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 How much are the chefs/cooks making?

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sinkiller

  • Total Posts: 57
  • Joined: 6/26/2006
  • Location: venice, CA
How much are the chefs/cooks making? Thu, 08/31/06 4:56 PM (permalink)
In your neck of the woods, how much are the various Chefs/Cooks/Pitmasters being paid?
 
#1
    UncleVic

    • Total Posts: 6025
    • Joined: 10/14/2003
    • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
    • Roadfood Insider
    RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Thu, 08/31/06 5:41 PM (permalink)
    Not Enough.
     
    #2
      Pigiron

      • Total Posts: 1384
      • Joined: 5/11/2005
      • Location: Bergen County, NJ
      • Roadfood Insider
      RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Thu, 08/31/06 6:33 PM (permalink)
      In my neck of the woods, top chefs make as much as Wall Street CEOs while some line cooks make minimum wage. Everyone else falls in between.
       
      #3
        Scorereader

        • Total Posts: 5546
        • Joined: 8/4/2005
        • Location: Crofton, MD
        RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Thu, 08/31/06 7:01 PM (permalink)
        quote:
        Originally posted by UncleVic

        Not Enough.


        as if there's a person out there who thinks he/she is making enough...or too much! LOL

        I can see it now..."no thank you Boss. I don't need a raise, and you can hold onto the bonus. I make WAY too much money as it is!"


         
        #4
          baconman

          • Total Posts: 33
          • Joined: 8/16/2006
          • Location: gaithersburg, MD
          RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Fri, 09/1/06 6:51 PM (permalink)
          Around here, prep cooks 10.00- 12.00 hr.

          Lead Cooks 14.00- 20.00 hr.

          Chefs, all over the place, depends on the type of Restaurant!

           
          #5
            Sundancer7

            RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Fri, 09/1/06 7:07 PM (permalink)
            Do you ever make enough? I never have I have found that the more I earn, the more I spend. I promise you that that is the way it will always be.

            Paul E. Smith
            Knoxville, TN
             
            #6
              xannie_01

              • Total Posts: 1481
              • Joined: 10/18/2005
              • Location: albuquerque, NM
              RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Fri, 09/1/06 7:11 PM (permalink)
              Mr. Sundancer,
              truer words have never been spoken.
              dayle
               
              #7
                rumbelly

                • Total Posts: 235
                • Joined: 6/16/2002
                • Location: Collingwood, ON, Canada
                RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Fri, 09/1/06 10:35 PM (permalink)
                In this silly business love of work = underpaid, love of food = yup, love of wierd times off= fun

                Jah Love
                 
                #8
                  Poverty Pete

                  • Total Posts: 2266
                  • Joined: 8/16/2003
                  • Location: Nashville, TN
                  RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Fri, 09/1/06 11:11 PM (permalink)
                  In my kaleidoscopic career, I've had jobs that paid $1.65 an hour, and I've have had jobs (well,one anyway) that paid $200,000 a year. Funny thing is, I always have enough to pay my bills, and there's never any left over.
                   
                  #9
                    xannie_01

                    • Total Posts: 1481
                    • Joined: 10/18/2005
                    • Location: albuquerque, NM
                    RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Fri, 09/1/06 11:17 PM (permalink)
                    Poverty Pete,
                     
                    #10
                      John A

                      • Total Posts: 4295
                      • Joined: 1/27/2006
                      • Location: Daytona Beach, FL
                      RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Sat, 09/2/06 8:46 AM (permalink)
                      The 2005 Wage Survey for Daytona Beach has Short Order Cooks at $10.50, Restaurant Cooks at $11.00, and Chefs at $15.77, all experienced.

                      John
                       
                      #11
                        Sundancer7

                        RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Sat, 09/2/06 9:30 AM (permalink)
                        quote:
                        Originally posted by Poverty Pete

                        In my kaleidoscopic career, I've had jobs that paid $1.65 an hour, and I've have had jobs (well,one anyway) that paid $200,000 a year. Funny thing is, I always have enough to pay my bills, and there's never any left over.


                        Poverty, you are the richest poor man I have ever known. You have got more toys than anyone.

                        You are correct that no matter how much you earn, there is never any left over. Most of us spend what we earn. My daughter even spends what I earn.

