What Are Chefs’ Salary in 2014?
Apr 7, 2015 | 12:00 pm
To understand what this question truly is, we must first define what a ”Chef “ is. Your grandmother, no matter how delicious her chocolate chip cookies are, is not a chef. The gentleman behind the wall at the local IHOP or Bob Evan’s, no matter how marvelous and mouth watering his omelets are, is not a chef. A chef is a person with some specific training and a talent for creating food that rises above the norm. The Chef can rattle off recipes like Bob Costa can rattle off baseball stories. A chef has a love for and understanding of foods and blends that can be mind-boggling.
What Kind of Chefs Are There?
In general, Chefs fall into two categories, food and baking. Both types can easily work in the others domain, but each has a special love and talent for each particular group. Often, the salaries may be different between the two categories. A bakery chef can put together the confections of dreams on the spur of the moment and make the tastes unique, but this job has pretty much the same job description at a grocery store or a Michelin Restaurant, so the salaries can vary wildly.
On the other hand, a food chef can take vegetables or meat, or any other food and create a unique taste treat with remarkable aplomb. Each is keenly aware of presentation and will present the creation in a way that is as pleasing to the eye as to the palette. However, the chef responsible for the kitchen will generally be the boss and make the better salary.
Where Do Chefs work?
As a chef, you can work for or own a restaurant or work for any number of food service corporations. Red Lobster, Perkin’s and even McDonalds hires chefs to work on the recipes that the employee behind the wall can put together to treat your taste buds in a new savory way, or the Chef may reinvent an old favorite. The reputation of the food organization rests on their abilities. The bakery chef may work for the Publix grocery chain or a grand hotel chain. In the grocery store, the obligation is putting together a replicable delight that will bring you back again and again. In the multi-star restaurant, the job is to put an exclamation point on a memorable meal, and that exclamation point brings people back. If you have a less than stellar bakery chef, the customer may leave with a question mark and would be less likely to return.
What Do These Chef’s Earn?
The pay can be wildly dispersed. The lower 10% of chefs can expect to earn about $25,000 per year. This may include new hires or older chefs whose talent or personality does not set him apart from the rest. Most chefs can expect to earn in the $35,000 range, not an earth shaking amount, but can seem to be a marvelous remuneration for the ability to work among all of the aromas wafting through the kitchen or bakery. The highest 10% can earn $75,000 per year or so as a median.
Regardless of salary, these people are special in that they have not only the ability to cook food, but they often present specialized cuisine, such as French, Cajun, Italian or the likes and make it in their own, personal style. These people also tend to have a personality and showmanship that sets them apart from the group. Part of their ability to acquire a high salary rides on that showmanship and interpersonal ability. Perhaps, more than any other profession and a chef’s salary can often depend on the talent and abilities to stand out from the crowd.
There is the networking aspect as with any profession, of course, but the ability to come up with a delightful culinary treat, almost on demand, is the real driving force here. If you chose to be a chef, it will often be your talent and ambition that is the greatest deciding factor in your earnings. Finally, no matter what you earn, there are those indescribable aromas.