Salary Help

pete

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I have a question for some of you more experienced chefs. I have, recently, been contacted about an Executive Chef position and was hoping you all could help me out with my salary negotiations, if it even goes that far. The position would be that of Executive Chef for a smaller, mid-scale hotel (250 rooms) in a small, Midwestern city. The hotel has an upscale "Chophouse", a Martini Bar, banquets and is attached to the city's convention center. As a full service hotel, it is 3 meals a day, brunches on weekends, room service, and I am sure holiday brunches & buffets. So my question is what would a good base salary be? I would hate to under sell myself, but on the other hand, don't want to freak them out by asking something way too high (is $500 grand too high:D ). Of course I understand that it all depends on exactly where this place is, what experience I bring to the table, etc. I am just looking for some guidelines so that I can come up with a range. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

kuan

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This hotel probably does 1.2-1.5 million in food and beverage sales. In a "small" midwest town you're looking at making no more than 50k/yr in a hotel. 40k/yr is more likely. Most of the time you get a base + bonus, whichever way you cut it, 40k as a total is realistic.

But why talk salary? The key is to talk about the job, make sure that you're absolutely the person they want, then talk salary. If your salary requirement is part of your marketability then you know that they're not too worried about the quality of chef.

Kuan
 

pete

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Believe me kuan we are no where close to being at the point of talking salary. I am just looking for feedback about what the average chef in such a position would/should be making, so if it gets to that point I don't undersell myself. There will be a lot to discuss long before the whole salary thing pops up.
 

pete

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I have made it through interviews with a headhunter, the HR person of the hotel and now I have my interview with the F&B director on Monday.
 
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As far as salary goes, Banquets bring the revenue. Who owns the hotel? If it is a chain (hyatt, raddison, quality inn, holiday inn) your pay has been decided before you came in the door. Have them give you an offer and then think about it for a day. Think about how you can 'upgrade' the place, increasing revenue, then come back to them with something. What is the worst that can happen?
 

kuan

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A lot of chain hotels are franchised. They may be run by a management group or independently managed. Even so, they have a pretty good idea of what they can afford to pay a chef.

Often it's base plus percentage of sales or some variation theroff. Make sure you know exactly where on the pnl you get paid. You don't want other people's hands in your pockets. :)

Kuan
 
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Pete:

This is the universal dilemma for interviewees. Asking for too little salary and screwing yourself or asking for too much and freaking them out.

I think under-selling yourself is riskier than over-selling yourself.

In my past life as a manager of a business within a larger coporation, I can tell you this:

We never decided to not give someone a job offer we liked just because they asked for more salary than we were willing to pay. We simply said, here's what we can afford. I suspect most employers are similar. If they like you and feel you are right for the job, they're not gonna pass you by because you asked for a higher salary. They know people are trying to get as much as they can.

Obviously you don't want to ask for something astronomical and look ridiculous, but my suggestion is to aim a little high. You want to make sure you get the upper end of the range they already have in mind.

Mark
 

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