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How much do top chef's make? - Page 2

post #31 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicko View Post

Moved this out of the pro forums because well, they are for pros only to post (please respect that everyone).

 

At the height of my career in the 90's I was at 32K a year with health benefits for a large size restaurant. Back in that day if you were making 50K a year as a chef that was a great salary but if you break it down by the hours you put in here is the reality of the situation:

 

I think this is a conservative estimate check my math and see if I am correct.

 

As a chef you will probably:

 

work 6 days a week

12 hours a day

which is 72 hours a week

You work around 3,744 hours a year.

 

 

You make $50,000 a year

which means your only making around $13.35 an hour. If your not getting any health benefits then your making even less.

 

Sadly you can go to McDonalds and make pretty close to that. *Current Illinois minimum wage is $8.25. 

 

I think the tough question anyone needs to ask themselves going into cooking is 13.00 an hour to be a chef worth all the time I will lose with my family?



Yes Nicko

                  I hear you loud and clear on that one.....I have taken note of too many divorced chefs in my career. Or those on the brink.....Hind site is a great thing

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post #32 of 54

Ever since I joined Cheftalk, three + years ago, not a week goes by that a thread of this nature doesn't run. Subject line may change, but, at base, it consists of culinary artists complaining about how long their hours and how short their pay.

 

Well, here's where I get myself in trouble, again. But I have one question: Do y'all want some cheese with that whine?

 

Hey, if you want big bucks, become a stock broker or an investment banker. But if you stay in this field, get real. You are neither overworked nor underpaid as compared to any other normal occupation.

 

The average salary for Exectutive Chefs is $41,647-68,086.

 

Let's do some comparisons.

 

Chefs:                         $41,647-68,086

Marketing Driectors:     $44,100-83,524

Heavy equip. operators:$29,609-52,818

Air Traffic Controllers:   $40,000-126,000

Newspaper Editors:      $26,994-51,094

PR Acct. Execs:          $32,179-49,132

 

So, yeah, if you want to compare yourself to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, you're woefully underpaid. But if you compare yourself to workers in any reasonable job, you are generally in the middle- to high-end of the comparable salary range.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #33 of 54

National "average" aside, execs in high-end, greater L.A. places are earning in the low to mid 100s.  Participation agreements aren't exactly uncommon, either.

 

BDL

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http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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post #34 of 54

No doubt that's true, BDL. But on a site like this we have to talk averages to have any valid comparisons. You can't talk just the exceptional cases. Otherwise it's like that old New Yorker cartoon, where a guy from the commerce department is interviewing a hillbilly type on the porch of his ramshackle cabin. "Yup," the mountaneer is saying, "average income around here is 'bout $93,000. Most of us make around $1,200, but the fella up on the hill, he brings home a million dollars.

 

Besides which, what you're doing, perhaps unwitingly, is playing the culinary school game. What percentage of LA chefs are bringing home those kind of bucks?

 

Before that $29,000/year chef in Des Moines packs it in for LA, he ought to know what the realistic salary expectation might be. I don't know it. But I guarantee it ain't 100K.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #35 of 54

FWIW, here are some in-industry averages:

 

Cook (whatever that means):  $28,345

Bartender:                              28,200

Server                                    20,380

Sous chef:                             30,000

 

For comparative purposes:

 

Logger:                                $32,512

Medical Asst.:                        30,000

Union carpenter                      38,600

Union plumber                        39,217

 

And just to put this in perspective, here are typical salaries for investment bankers:

 

1st year associate (Bach degree)               $125,000

1st year associate (MBA)                          $180,000

3rd year associate                                    $350,000

VP                                                          $500,000

Director/Principal                                      $800,000

 

These figures apply to investment banking wage slaves, you understand, not to owners. Most investment banking organizations take part of their compensation in the form of equity positions, so there's no real way of figuring the annual income.


Edited by KYHeirloomer - 8/26/10 at 11:20am
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #36 of 54

I know .....I wonder sometimes why we are at the lower end of the pay scale ...

 

My daughter is only 23 and has some PR experiance ,,,just finished her 4th year in University.... Journalism BA. Now an Undergrad on her way to Masters and has had head hunters offer her 60K to walk in the door!

 

My brother is a Golf Course Superintendant making 130K!!!!!!!!

Brother -In-Law ....Electrician for a Toronto Hospital...bringing in 80K ....He tells me some days he watches a couple movies at work and changes a couple light bulbs!

