll be able to build on your skills and experience, and earn more money.

  • Needs improving
  • Head office doesn’t understand what’s happening

    Do people think Wagamama head office understands what's happening where they work?

    Most people think head office doesn’t understand what’s happening where they work.

    How we know this

    86% of people think that this employer’s head office or owners don’t have a good understanding of what’s really happening where they work.

    Based on data from 143 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    At a good job, the role of head office should be to support the people on the frontline serving customers.

    To do that properly, the company’s owners or head office need to have a good understanding of what’s really happening on the frontline. This is especially important when a company owns multiple locations.

  • Okay
  • Only some people feel well informed by head office

    Do workers feel well informed about how Wagamama is doing?

    Only some people feel well informed about how the company is doing.

    How we know this

    46% of people feel that they aren’t kept well informed about how the company is doing as a whole.

    Based on data from 141 people who took the Breakroom Quiz between February 2023 and February 2024.

    Why this matters

    At a good job, there should be a supportive relationship between the people working on the frontline serving customers and the people who own the company or work in head office.

    You should be kept informed about how the company is doing as a whole, both in good times and when things get tough for the business.

Find out more about working at Wagamama

What Wagamama employees say about their job

  • Best thing

    Great group of people I work with

    Worst thing

    The job sucks is little to no pay and you get treated like crap by people and have to put up with it

    2.8

    Wagamama Manager, November 2023

  • Best thing

    50% Staff Discount for me and friends.
    Food Allowence for Menu food on breaks (or can take home if working too little hours to get breaks.
    Friends and People I work with.
    Free leftovers at the end of the Night (Gyozas, get to cook food that would of gone out of date ect.)

    Worst thing

    Managment can be rude and wont always praise you for doing something well.
    20min break for 6+hrs hours and more depending how many hours you work.
    Training can lack but once you pick it up and teach it yourself you wont forget.
    Working on extra days last minute or overtime is same pay rate as rota'd time (No Time and 1/2 pay for over time, ect)

    5.5

    Wagamama Line chef, November 2023

See more reviews
  • Best thing

    Free food

    Worst thing

    Heat, stress, tiresome

    4.6

    Wagamama Line chef, October 2023

  • Best thing

    Nothing

    Worst thing

    They don't tell me anything, i get yelled at when my managers mess up, i would work 9-11 hours a day with no break, my managers lack respect.

    1.7

    Wagamama Front of house, September 2023

  • Best thing

    responsibility is high (fast progression due to small site)
    ok/good development
    fast-paced, youthful team

    Worst thing

    usual drama with a youthful team
    hard-workers are few and far between
    demanding roles (multitasking at all role levels)
    late shifts
    pay structure lacking in progression

    6.4

    Wagamama Employee, August 2023

  • Best thing

    The staff are friendly on the most part, the pay and tips are good.

    Worst thing

    The managers can be rude and unorganised, and sometimes make the work environment feel unnecessarily tense

    4.7

    Wagamama Front of house, May 2023

  • Best thing

    Lovely team with a friendly environment between coworkers, great discount

    Worst thing

    Week by week changing rota, very busy and long hours can lead to burnout

    5.5

    Wagamama Front of house, May 2023

  • Best thing

    The people I work with are great and it's nice to not have to spend so much on food shopping

    Worst thing

    Hours are unrewarding, there's low staff budget, not enough people to smoothly run, delusional higher ups

    4.7

    Wagamama Manager, April 2023

  • Best thing

    Good Pay, Free food on breaks, good staff members

    Worst thing

    overworked (doing the workload for 3+ people all by yourself), long shifts and you hardly get a proper break

    4.3

    Wagamama Line chef, February 2023

  • Best thing

    The teamwork

    Worst thing

    Poor decisions from the managers that annoy customers and the staff is the one being yelled and and disrespected by customers (most of the time it would be absolutely preventable with better managing)

    6.0

    Wagamama Front of house, February 2022

  • More reviews from Wagamama employees
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