Making the Case For a Pastry Chef

Joined Jun 14, 2002
Consider it making your own job opportunity. How would you go about convincing a restaurant that has no pastry staff and currently buys their desserts in to hire you as a pastry cook (pt or ft) to make their desserts in house?

I could put together a dessert menu and cost it out, make a pretty chart with break even points etc. Maybe even plating diagrams (I'm crappy at graphic arts though).

Maybe 3-5 dessert items. Either pre-plated items like baked custards or mousse in martini glasses, or slice and serve. Additional components limited to at most a sauce and a single garnish. Existing staff would do the service, and I would do the prep and appropriate assembly prior to start of service.

I've got a 4 qrt ice and salt ice cream machine I could lug around. Maybe house made ice creams would be a extra selling point.

I'm thinking payment on a salary independent contractor basis, for a set amount of portions. I'm looking for flexibility in schedule and to lessen the strain on the labor budget.


The first thing I'd do is find out whether the owner's actually open to the idea of bringing on a pastry chef. If she/he isn't interested, there's no point in spending your time and effort on a sales pitch.

First order of business: find out what they're currently paying, then craft a presentation that meets their current needs and eliminates as much doubt as possible. If you have the opportunity to speak to some of their customers to get their feedback or ideas, all the better.

At the very least, I'd give them:
  • proposed dessert menu
  • revenue projections - first 3 months
  • monthly budget - what can they expect to pay for you and your work?

  • samples to taste
Whenever anyone's come to me asking for an opportunity like this, I'm much more open to hearing them out when they're well-prepared. Work with a trusted friend to make a list of every question you can imagine the owner asking you, and come up with concrete answers for all of them. Good luck!
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