industry standard for baker's salary (NYC)

Joined Oct 21, 2010
I work in a coffeehouse in NYC as the head baker. Actually, I am also the kitchen manager, as I am the person who deals with everything food. I do all the ordering, inventory, pricing and baking. I AM the kitchen. I know that I am grossly underpaid ($13/hr) but I have been told that if I start taking custom orders (cakes, cupcakes, pies, etc..) I can get a percentage. The same is true for the new savory options I am planning to start offering. The place has recently undergone an expansion and is doing a TON of business. I know that the foods I make are bringing in at least 60% of the profits. Here are my questions:

What is the industry standard for my position? (I have 8 yrs experience running my own catering/baking company and have worked in other high-volume bakeries)

What percentage should I ask for the savory options and for all the custom orders?

Do they have a right to keep my recipes when/if I decide to leave?

How do I approach the owners with my requests?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Joined Oct 8, 2010
Sorry, this is completely off topic because I have no answers to any of questions - but would you mind sharing the name of your establishment? I'm from New York and I'm very interested in this type of work.
Joined Aug 26, 2010
I hope this helps. Yeah, if you're in NYC, you're underpaid. You should be getting at least $15/hr, but at your level I would say $17-18 would be more like it. But that's up to the owners. We're in a tough economy and it's not a good idea to get greedy, but you should make sure you are showing yourself to be valuable to the owners.

Put your savory proposals on paper with food costs and estimated sales, the present them to the owners. All owners are interested in the bottom line. I would think 10-15% would be fair to ask, and if the items are profitable, it shouldn't be a problem.

As far as recipe ownership goes, they only own your recipes if you signed an agreement when you became employed. I faced a similar situation recently and was happy to know they didn't have me sign a proprietary agreement. I did not leave on good terms and wasn't inclined to leave them with any of my recipes. So I didn't. However, if you ever work for a large company, they will have you sign that type of agreement. And they won't hire you unless you sign it. Just don't put any of your recipes into their computer or give anyone a copy. Unless you're hired to specifically create recipes for your job, I can't see giving away your hard-earned secrets. But that's just my opinion.

Good luck.

Latest posts

Top Bottom