 

We work so hard...we must love our jobs

 

The wages for Cooks are on scale up here in Canada with what was previuosly posted but Sous Chefs are much higher at 50 -100K here in Canada

 

Bartenders can pull in 100K easy...of course they do not claim that on their taxes...but what service industry personal are really truefull when it comes to the GOV?

 

Happy Cooking

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
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My feet are firmly planted in mid air
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post #37 of 54

Why do cooks earn so little?

 

4 reasons:

 

1)  There are no, or very few national recognized standards or benchmarks for cooks.

2) There is waaaaaaaaay too much competition for the dining dollar

3) The customer is virtually "programmed" to seek out the cheapest meal

4) The hospitality Unions have done very little to adress or even acknowledge the above issues.

 

#'s 2 and 3 are self complimentory.  In order to get the cheapest meal, the opertor finds the cheapest labour and the cheapest ingredients.  The indistry reponds with more and more "convienience items" which requires less and less experienced and knowledgeable cooks.  And  round and round it goes.....

 

Off my soapbox now.  Got my regualr stuff to do, then a high tea party to prep for, and then replace the flapper valve in the men's, then go out to Costco for the dairy run....

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #38 of 54

on the cruise ship positions...rarely beyond the two top slots will an america be even hired....remember, all ocean-going ships are flagged by any county except the USA.....and those two top chefs will most likely not be Americans.....it's $&cents.....There are some small lines in the U.S. ....Delta steamboat might still have 1or2 boats still running....can't remember the name for the line that does the N.W.....inside passage to Alaska.

post #39 of 54

How much would a chef with a michelin  star make?

post #40 of 54

Stars (or their equivalent) don't happen by accident.  The chef usually has a well developed career before earning one.  Chefs with stars are typically chef/owners, chef/partners or have some other sort of (non-equity) participation arrangement such as salary against draw; as I understand it a straight salary arrangement is very rare outside of a few hotels. 

 

A lot depends on the particular restaurant of course, and since there aren't that many operating at that level of critical approval, they're idiosyncratic almost by definition.  A lot depends on the city in where the restaurant is located, and how much nearby competition there is.  

 

You're looking at a chef who -- if she isn't making in excess of $150K -- can move into that sort of salary with a phone call.

 

There aren't that many around though.

 

BDL

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http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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What were we talking about?
 
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post #41 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

Stars (or their equivalent) don't happen by accident.  The chef usually has a well developed career before earning one.  Chefs with stars are typically chef/owners, chef/partners or have some other sort of (non-equity) participation arrangement such as salary against draw; as I understand it a straight salary arrangement is very rare outside of a few hotels. 

 

A lot depends on the particular restaurant of course, and since there aren't that many operating at that level of critical approval, they're idiosyncratic almost by definition.  A lot depends on the city in where the restaurant is located, and how much nearby competition there is.  

 

You're looking at a chef who -- if she isn't making in excess of $150K -- can move into that sort of salary with a phone call.

 

There aren't that many around though.

 

BDL



Right on the money BDL

 

In this industry for the most part it is not so much what you know. It is WHO you know ...goes along with other industries also........do not burn your bridges. The ass you kick today may be the one you have to kiss tomorrow

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
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My feet are firmly planted in mid air
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post #42 of 54

Hello there! I love cooking and I would love to make it as a profession but I am wondering how much a chef makes. I know this is something private but I am graduating high school in 2 months and I have no idea if I should attend CIA(Culinary Institute of America) or if I should just go to community college. I would really like a chefs point of view so if you can please let me know...? my email addres is abundez16@aol.com. Thank you!smile.gif

post #43 of 54

To earn a living as a cook you are best off moving around rapidly.  I have a friend who's cooking career started at the same time as my own.  I stayed in one place for several years while he worked at multiple places never longer than 8 months per place.  Now he is a sous chef making double what I did.  In the mean time I got an engineering degree and earn double what he does--but it certainly helps to works to always be searching for a better job in a better place.  That's certainly true for more than just cooking.

post #44 of 54

I am 14 years old and I "LOVE" to cook i have planned out my entire life until i looked at some sites and found some good posts and some bad what should i do?

 

I plan on going to culinary school and becoming a top chef of a 4-5Star Hotel

post #45 of 54

read cookbooks/culinary articles, dine at fine dining restaurants, take culinary classes/camps, read read read and play in the kitchen.

