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Need advice on what to ask for my pay working full time for a very wealthy businessman

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

         I have been working as a personal chef/ caterer for a few years I have had several successful events and people always LOVE the creative food I produce. I was recently  offered  my dream job working for a very wealthy and decent businessman in Marin County.  The  location is a very large estate which will serve as a home/office for this client and his staff/friends. It could best be described as a nicer version of sky-walker ranch (George Lucas' estate). It is being built with 2-3 guest houses and 2 recording studios. I have been asked to manage the kitchen day to day. Basically make sure that there is prepared  food when people  are hungry. It would be casual fare during most of the week. I could even buy food already made if that was a last resort. The job would also have casual me do dinners for the family a few nights a week and sit down dinner parties of 10-25 people and cocktail parties of up to 100. 

          The staff ( bartenders, housekeepers, servers, etc ) would all be provided by and paid for by this client. I have been asked what I would charge for this job. I want to make money but I would also be given access to this kitchen to use  to prepare for my other events. HELP I have no idea what or how to charge! Any input would be helpful.

 

post #2 of 14

So.. lemme get this straight.

 

A full time gig.

You don't have to worry about food cost.

You don't have to worry about labour cost.

You don't have to worry about hiring and firing and H.R. and labour standards.

You don't have to worry about overhead.

No shrinkage.

No annual budgets.

You will almost always know in advance how many mouths you need to feed.

Just feeding folks so Richie Rich can throw a decent party?

 

If you got paid $50,000 a year for this, I'd say you were making out pretty damn good. His wealth is irrelevant. If you wanna take him to the cleaners, go for it, it's your conscience, but the gig sounds too sweet to be true... don't ask a bunch of guys who bust nuts all day long for mediocre wages what you should get paid.

post #3 of 14

HOW MANY HOURS average per week.. If 40  I can tell you down here in Palm Beach I charge $250.00 -300. a day minimum. No benefits .  If he offers benefits , then negotiate.. Keep in mind they expect the best. Do not use his place to prep other parties you are looking for problems.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well I am a little surprised at your attitude. I posted on this site because I value and respect your opinions. It is a sweet job and i would never want to take anyone" to the cleaners"
I only wanted a guideline( hourly/ daily) of what to quote for a full time gig like this.
post #5 of 14

I would do a flat rate per hr ( $40) some weeks 30 hrs, some weeks 60 hrs. I agree, use the kitchen for the client, that way there is no question, that all food purchased is his...............

post #6 of 14

Not only food , but if something goes wrong the client can't say you were concentrating on your other business first. And heaven forbid any thing should go wrong with one of your outside gigs you are liable as well as your client . His home is not a commercial licensed business.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #7 of 14

Marisa, I am not answering with "attitude" merely responding to your post, of which the title and first 50% is spent ensuring we know how wealthy he is.  His wealth is irrelevant to the issue... unless it isn't.... if you get what I am saying. The only reason I can see for telling us that he lives in a nicer version of Skywalker Ranch is that you see dollar signs in the air. If I am wrong, then forgive me. But I don't think I am.

 

The job is worth what you think it's worth. It's your time, how much is your time worth? At this stage of the game for me, the money I make is directly proportional to the stress I face. I am happy to take less cash for less stress, but when faced with the day to day BS of liquor cost, food cost, staffing and way too many bosses for my liking, I demand more. The job you describe simply sounds, in comparison, like a playground. A job where I get to create menus and cook with no regards to cost, waste or any of the other day to day issues that often send me home wishing I'd been a plumber? If you offered me said job for what I get paid right now, I'd quit this in a heartbeat... without thought. Without hesitation. If I was offered a gig like this by Steve Jobs himself, I'd still do it for what I get paid right now.

 

Personally, I'd feel like I was ripping him off for $40 an hour... but that's just me. Your mileage may vary. Then again, I'm no hardcore capitalist either. I'm a "I make a decent living for an honest day's work" kinda guy... if I make enough to pay my bills and maintain the standard of living that I enjoy, then I'm good.


Edited by PrairieChef - 3/9/11 at 6:32am
post #8 of 14

In some ways, I find the title to this thread a bit "suspicious", you know, like one of the scam -emails we get every day.

