Negotiating Sous Chef Salary

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by freshbaked, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. freshbaked

    freshbaked

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    Hello, soon I will have a formal interview for a sous chef position-- I was already offered the position but the chef and owners needed to discuss salary and would get back to me.  At that time I will also ask to receive a full job description once the restaurant is open.  The restaurant is set to open in 5-8 weeks and in the meantime I will help chef write the menu, plan menu items, organize kitchen, etc. 

    1) What responsibilities call for higher pay? (supervising, ordering, menu planning, training, etc.)

    2) How would a benefits package effect my salary? Chef mentioned that a "full benefits package" is included with the job, but we didn't get into detail and this will be my first job that offers benefits.Any general explanation would also be appreciated. 

    3)  Is a salary negotiable after payments have started or are they usually stuck for a year or so? 

    4) Might be too hard to answer, but would you have a ballpark range of what to expect/what to NOT accept? I just want to be prepared when they tell me. Im 21, female, first sous job, VERY mature, Chef WANTS  me to work for him very badly (he spoke to all my current managers about me while he was working on the menu items in our prep kitchen--which is how we met), living in Phoenix, Arizona, restaurant concept is brand new to this company (the have another chain that has 19 locations and is a $50 million profit/year) and is a Mediterranean seafood based tapas restaurant with a raw oyster bar and sushi. 

    I know all of (for the most part) this is just a guess but I don't want to be screwed out of money because I wasn't prepared or didn't know what I was talking about.  I'm not afraid to counter their initial offer if I have to, so some tips on doing that would be cool too...

    According to Indeed.com, the average sous chef salary in Phoenix, AZ is $41,000. 

    Any help is appreciated, thanks.
     
  2. chefboyog

    chefboyog

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    Indeed.

    They shouldnt be offering jobs without a contract or job offer. First red flag.

    1. Yes.
    2. Benefits are part of compensation. I am not American but in my parts " benefits" would include; vacation, matched RRSP contribution, health/ eye/ dental etc. Add up what they are " worth" to you in your evaluation of their " offer".
    3. No. And your " stuck" until you decide you can negotiate. You can build in compensation increases into your contract.
    4. Why you think they prifit 50M? That is a LOT of profit. Ask for a chunknof the moon if your that big of a superstar or ask to be chef of your own.
     
  3. freshbaked

    freshbaked

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     1) I don't understand your answer... 

    4) I know that they profit that because I have spoken with the owners. They of course, could lie/exaggerate, but that is what I was told.  And I never said anything about being a superstar or wanting to be the chef, just wanted to know what number to offer/expect. 
     
  4. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    2.6M is a lot of profit per unit. Are you sure you are not confusing profit with revenue?
     
  5. grande

    grande

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    1. Being the adult in the room plus all these.
    2. Shouldn't affect your salary, per se. Some places will say, "a total package worth $x---" and mix it in, most people I've dealt with are more straightforward.
    "We pay you $x--- and there's benefits, which cost this, we pay this much." Benefits are arranged by companies in bulk for all employees and are almost never negitiable.
    3. Theoretically your review date will be established when you're hired. If you accept the job at a certain rate and later take on much more resposibility, you may be able to ask for a raise. I doubt you'd get it if your salary is relatively fair.

    4. I wouldn't recommend a sous in Seattle to take a job at less than $36k. Can't say in phoenix.
     
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  6. grande

    grande

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    I should add, an entry level sous.
     
  7. chefboyog

    chefboyog

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    Sorry I'll clarify;
    1. Yes, THEY do;
    1) What responsibilities call for higher pay? (supervising, ordering, menu planning, training, etc.)

    Not being snipey just saying your right.
    4. I said IF. Its a big IF. Ask and you shall ( possibly) receive.
    Dont ask and youbcertainly will not.
     
  8. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with those that say that $50M is probably revenue, not profit for a 19 unit chain.  Secondly, I think that $41,000 is a pipe dream, as things stand right now.  Of course, the huge unknown is how new minimum wage laws and the new salary exemption law is going to change things.  I can't really answer to that.  In the past, for someone your age, fresh out of culinary school, with a few years in before that, and it being your first sous chef job I wouldn't offer more than $28,000-$30,000 plus benefits.  Since it's been awhile since I've hired a sous chef I might add a couple of thousand to that, but not much more.  That $41,000 that was quoted is an average, with experienced sous chefs making that or more and inexperienced sous chefs making much less.  I also wonder if that salary quoted is looking at the entire package, including benefits, which do have a cost.
     
  9. chefboyog

    chefboyog

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    PS beg for hourly wage with overtime at 44hrs. Otherwise your ( basically) a slave, especially if they offer you weekly salary of 500-650.

    Businesses like to throw around titles and salaries hoping to get a lot of extra hours out of employees.

    If your Sous Chef with less than ten cooks under you it may be a trap.
     
  10. freshbaked

    freshbaked

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    Just wanted to give an update on all of this. They offered me $18/hour, overtime at 40 hours and a 50/50 benefits package.
     
  11. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    Not bad!  Sounds pretty fair to me.