Huge Potential Promotion

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by draxxie, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. draxxie

    draxxie

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     Hi!

    long time lurker, first time poster.

    First I want to give you a little background on what is going on so I can hopefully get some advice from you guys.

    Im 22 and Ive been cooking professionally for 4 years.  I currently have a lead line cook position at a hotel restaurant where this is no sous chef, so Im essentially the Chef's right hand man.

    Chef has put in his notice and is leaving soon.  This has brought more responsibilities onto me already ie: going from ordering just produce to everything we stock, taking over our PM banquets, and just working more in general.

    There is no chef taking over the position when Chef leaves (monday, they are looking but having a "hard time").  I've had a talk to with RM and they wanted to know that im comfortable ordering everything and to tell me that they're happy that Ive been able to step up and take the reigns somewhat.

    Whether this is temporary or not, I will be running the kitchen and I feel I should take a very significant compensation increase to match my new set of responsibilities.  I currently make 14.50 an hour which comes out to be about 25k a year take home.  I want to ask for 18 an hour or 35k a year (they would be very close at the end of the year). Do you think that is an adequate figure?  Also, I want either a 60 or 90 day review to show how I've turned the state of the kitchen around totally (dirty kitchen, below par staff, always an 86 list). Good idea or no?

    My selling points would be that Im young, hungry for this opportunity, have 4 years of experience, and have already been working in that kitchen for 8 months.  I know I can do this. Any advice on moving forward?

    Thanks!
     
  2. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Both are good ideas, I would go with a 60 day review.

    I think you grasped the right idea of negotiating a situation.  If you just take whatever they give you, you will have a hard time getting fair compensation or recognitiion later.

    Now, points to ponder....

    As a owner/manager I ALWAYS second guess my staff, from my most trusted to my lest trusted, I alwyas have some kind of idea what would happen if "Bob" doesn't show or quits, if  "Frank" just won the lottery or got run over a bus--I always have some kind of a contingency plan.

    The RM or owner should have/must have known the Chef was leaving--if not outright fired him.

    Be prepared to take the 35 k/yr offer, and they will make you sweat your hiney off  Once you get the place cleaned up, they will make heavier demands, once you get a decent f/l cost, they will want lower.  Be prepared to negotiate and always have something up your sleeve.,  
     
  3. squirrelrj

    squirrelrj Banned

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    Why not shoot higher, and give yourself some room to work with? that's a pretty big step, going from lead cook to "chef", certainly worth a lot more of a bump in pay than $3.50 an hour.
     
  4. everydaygourmet

    everydaygourmet

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    IMHO and experience IF it is a chain, then the position would come with a standard start based on experience, if not then your kind of on your own. What was the previous chef making? Why was there no sous chef?, any idea on the budget and numbers, comps p and l etc. Simply ask them about what the budget is, projections, expectations etc. What's the plan for the property? Think bigger picture, put yourself in the bosses owners shoes, everything's a numbers game, try to work into their budget. Any plans to increase volume, sales etc., show them you can innovate, successfully and you'll justify your request for a larger salary. Agree to not sell your self short, prepared is prepared, info is key, don''t guess at anything, get the information in a professional manner.

    Cheers,

    EDG
     
  5. duckfat

    duckfat

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      Be professional in your approach to this. If your not careful it can come off like you think you have your employer in a tight spot and are squeezing. If your employer feels that way no matter how good you are you might end up following in the previous Chef's foot steps the minute they hire some one new. Stepping from lead cook to Chef is a large move even in a small kitchen. Be prepared for an offer of less than 35K. After all the previous Chef's salary may have been the very reason he's no longer there.  

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  6. draxxie

    draxxie

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    Thanks buddy good advice.  And yes they did know he was leaving, gave a 1 month notice.  RM keeps saying that she is having a lot of problems finding a new chef.
     
  7. draxxie

    draxxie

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    True, I feel like I want more but Im not sure Id get it.. doesnt hurt to try i guess
     
  8. gfweb

    gfweb

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    Early in a career it might be more valuable to have the title/experience than the pay. I can't tell you how to decide ...and I'm not a chef... but i suspect that the new line on your resume might pay off down the line with more money than you might make off this promotion.
     
  9. michaelga

    michaelga

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    this times 100x

    How long do you think it would take you to make sous?

    Then how many years at that before you *might* have a shot as the 'chef' in a new and upcoming - can't quite pay - payroll problems etc. place?

    Take the title and let the money sort itself out later... 

    ... one thing to make sure of though is 'are they keeping you as chef?'  Or do they expect you to just do the job until they can find a 'chef'?
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  10. draxxie

    draxxie

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    See thats what I dont know. I think if I can show that I can run it, and save them the bigger salary of a more experienced chef, it could be permanent.  I talked to Chef today and his advice was to just run it and show them that Im invaluable and THEN talk to the RM.
     
  11. draxxie

    draxxie

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    He also said that with the corporate structure the pay always goes with the job title, but if your job description changes drastic like mine will the pay scale raises too.  Also he said that the company's criteria for a sous chef position is when more than 40% of your job is administrative which I will definitely be at, so at the very least I should have that.
     
  12. everydaygourmet

    everydaygourmet

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    Drax,

    IMHO&E, LISTEN to the veteran Chef who has literally "been there done that", he also knows, really knows who you are dealing with ( both management and the RM) and the proverbial landscape so Semper Fidelis!

    Quick ?, why is Chef leaving?

    Cheers, and all the best of luck, Chef!

    EDG
     
  13. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Quote:
    You should ask for a raise but remember your not saving them any $$$ if you ask for the same salary (or more) than the last Chef.

    Find a way to make this a win/win for you and your employer. You need to SAVE them $$$ and get the job done with less experience. Ask for a little more per hour so you can keep your job when/if they hire a new Chef and still make more $$$ while stepping up.

     If you ask for the same money (or more) than the last Chef you are letting your employer know you feel you have as much or more experience than the last Chef and can do the job as well or better. Not many here in the US would do interim promotions when they are actively seeking a new Chef. Why? When they do hire some one else that means you get demoted. It almost always ends poorly and that's not considering some of the legal ramifications in select states here in the US.

     The Hotel business is a tough game and you would be wise to consider the advice of your former Chef who is familiar with your employer.

    Best of Luck either way.

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  14. squirrelrj

    squirrelrj Banned

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    Well, that chef was fired, so i'd say doing the job as "well" as him won't get him too far to begin with.

    I still say shoot for the moon, why in the world anyone would settle for less is beyond me. I don't know about everyone else, but in the world I live in, fair or not, you need money to live, lots of it.
     
  15. foodpump

    foodpump

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    That's the million dollar question.  What kind of a R.M. sits on his/her hands for a month (Chef did give a month's notice) moaning that they can't find the "right person", and then just let the kitchen run by itself?
     
  16. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Since they verbally told you they were having'' a hard time finding a chef.'' Play the game, tell th em you would be interested in the position,, as if you were not going to do all this xtraa work for nothing. See what response you get . Then play it from there  GOOD LUCK TO YOU  But don't let them take advantage of you
     
  17. duckfat

    duckfat

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    The Chef gave a months notice according to the OP. 

    Dave
     
  18. draxxie

    draxxie

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    Thanks for all the help guys. I am going to take Chef's advice and give it a week or two before I bring up my compensation to show that I can do it and they need me.

    Will update with the happening if anyone is interested.
     
  19. everydaygourmet

    everydaygourmet

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    Best of luck "Chef Draxx"!, hope you "kill it"
     
  20. leeniek

    leeniek

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    Best of luck to you!  Keep us posted!