 

Now, as I read through your posts and the replys, I can see your question, and see you have recieved some excellent replies.  I also don't see what the client's financial status has anything to do with the situation.

...."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 #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for your input. I can tell you that my listing is not a scan or anything like that. I am a person who Is very passionate about food and wanted to get a feel for what people charge. I am new to the concept of working only for one socislite or celebrity type. I used the issue of his having money because that usually means they are more high maintenance than the everyday client.
I emailed him asking for a more detailed idea of how many hours/ day $ days / week. Etc. I'll post again when I hear back.
post #10 of 14

If it's looking like a full time gig....what a dream!   I'd not monkey around with outside work.  Ask enough for this to be it.

Cali, in SF area, starting $100+k  

Bonuses for over and above party work....ie, if you agree that there will be 2 or however many parties a month, then bonus goes with them....discuss from the very beginning what that would look like so that there will be NO misunderstandings later on.

health ins

life ins

401k

vacations

holidays ?

If he's got businesses it should be easy enough to put you on a benefit plan.   Seriously work the vacation stuff out at the beginning.

If you have a family, you may want to figure out what you'd need to make this work (especially with time commitments).

If you are giving up a thriving business then are you willing to sell it or find a workable solution?  

 

Good luck and if you choose not to accept, feel free to give them my PM....I like SF.

 

 

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you shroomgirl:) I am new to this online forum setting and I am afraid that I offended some of these guys on here. I am really new to this, and the reason( I think) he wants me for the job isn't because I was working at french laundry for 10 years, but because of my passion, and spirit for serving others.  You are right about asking for benefits. He certainly could provide  certain benefits provided it turned out to be a long term job. I don't know how to give him the estimate. Is it too much to say 80 or 100k a year or is it more digestible in hourly or daily terms?

post #12 of 14

Marisa, please don't be offended....since you are new to Cheftalk there is a sense of wariness about spammers....which you appear not to be.

The gig you are asking about is a DREAM job for 99% of the guys on this site, certainly me included.

Since I'm not privy to your initial conversations with this potential employer it's very hard to advise you.  

Salaried employees seem like a different animal than hourly.  I'm reading between the lines.

This guy has homes elsewhere, so he travels (not sure how much).....I had CFO of major company for a client that took 5 week vacations every summer....

This guy has a family, and lots of business friends/company often (daily/weekly/?) Are his kids little? are they at home? are you expected to cook for them 5+ nights a week? lunches? breakfasts? snacks?

Will you have help cleaning up? if so would that person answer to you?

Cocktail parties? how often?

Have they had someone cooking for them previously? how long? why aren't they taking this gig?   For all my high profile long term clients they made it a point to tell me how long their staff has been working for them...10+ years in most cases....which is an amazing clue into their personalities.

 

I am not an hourly person, just work to fast for that.  But there should be perimeters to this job....with extra $ for more work, and a fall back plan if you aren't able to fulfill it all.  IE....You've already put in a 50 hour week cooking for the family, lunches, shopping etc....there's unexpected company coming into town for the weekend and they'd like to have a cocktail party for 50 Sat night and brunch Sun for 45....plus light dinner Sunday night.  There's already staff you've worked with can they manage with what you've bought/prepped?  Or is there a local caterer that is brought in?  Or are you going to power through into a 100 hour week? At the end of the day you cannot always be there if it's overload all the time.  If they go on vacation or to another house you need to be paid, if you are hourly then chances are you don't get paid.  I'd want to be considered an employee and get the benefits forementioned.

SF is one of the most expensive places to live 80-100k is seriously not that much in your area.

 

 

 

 

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #13 of 14

Sounds like an awesome job op. I'd suggest, sitting down with him and talking this over. Ask about benny's, hours, etc. Travel time? 

 

Anyhow, hope everything works out for you. Keep up posted.

post #14 of 14

Belated Welcome Marisa, It must be nice to have a two word Resume " French Laundry" says it all, not questions asked. I always enjoyed taking class at CIA and the town of St Helena, the farmers market is always fun also. ...............Best of luck with your new opportunity..................ChefBillyB

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