More responsibility, less compensation

Joined Jun 16, 2014
     I am the executive chef at the restaurant I work in. Until recently, we've had our desserts brought in from outside the restaurant(2 ladies make them in commercial space & deliver them to us.) The quality/creativity has declined over the last 6 months to the point where my owner asked me if I would try making a dessert. I made a simple bread pudding, which he and the staff really enjoyed. We put it on the menu and I've been making it for the last couple of months, with good feedback. A few weeks ago for a beer tasting dinner, I made a dessert that ran all week with the special menu. Everyone loved it, including the owner who said it was the best dessert he's ever had at either of his restaurants. It outsold all of our desserts 2:1 that week. He tells me to put it on the regular menu. He also wants me to make 1 other dessert, so that we are only bringing in 1 of our desserts. (We usually run 4 desserts)

     Now here is my dilemma. Last week I asked him for a raise, stating that I'm working extra hours, extra responsibility(desserts) and making him more money. I broke down all of the desserts I'm making and they vary from 13%-23% food cost. The desserts we bring in are 39-50% cost. In addition, we had our busiest week ever, 2 weeks ago.

     Yesterday, he told me that he didn't think it was the right time for a raise and that I would have to wait until the new year. But, my labor & food cost are fine. Also, he's taking my sous chef to his other restaurant 2 days a week & possibly promoting her to executive chef over there too. So I'm going to have to work even more.

     Now I don't know what to do. I feel like I am doing a good job, he said I'm doing a good job, so what gives? I understand in a salaried position, you have to work more to fill in the gaps, but the financials have to make sense at some point, right? I feel like I'm doing a pastry chef's job too. I really do like working there, but after yesterday, my morale is pretty low. 

     I'd appreciate opinions/feedback on how to handle this situation. Thanks.
Joined Feb 17, 2010
Suck it up it's three desserts, how long does it take to bang out some bread pudding? How big of a place is this? Don't you have someone that you can delegate some of your work to so that you can spend a couple hrs on desserts? If not time to ask for another cook since your loosing your sous.
Joined Jun 16, 2014
I appreciate the tough love. Maybe that's what I need. I was just disappointed about not getting a raise, I guess. I'll soldier through it, like always. I usually roll with the punches, but you have to stick up for yourself when you think you're right, no?

     FWIW, 75 seat restaurant, I cook on the line 3 nights/week and I'm the first prep person 2 days a week, expo 2 nights/week

     Thanks for the feedback.
Joined May 5, 2010
Owners, operators have a different point of view when it comes to spending money.

There may be no logical reason here.

They certainly don't need to give you one.

It's their place and they can do as they please.

Perhaps a wait of another month, may loosen his grip on the money.
Joined Oct 23, 2013
Delegate. Executive orders; " heres the recipe for" dessert", have it ready for Saturday, any questions the doors always open"

Give them like 2 complements before piling on the work, if they're doing a decent job that is.
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