Please Help! Salary and Commision Question

Joined May 12, 2001
Hi all..i need some help. i've been working with a very small and i mean very small, operation for 2/12 yrs. my take was a 1/3 of each party. my job was basically chief cook and bottle wash. i did everything alone except the shopping, including set up, break down and clean up. most of my events have been in the 25-100 range with the occassional 250-300 for bkfst and lunch. This has been a good situation for me for lots of reasons too numerous to go into. Now we have acquired a separate kitchen with a new name and i am to be in charge of that completely. Our events will be much larger and now i have a staff at my disposal. we have decided to change the pay structure because now we're paying rent, electricity...etc. I live in sarasota fl and those of you that know the area know that the salaries here are a joke which is why i have always worked for commission. The offer on the table right now is $150.00 per week for 15 hrs to develop business, work ahead for parties and produce finished food for their other stores. The commission rate is now 15% based on billed sales less rentals, servers (client usually pays for them) prep help, tax, delivery charges and discounts. Commission based on selling, menu planning, coordinating, prep, set-up, clean-up, chopping, cooking, paperwork, and collecting all monies.
when my car has to be used, i get .30 a mile.

I have been going crazy trying to find out if this is fair. right now im not feeling too kindly about them as we just contracted for a huge party of 2800 ppl and my take on it has changed, not to the above deal, but soemthing else. I have agreed to it because it's a huge amount of money and i would be insane to walk away. They have basically cut my commission in half. uuuggghhh the more i think about it, the crazier i get. I would love to walk away after this huge party and still may, but i truely love what i do and i actually have a life outside of work. doesn't happen too often in this business. i need to think on that.

Any help with rates of commission a catering director gets would be so helpful. sorry this is so long.

Joined Jun 18, 2003
Hi Suzanne,
good luck, thats all I have to say. Im with a catering co
that when I started was small. and over the last couple of
yrs we grew. There doesnt seem to be any "not busy"
weekends. You say you have a life, and to be honest,
if you took this position, you are not going to have much
time outside of work. Best of luck


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
There are way too many ways that they have their hands in your pockets to easily figure this out. You should only be receiving commisions on things you have control over.

You should not be accountable for discounts after the fact. That should be backed out already since your commisions are based on billed sales. Imagine if you got 15% of $100 and they gave a 10% discount. That leaves you with $5.

Tell them to give you a straight 5% of sales with additional bonuses based on department profitability. This way nobody can play with the numbers.

That, or make you a partner.
Joined Oct 13, 2001
Well said kuan ! Its time to become a partner or a hourly employee . You also have a life and need a secure income .
The way they sound like they are acting is BS . Stand strong my friend !
Good luck , Doug...................
Joined May 12, 2001
thanks all for your replies. it looks like i may be going into business myself with a partner. very excited, but a little nervous. i need to do something on my own. i'll work my butt off to put money in my own pocket and not someone elses.

thanks again, and have a great holiday!

Joined Jul 2, 2001
Good luck in your adventure. Hire a good attorney. Have everything spelled out in plain language so there are no misunderstandings. Partnerships can be really hard to work out.
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