                        Paul E. Smith
                        Knoxville, TN
                         
                        #12
                          UncleVic

                          • Total Posts: 6025
                          • Joined: 10/14/2003
                          • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
                          • Roadfood Insider
                          RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Sat, 09/2/06 12:49 PM (permalink)
                          Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so?
                          There's a support group for that.
                          It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar."
                          --Drew Carey
                           
                          #13
                            Fieldthistle

                            • Total Posts: 1948
                            • Joined: 7/30/2005
                            • Location: Hinton, VA
                            RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Sat, 09/2/06 2:35 PM (permalink)
                            Hello All,
                            Everywhere I've worked, it has been a policy by the management to tell you never to tell what you earn.
                            When I worked many moons ago at our local Sheraton, the head chef had a "secret" deal where he could
                            take any food he wanted home, not leftovers, but if he wanted steaks or heads of lettuce, etc., he could
                            take them home. I discovered it when I discovered him doing it late at night when I was a night auditor.
                            He told me it was a perk. When I told the manager of this, he told me it was and to forget about it.
                            We had an ice sculptor who worked seasonally. He was a true artist. His food, room, booze, etc. was all
                            comped.
                            When I worked at our local state-supported university in the catering dept., I discovered again that the
                            head chef often took advantage of the kitchen for his home life, but I soon saw that everyone took advantage
                            of left-overs. Perks to make up for low salary they reasoned. Booze, because it was more watched and
                            regulated, was the only thing no one helped themselves to. Actually, for the most part, what they took would
                            have been thrown away, and they didn't do it often.
                            Did I ever take food from either place? Not from the Sheraton. And from the catering dept., I only bought
                            home food when the manager offered food that was going to be thrown away. My father taught me not to steal.
                            My point is that often management makes secret deals to compensate pay with some workers.
                            Take Care,
                            Fieldthistle
                             
                            #14
                              Ciaoman

                              • Total Posts: 375
                              • Joined: 5/2/2006
                              • Location: Killingworth, CT
                              RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Sat, 09/2/06 3:33 PM (permalink)
                              If given my druthers, I'd rather have a better wage than any "secret deal." Restaurants figure the cost of waste (stuff tossed) into the amount they charge for their menu items, in the same way they figure in the costs of the item, labor, overhead, etc. By accepting these deals, the workers are really giving their bosses a break..."no don't pay me what I deserve, just give me some stuff that you've already been paid for and I'll take that instead." Of course the boss will agree to that. Remember too that the boss pays wholesale for his foods, so his costs are much lower than what you'd pay at the market. All this suggests that he's not really losing anything--pretty good "deal" for him.
                               
                              #15
                                Fieldthistle

                                • Total Posts: 1948
                                • Joined: 7/30/2005
                                • Location: Hinton, VA
                                RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Sat, 09/2/06 4:00 PM (permalink)
                                Hello All,
                                Ciaoman, I agree with you totally.
                                The system is screwy. I have worked in hospitality businesses
                                in various areas. When I worked as a night auditor at a hotel
                                that had a bar and restaurant, it amazed me me how much money
                                and profit was made in food and booze. But benefits in the form
                                of health insurance ate up so much profit.
                                But places that don't offer workers benefits such as health insurance,
                                are crying false tears. There is good money to be made in food, if
                                there wasn't, people wouldn't be flocking to it. However, there is
                                much stress, for the owner and it filters down to the workers.
                                I have worked at many occupations, and food service seems to be
                                the most stressful.
                                So many good people providing such good products and service, and
                                strangely, getting little pay and extra stress. Maya.
                                Take Care,
                                Fieldthistle
                                 
                                #16
                                  saps

                                  • Total Posts: 1551
                                  • Joined: 8/18/2003
                                  • Location: wheaton, IL
                                  RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Sat, 09/2/06 10:14 PM (permalink)
                                  quote:
                                  Originally posted by Pigiron

                                  In my neck of the woods, top chefs make as much as Wall Street CEOs while some line cooks make minimum wage. Everyone else falls in between.



                                  So chefs make roughly somewhere between 300 million dollars a year or 6.50 per hour. That's information we can all use.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    -Tricky-

                                    • Total Posts: 305
                                    • Joined: 9/4/2004
                                    • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
                                    RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Sun, 09/3/06 12:58 PM (permalink)
                                    I read somewhere that the average salary for an Executive Chef was $80K/year. I believe that places like Vegas, Chicago, NYC and San Francisco have to be skewing that because in most "B" cities, the average according to salary.com is closer to $50K. And that $50K is most definitely factors in people whose title might be Executive Chef but job description is more like Corporate Chef.

