Caveats for Chefs, Cooks, and Cafe and Restaurant Manager

Caveats for chefs

Caveats for Chefs, Cooks, and Cafe and Restaurant Manager

What is a caveat?

Certain occupations on the 457 visa and ENS 186 visa occupation lists have been marked to have additional requirements these occupations have to satisfy. These additional requirements are termed “caveats”.

Are you affected?

They affect 457 visa applications that were lodged on or after 1 July 2017, or were lodged before 1 July but have not been finalised. Only ENS 186 visa applications lodged on or after 1 July 2017 will be affected.

Caveats for:

  • Chef [351311]
  • Cook [351411]
  • Cafe or Restaurant Manager [141111]

Excludes positions involved in mass production in a factory setting and positions in a limited service restaurant.

Mass production in a factory setting refers to positions where food is produced using assembly line techniques. There may be a degree of automation involved in the process. Chefs and cooks are expected to be involved in the preparation and cooking of meals from scratch.

A limited service restaurant includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:

  • Fastfood or takeaway food services;
  • Fast casual restaurants;
  • Drinking establishments that offer only a limited food service;
  • Limited service cafes including, but not limited to, coffee shops or mall cafes;
  • Limited service pizza restaurants

Fast food or takeaway

Fast food and takeaway food services are establishments that provide food that is quick to prepare or already cooked, distinguishable from cafes and restaurants where there is more extensive preparation of food, where patrons eat on premises, pay after their meals and there is a high level of service and food that is provided

Fast casual restaurants

Fast casual dining services are similar to fast food and takeaway services but have a higher level of service and food and may hold liquor licenses. However, unlike cafes and restaurants, fast casual dining:

  • Does not provide full table service (includes where a consumer may order at the counter and food is delivered to table)
  • Has chains or is a franchise and is heavily advertised
  • Offers streamlined menus that are similar to fast food outlets
  • Offers speed and takeaway services
  • Has certain items which are mass produced (even where ingredients are fresh and/or are of a higher quality)
  • May cater for dietary requirements
  • Do not have drive through facility

These establishment may claim to be ‘gourmet’ or ‘organic’ (and similar) versions of fast food joints.

Drinking establishments that offer only a limited food service

Drinking establishments such as pubs, bars, beer halls or izakayas that have a limited food service and has a narrow food menu serving relatively simple food items are not eligible for the 457 or ENS 186 visa programme. Examples of a limited menu include snacks, such as chips, and common bar food such as tacos, basic pizza and burgers.

If the drinking establishment however has a full menu, providing more complex dishes, they may be eligible. Some such establishments are marketed or classed as ‘gastropubs’.

Limited service cafes

These are cafes that have a limited menu, see the trend? Such cafes will not have the strength of a full commercial kitchen and may only serve sandwiches, basic burgers, fish and chips, cakes and pastries. This includes coffee shops and mall cafes.

Limited service pizza restaurants

These pizza outlets serve again a very limited menu and have food items that are to a degree pre-prepared and quicker to cook. Such limited service pizza restaurants may serve few other food items outside pizza, do not provide full table service and would allow customers to eat pizza from pizza boxes whilst on their premises.

Still unsure? How DOHA assesses between full service and limited service

A lot of emphasis has been put on the menu and service that the business is offering in demonstrating that the nominated position meets the skill level expected under ANZSCO definitions (listed further in this article). The Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) will look at the following factors when trying to determine if the establishment provides limited or full food service. Note that not all factors will be relevant and the DOHA will take into account the context of the business and its operations.

  • Location of the nominated position
  • How food is ordered, served and consumed
  • If the business is operating through a chain or franchise arrangement (full service cafes and restaurants that operate under a chain or franchise may still be eligible)
  • How the business is marketed to the public
  • If the business is mainly engaged in provided food and beverage serving services for consumption on the premises, even if take away is also an option
  • If meals are made on site from fresh ingredients, substantial preparation is required, cooking of meals involve a range of equipment and techniques
  • Menu is comprehensive and incorporates a good variety of ingredients
  • Full table service is provided where the waiter/waitress will seat and attend to and provide the bill to patrons
  • Payment is made at the end of the meal
  • Business has a liquor licence and has a comprehensive selection of alcohol beverages
  • Business is able to provide for dietary requirements
  • Menu may change according to the availability of produce
  • Where the menu is limited, has a focus on speciality/gourmet ingredients at elevated prices
  • Portions may vary in size due to the nature of its preparation – high human element
  • Full commercial kitchen and sizeable storage for fresh ingredients
  • Recognised cafes and restaurants (restaurant industry awards)
  • Employment at the business has been accepted by TRA as skilled work experience or by a recognised training institution as sufficient to support study in a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery
  • If different outlets in a chain are designed differently (may include menu) to reflect the local customer base and the outlets are largely owned by companies as opposed to franchisees