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #46 of 54

Learn politics.

 

 

Not regional or national politics, but work place politics.

 

Seriously, I've never worked under a 4 or 5 star Chef that wasn't on top of the hotel politics,:Who was stabbing him in the back, who wanted his job, who was protecting him but expecting rewards at a later stage.

 

You don't get to be at the top without making a few enemies and making a lot of people jealous.  The top CHef knows how to use the situations and pacify those who want his blood. 

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #47 of 54

i am going into to culinary art school when i get out of highschool so can you give me any advice about where to study and other stuff.

post #48 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Igrab Melons View Post

i am going into to culinary art school when i get out of highschool so can you give me any advice about where to study and other stuff.

What do you want to do with your life:

  • Work as a line cook?
  • Manage a kitchen (work as a chef)
  • Own your own place

 

Each has it's own education and training requirements.

 

The culinary knowledge is easy, in fact, the least expensive place, your local community college probably, is probably just as good as the most expensive for the basic skills.

 

Regardless as to which of the three choices you pick, I'd get a job in a fairly busy restaurant, not fast food nor a chain operation, you may have to start as a dishwasher, but that should not be a problem. After you've been there for at least a year, then ask the chef about schooling.

 

Of course, if you have $60,000 burning a hole in your pocket, go to CIA, FCI, or J&W

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
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post #49 of 54

thank you for the information i would like to knoe more bout it i am a rookie chef and was thinkin about going to vegas to start making my dream

post #50 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamuna View Post

 PeteMcCracken, I agree with you , but again while searching for the jobs, I could see the difference in compensation, between school trained chefs and once that were unique in there own way. I got culinary education not long ago and can charge my client up to $50 and hour. Before it was anywhere form 25 to 40 dollars. So when speaking  to how much chefs make, This is how it worked for me, In New York.

Interesting indeed

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post
NTBS, a "certificate" or "diploma" may boost one's "self confidence" in asking for a higher compensation rate but, IMHO, maintaining a higher rate is highly dependent on one's ability to perform, not one's educational record.

 

Im agree with you about this

post #51 of 54

none of you should be chefs,,you should all be politicians,,you do more dancing around the questions than the President does,,can;t you just say FOR EXAMPLE ONLY,,,"between 50 and 75 K for small or lesser restaraunts and say 76 - 100 k for mid level and between 100 to 276 k for upper crust type places,,,dang is it so hard to give a 

straight answer?<mod edit>

post #52 of 54

Egyptsy Dawn,

 

OK, straight answer for top chef's pay:

  • Small/lesser restaurants, low 25K, mid-range 40k, top end >80k
  • Mid/moderate restaurants, low 25k, mid-range 45k, top end >100k
  • Top end restaurants, low 40k, mid-range 60k, top end > 100k

 

Why does it appear to you that the answers are vague? Simply because the question is somewhat vague. I am aware of small, relatively unknown restaurants where the Chef takes home in excess of $250k (psst, he's the owner as wellwink.gif) and I'm familiar with a few Chefs at top end restaurants that will be lucky to clear 80k-100k.

 

I also know several Chefs who are satisfied with 30k-40k and run everything from 20 top to 400 top eateries.

 

The ranges I quoted above are worthless, IMHO, as they are, by definition, wrong.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #53 of 54

Large Las Vegas hotels, $300k.

post #54 of 54

it really depends on the place i have worked all over the country and honestly with a few exception pay goes in this range -

 

pantry- 9-10$ starting

 

line cook-9-13$ starting

 

Head cook( supervisor) - 12-15$ starting

 

Sous Chef- 15+$ starting making around 30-40k a year deepening on the place.

 

Head chef anywhere from 36k-100k on a regular non Michelin star restaurants and big hotels. 

 

Like i said there are exceptions some places are small with few employees but do big profits and pay more i worked at a place like that and i was making 45K as the sous chef. 

 

I made about 40k as a chef de cuisine. and right now i make about 36-39k as a sous chef depending on my hours. It dosn't always have to do with position, it has to do with location and what the place takes home. 

 

anyways this is not the business to get rich in and also those hotel chefs making 100-300k works like crazy maybe not on the line but tons of paperwork meetings, etc so is it really worth it? if your single probably but i have a family and thats why i choose to work where i work now, i get a full month off, paid, and i can take up to another 2 weeks off unpaid. I get health benefits and work with a good crew in Island paradise and get to spend time with my family.

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