                                    Scorereader, while I agree that few people will decline a raise, most people are able to admit that they are compensated fairly for their work if they, in fact, are. Most chefs work 6 days a week, 12-14 hours per day. A short week is 60 hours, an average week is 72, and a busy week is 80+. When you consider those hours, I think Uncle Vic is quite justified in claiming "not enough". If you take that 60 hour (short) week, that $50K salary and do the math as straight hourly (no overtime) wage, chefs are making just about $16/hour. Sous chefs are working the same hours for $30-40K, so they're making from $9-13/hour.

                                    Hotel, catering and Casino jobs definitely pay better, but they're not really "chef" jobs, either. They're usually "food manufacturer" according to specs given by some guy in a suit sitting in an office.

                                    I don't know many people who would work in the conditions that most restaurant chefs work in for $9-16/hour. It's not a job to do if you care about your bank balance - sure, you won't starve but unless you get lucky enough to be noticed by a Daniel Boulud or get a TV show a la Jamie Oliver, you might not ever do much more than that.
                                     
                                    #18
                                      Peachpie9

                                      • Total Posts: 40
                                      • Joined: 1/14/2005
                                      • Location: P, WA
                                      RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Sun, 09/3/06 1:53 PM (permalink)
                                      Hi Fieldthistle,

                                      You and Ciaoman made some good points. I spent ten years in management and I know it's common for employees to be told not to disclose the details of their compensation. Of course, THE EMPLOYEE is the legal owner of that information, NOT the employer, and the employee can disclose it whenever and wherever she/he pleases. The employer, meanwhile, is prohibited by law from disclosing any of the employee's information except under specific circumstances, such as a court subpoena.

                                      The employer can REQUEST that the employee not disclose compensation information, but even this is a sleazy practice in my book. Many employees do not understand their rights, perceive the request as a directive, and therefore lose one of their rights--with no compensation for the loss! It is an employee's right to determine if he/she is being treated fairly and one way to facilitate that is to talk with coworkers. A manager who has confidence in the fairness of her/his pay structure will not try to keep it a secret.

                                      IMO, it's a bad policy to award secret perquisites. Creating an atmosphere of secrecy will almost always have negative results, and trust me, people WILL find out the secret. I say keep it clean and honest. Everybody's happier. Pay them well and then see that they earn it.


                                       
                                      #19
                                        Fieldthistle

                                        • Total Posts: 1948
                                        • Joined: 7/30/2005
                                        • Location: Hinton, VA
                                        RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Sun, 09/3/06 3:23 PM (permalink)
                                        Hello All,
                                        Peachpie9, what an excellent statement of rights, especially on the eve of Labor Day.
                                        I do believe employer intimidation has a stronger effect on workers than the law, at least
                                        in Virginia, where I live. It is not a big union state. But this is not about unions.
                                        Thank you, and I will spread your words amongst my fellow workers.
                                        It is a strange world we live in. My daughter worked in a bagel/sandwich shop this past
                                        summer. The head cook, chef,food manufacturer, whatever you want to call him, was sent home
                                        at least 3 times for being drunk. The owner tolerates it for whatever reason, the food manufacturer
                                        takes whatever pay he gets and gets to come to work drunk at times, and the other workers look on
                                        in wonder at how this can be.
                                        Sometimes you get what you pay for. You get paid because you get certain perks and "allowances."
                                        And others just have to put up with the system because it's a summer job.
                                        Take Care,
                                        Fieldthistle

                                         
                                        #20
                                          bassrocker4u2

                                          • Total Posts: 534
                                          • Joined: 11/12/2003
                                          • Location: new holland, PA
                                          RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Sun, 09/3/06 5:58 PM (permalink)
                                          there is a good reason for the dont tell your wage policy. if a manager wants to pay harder working folks more dough, they could get alot of heat from the not so hard working folks. so it kinda keeps down the rioting...... seen that, before.
                                          once, i was managing a corp place, and i stumbled across wages of a lower ranked manager. i was hot under the collar, aparently she was hot under the sheets.
                                          the company tried to compensate me, but i still felt cheated. eventualy, i left what could have been the best company job i ever had. tis a shame, that a few people can mess up even the best companies.
                                          i am learning to hate people.....heehee
                                          there is a guy here interested in buying my place. he claims that he brings home 60k as a chef at a big manufacturing facility with 11 cafeterias. i find those figures hard to believe.
                                           
                                          #21
                                            Sonny Funzio

                                            • Total Posts: 902
                                            • Joined: 2/13/2006
                                            • Location: Detroit, MI
                                            RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Sun, 09/3/06 7:26 PM (permalink)
                                            My "neck of the woods" (the Detroit metropolitan area) has been in a downward economic spiral for a while. A couple years ago we ran a single ad for an Executive Chef paying $50k salary and had people calling as long as a YEAR after the ad had run. I estimate we received approx 300 responses. The job market here has slipped further since then. This was a position with full responsibilities ... and the salary was considered "generous" (by the job market) at the time in this area..