The following factors are descriptive of a limited service food service (again certain factors must be taken in context):

  • No full table service
  • Well known fast food or fast casual restaurant chain
  • Business does heavy marketing that signals it is a fast food or fast casual restaurant
  • Primarily a coffee shop
  • Part of a franchise or chain operation where outlets are highly identical in design and menu
  • Speed and convenience offered to patrons who may eat on the premises or takeaway their orders
  • No or limited seating, largely a takeaway service
  • Streamlined and limited menus with food prepared to a very standardised format and involves limited preparation
  • Chefs are not generally employed as while dietary concerns are addressed and food may be prepared with higher quality ingredients, are still mass produced
  • Simple kitchen for heating or final cooking of food
  • Business is located within a food hall or food court and provides fast food or takeaway services
  • Patrons pay before receiving their orders
  • Limited seating and communal tables to be shared with other businesses
  • Meals are packaged or are mainly street (handheld) foods
  • Meals are served in disposable containers
  • Reservations are not required or provided for
  • Food is distributed from a central location
  • Food is apportioned into predetermined quantities and sizes and are ready to cook having already with seasoned
  • Cooking times are predetermined and do not require the preparer to have skills
  • Employees are covered by the fast food industry award
  • Business has been recognised visa fast food industry awards

ANZSCO definitions

Here are the roles and responsibilities expected in a skilled chef [351311]:

  • planning menus, estimating food and labour costs, and ordering food supplies
  • monitoring quality of dishes at all stages of preparation and presentation
  • discussing food preparation issues with Managers, Dietitians and kitchen and waiting staff
  • demonstrating techniques and advising on cooking procedures
  • preparing and cooking food
  • explaining and enforcing hygiene regulations
  • may select and train staff
  • may freeze and preserve foods

That of a skilled cook [351411]:

  • examining foodstuffs to ensure quality
  • regulating temperatures of ovens, grills and other cooking equipment
  • preparing and cooking food
  • seasoning food during cooking
  • portioning food, placing it on plates, and adding gravies, sauces and garnishes
  • storing food in temperature controlled facilities
  • preparing food to meet special dietary requirements
  • may plan menus and estimate food requirements
  • may train other kitchen staff and apprentices

And that which is expected of a cafe/restaurant manager [141111]:

  • planning menus in consultation with Chefs
  • planning and organising special functions
  • arranging the purchasing and pricing of goods according to budget
  • maintaining records of stock levels and financial transactions
  • ensuring dining facilities comply with health regulations and are clean, functional and of suitable appearance
  • conferring with customers to assess their satisfaction with meals and service
  • selecting, training and supervising waiting and kitchen staff
  • may take reservations, greet guests and assist in taking orders

For cafe/restaurant managers the nominated position is not eligible for the 457 or ENS 186 programme where the position requires a significant amount of time performing administrative, sales or serving tasks as opposed to organising and running the cafe/restaurant operations.

Providing evidence

It is important to give as much evidence as possible to support that the business falls under ‘full service’. In understanding what the DOHA is looking for in assessing the nature of an establishment, a stronger application can be made.

Examples of documents could include (non exhaustive list):

  • Menu and evidence of how menu changes over time with produce
  • Photos of food preparation
  • Photos of a full commercial kitchen
  • Evidence of fresh and/or gourmet ingredients ordered
  • Photos of the dining area
  • Training of waiters/waitresses

It can be a tricky application especially if your food business sits on the line. As always, we highly recommend speaking to an experienced migration agent especially with all the 1 July changes as well as the oncoming March 2018 changes, especially if you are planning to employ your nominee in the long term.


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