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east coast industry work vs. west coast

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone how are all of you doing today?? I have worked with a couple people in the industry here in California who are from the east coast i.e. Boston, New York....... and they say to start cooks are getting paid $12-$15/ HOUR and in California to start cooks are getting maybe $8-$10 or $11/hour. Is there anyone who has industry experience on the east coast that can verify this for me?
post #2 of 20
ive worked through out new england , vermont i made under 10/hr but i was just a student , in mass , numerous kitchens is still under 10/hr, same in rhode island, in conn at the casionos everyone starts at 8.10 an hour dont ask about the .10 thing its strange as my freind who started their tells me, anyway inner boston (not from experience) im told is about 10-12 starting, with experience=more , i have no clue what minimum wage is were im at now but our interns get paid $9/hour , which probably kicks the crap out of minimum wage, all i can say is if your an intern expect low pay and be happy if its above minimum wage, most places are higher though, like i said earlier more experience and good referances = more $$$$$$$
Sweet Jesus
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Sweet Jesus
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post #3 of 20

jfb1060

I'm new to the game but the kitchen I work in has started me at $10.00/hr. That's in Florida.

It appears that the starting wage here is approx. 9 to $10.00 with little or no experience and people make a good deal more if they stick it out any length of time it seems.

The reason for this in Florida is because the job market is so tight. Your looking at approx. 2 to 3% unempolyment in a lot of counties down here so they have to start someone at a higher rate of pay in order to attract a shrinking labor pool.

Joe
post #4 of 20
CIT
I would put more effort in finding oiut what the cost of living is in those areas. The dollar amounts usually reflect the area. Seattle might be paying 14.00 to start, but an efficientcy appt. might also be 850. month.
pan

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
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Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
Paninicakes.com

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post #5 of 20
I work in Cambridge, just outside of Boston, but still on the subway lines. The guys in my kitchen make anywhere from $11-13/hr. I'm currently part time and I make $10/hr. I know that at some of the more prestigious restaurants, some cooks are making $100/shift flat, no matter if you have very little prep to do and come in late or if you're there at the crack of dawn because if you don't, you'll be in the weeds all night long. Hope that helps.

Cheers.
ZEN!!!
post #6 of 20
Panini's right as usual. The pay rate is usually dependent on the cost of living in a given area. $8.00 p/hr will seem trivial to someone in Boston while it's not bad to someone say, in rural NC. Case in point, my brother-in-law, just fresh out of culinary school, was pulling in 'about' $11.00 p/hr for his first gig. Basically he was completely at the bottom of the line food chain. I, however, having MANY years in the field, (I freelance to a specific restaurant when I'm not doing my own stuff), the senior guy on the line was getting that whopping $8.00 p/hr.

Pay is also dependent on your skill level and the task to be completed.

Ciao,
Order In/Food Out ~ It's NOT magic.
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Order In/Food Out ~ It's NOT magic.
- * - * - * - * -
"It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." Frank Zappa
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post #7 of 20
heh, just had an offer of a whole 8.50 in the LA area-after going back for a second interview....
post #8 of 20
Ouch.... If someone offered that to me around here I'd punch them (seriously). If someone can't afford to pay a professional a livable wage, I sincerely hope they lose their business (and it's actually happening around here, many businesses are closing because of a lack of labour).

To the OP, wages up here are between 10-18 dollars per hour (apprentices/students usually only get 10, anyone else gets more), depending on skill, experience and the responsibility you're faced with (also, corporate restaurants pay much more than fine dining or independant restaurants). Of course, it's also getting near impossible to find a place to live at all, let alone one that's affordable...
post #9 of 20

jfb1060

dano1

How the H*** does anyone survive on $8.50/hr??? Especially out on the left coast. Man, that's an insult.

I could understand someone starting me at $8.50 because I have no progressive experiance as a culinarian but not someone with any breadth of experience shouldn't be pulling that kind of cow crap.

With less than a years experience people around here are starting out at $10.00/hr.

I'd find another place that does put at least SOME value on their employees. Good luck.

Joe
post #10 of 20
kinda funny actually in retrospect, if gas wasn't 3.40/gal ;).
post #11 of 20

jfb1060

Would $8.50 even cover the gas. You could wind up paying THEM to work there. LOL:lol:

Sorry, in reality 8.50 is so ridiculous it defies credible explanation.
post #12 of 20
I can remember 'hot tar roofing' during the day and makinng 2.50 hr in the restaurant at night, BUT! the experience I got from working under this chef was priceless.
Most would say that I under pay my interns, but have not had anyone complain.

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
Paninicakes.com

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Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
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post #13 of 20
I'm on the other end.....my kitchen staff for parties makes $18-25.per hour
but I expect them to be profiecient, with a strong work ethic. I'm not looking for interns on most jobs. Many of my kitchen staff have run their own kitchens in the past. I'd much rather Prep and leave last minute cooking to someone capable as I'm setting up the party and starting hodos. depends on the menu/site/# of guests how I staff each gig. My front of the house right hand, would have a difficult time replacing her....makes $25 ph plus tips.

The difference is I'm not employing them on a full time basis, it's as needed.
Benefits are leftovers at the end of the night, tips, occasional bottles of wine, I've been known to take staff out for dinner/drinks if they've put in alot of hours. They eat well in my kitchen. They share goodies (perigord truffles) when visitors leave me with bonus food. In return I expect them to be "on"....I don't suffer fools well.

That's in the heart of the midwest, where the cost of living is relatively CHEAP.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #14 of 20
SteveA saysyes and no. The prevailing wage in Florida at least, is also set by the availability of workers. In some of the tighter markets, restaurants have to go so far as to bus in help, and offer some very high wages and incentives.
post #15 of 20

jfb1060

That's true. I have heard of some restaurants in the North East Florida area that are paying up to 14/hr to start because the labor market is so tight.

The cost of living here is fairly high and your just not going to get people for $8.50/hr.

Of course there is the motivation of how much passion someone has for the profession of cooking. I have offered to work for free at my current job just to get the experience because I love doing it but I certainly realize that many are not fortunate enough to be in this position.

They do pay me 10/hr which is good considering my lack of experience. I think I have it pretty good at the moment. Its a lot of hours the work tough, but I don't want to do anything else.

Joe
post #16 of 20
In NYC, I made $21/hr as a line cook at a hotel in a union kitchen. That was really high, most NYC private restaurants give you $12/hr average if you're legal and lucky. Here in Cali, the same level job would pay about $16-18/hr in a hotel. Given that the cost of living is slightly lower in Cali, it makes sense. Still very depressing, however....
post #17 of 20
I'm from Florida and when I first started working at a restaurant with little experience I got hired on at 9.00 and eventually made it to 10.50.

I'm starting at the Ritz-Carlton down in Sarasota, FL as a extern and I'll be making 11.79. A friend of mine is working at Daniel in New York City also as an extern and they're working his butt off. He's working 100 hours a week and only making min. wage. which is 6.50 I believe.
post #18 of 20
There's a line out the door to work at Daniel.....just being able to say you've worked there is worth gold. Shoot, your buddy doesn't need an apt if he's working 100 hour weeks. Personally I'm wondering what the calaber of the last twenty hours of his week are like......
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #19 of 20

re: pay scale

Hi,

I am in Florida and make $16 an hour as a prep cook.
post #20 of 20

rates

up here in Massachusetts, west of Boston interns and entry level are about 9-10 p/h and a good skilled set of hands can get as much as $15 after that you get a title and salary so you can work as many as as you want for the agreed upon figure


Chef Chris
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