                                            It is tough to give a simple answer because pay is different for different types of operations; for different levels of experience and duties ... and in different economic climates.

                                            A renown or "celebrity" Chef often makes well in excess of $100,000/yr in compensation ... some of which might be represented by an equity position in the restaurant and other, related money-making ventures..

                                            An Executive Chef that is going to be relied upon to set up and organize the kitchen of a *new* restaurant is going to spend a huge number of hours in the first couple years at work ... often 80 to 90 hours per week. Besides their regular operational duties they also have all the new kitchen establishment duties.
                                            In such circumstances, many owners prefer to hire an Executive Chef with these duties to a salaried position.
                                            Consider 75 hours per week at $20/hr would be over $1800 per week which is the equivalent of $90,000 per year ... hiring the Chef to a salaried $70,000 to $80,000 is more economical than hourly in such a case.

                                            However, the problem with hiring a chef to a salaried position is that it puts pressure on the business to produce a level of volume and profitability that will cover the Chef's "fixed cost" salary on an ongoing basis ... that chef's paid hours can not be modified to suit a lower volume of business or lack of profitability once the restaurant is open. This person really must perform successfully, and the position requires really hiring the right person.

                                            A full Executive Chef will have responsibility for:
                                            Hiring/Firing Kitchen staff; All controls in the back-of-the-house; Recipe and menu creativity; Working with the General Manager/Owner to establish menu and mix as well as the character of the Restaurant; Training of chefs/cooks under him; establishing all standards in the back of the house and making sure they are being met ... and will be responsible for much of the administrative work that goes along with all these duties. They may be doing some amount of marketing ... public appearances in the media, visiting the dining floor, and so forth. This position has direct responsibility to the numbers, and this Chef understands and directly controls ALL the variables that go into profitability (for the back-of-the-house, but also understands those for the restaurant in general) and works them constantly to insure success.
                                            Again, depending on the operation, this position is likely salary and can range from $40 to over $100,000 per year.

                                            Many Chefs are not hired on to that sort of position though, and instead are primarily charged with cooking behind the line, kitchen supervision, inventory and ordering, and a few other duties.. This is because many restaurants do not do their due-dilgence in hiring and consequently rely on their salaried GM to do most of the other things (they hope). This Chef might often be in an hourly position amounting to from $25 to $50K per year.

                                            One rung down from that sort of position is the "Chef" (not) who is little more than a glorified line cook with inventory responsibilities and checking people out of their stations at the end of the night when he's on duty. This might pay from $8/hour to $15/hour.
                                            After that, line cooks are line cooks ... not chefs.
                                             
                                            #22
                                              UncleVic

                                              • Total Posts: 6025
                                              • Joined: 10/14/2003
                                              • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
                                              • Roadfood Insider
                                              RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Sun, 09/3/06 11:16 PM (permalink)
                                              quote:
                                              Originally posted by Sonny Funzio

                                              My "neck of the woods" (the Detroit metropolitan area) has been in a downward economic spiral for a while. A couple years ago we ran a single ad for an Executive Chef paying $50k salary and had people calling as long as a YEAR after the ad had run. I estimate we received approx 300 responses. The job market here has slipped further since then.


                                              Welcome to Michigan! They did a local story on a teaching job that had 4000+ applicants. As much as I hate to say it, this state is going down the drain. (And our choice between Granholm and DeVos, we lose both ways).

                                               
                                              #23
                                                Fieldthistle

                                                • Total Posts: 1948
                                                • Joined: 7/30/2005
                                                • Location: Hinton, VA
                                                RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Mon, 09/4/06 12:16 PM (permalink)
                                                Hello All,
                                                Sonny, as I said earlier, chefs, cooks, food services jobs are most stressful and duty filled.
                                                Uncle Vic, I understand you're having a governor election coming up where one candidate is promising
                                                jobs for Michigan, however, he is one who is responsible for outsourcing so many Michigan jobs.
                                                Take Care,
                                                Fieldthistle
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  Sonny Funzio

                                                  • Total Posts: 902
                                                  • Joined: 2/13/2006
                                                  • Location: Detroit, MI
                                                  RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Mon, 09/4/06 2:15 PM (permalink)
                                                  Uncle Vic & Fieldthistle,
                                                  Yes, and Yes.

                                                  OT for just a brief moment ...
                                                  And with the writing on the wall about Ford having plans (leaked to the media much to their horror) to move a majority of its production to Mexico ... we're in for more trouble.

                                                  The Republican candidate for governer, DeVoss, has been busily painting himself as dishonest with a smear campaign suggesting that Governer Granholm lost the opportunity to bring a Honda auto plant to Michigan ... all the while, the word from Honda was specifically that they avoided the state because of the (automobile) unions ... oops ... I guess he's hoping no one notices (just like the outsourcing issue as you noted, Fieldthistle)

                                                  My views for much of my life would make Ronald Regan look like a "New-Deal'er" ... I didn't even used to put on suntan lotion liberally ... but more than anything else I am a pragmatist ... and I can not hold with the WILDLY unethical direction this country has gone under the current administration.

                                                  As a kid I wore a Nixon button and passed out flyers for his election ... I've been a republican supporter for a good part of my life ... but with the way they've wrecked our country, as well as our reputation around the world, I am supporting anything that will throw as many Republicans as possible out of office (not that I'm very fond of current democratic leadership though either.)

                                                  With the Republicans' responsibility for the war; their significant opposition to stem cell research; their gutting of programs that would actually reduce crime and not just "fight" crime; their prostituting of their position and offices to big energy concerns, even to the extent of supporting an anti-informational campaign against the reality of climate-change in order to obtain what amounts to bribery and graft from big oil and coal; their wholesale botching of every forign policy issue they have laid their hands on; and a litany of other issues. I want them gone ... ¿Cómo se dice? ... mort' !!!
                                                  (in the interest of not getting this thread moved and things of that sort, I got nothin more to say here on this issue ... If I can borrow a quote: "I want everyone here to know -- there's not gonna be no trouble from me! ... Cicc', a porta!"
                                                  ;-)
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    Fieldthistle

                                                    • Total Posts: 1948
                                                    • Joined: 7/30/2005
                                                    • Location: Hinton, VA
                                                    RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Mon, 09/4/06 2:25 PM (permalink)
                                                    Hello All,
                                                    Oopps. Sonny, thanks for your post and I hope it isn't deleted.
                                                    It does open one question...how much do other countries pay chefs, cooks, food service workers make compared to U.S. workers?
                                                    Anyone know?
                                                    Take Care,
                                                    Fieldthistle
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      Sonny Funzio

                                                      • Total Posts: 902
                                                      • Joined: 2/13/2006
                                                      • Location: Detroit, MI
                                                      RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Mon, 09/4/06 2:33 PM (permalink)

                                                      Here, in my experience foreign workers have been some of the hardest working; although one has to be very proficient in English to manage all the duties of an Executive Chef.
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        Sonny Funzio

                                                        • Total Posts: 902
                                                        • Joined: 2/13/2006
                                                        • Location: Detroit, MI
                                                        RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Mon, 09/4/06 2:42 PM (permalink)
                                                        I really don't know the actual amount paid overseas ... however, my guess is that in most western European countries the wage, combined with the traditional "European lifestyle" and the government's social programs, amount to a higher standard of living than kitchen workers have here.
                                                        Just a guess.
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          Fieldthistle

                                                          • Total Posts: 1948
                                                          • Joined: 7/30/2005
                                                          • Location: Hinton, VA
                                                          RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Mon, 09/4/06 2:43 PM (permalink)
                                                          Hello All,
                                                          Well, I meant what other countries pay their food service staff, from chefs to whatever?
                                                          But, is there a difference between foreign workers and Americians as far as pay in the U.S.
                                                          as well? It is Labor Day... perhaps a set of good questions.
                                                          Take Care,
                                                          Fieldthistle
                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            lleechef

                                                            • Total Posts: 6232
                                                            • Joined: 3/22/2003
                                                            • Location: Gahanna, OH
                                                            RE: How much are the chefs/cooks making? Wed, 09/6/06 12:30 AM (permalink)
                                                            I hate to post this but my base salary was $75K and got bonus too.
                                                             
                                                            #30
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