Salary Position

Joined Mar 25, 2002
I have been working at a country club for a little over three years. Pretty small place with only 2 full-time and 2 part-time cooks besides the sous and the exec. I am one of the full timers. I really "began" my cooking carrer at the country club and now, at 26, am a little over half way done with my schooling. The other full timer is leaving us and was paid salary. I have asked to be moved to salary and the exec has agreed but he hasn't figured out any numbers yet (early next week he says). This is the first time I have taken a salary position and am looking for advice on what sort of number I should be looking for. Do I just figure what I made last year and add a little more? What is normal for benefits?
The club will be very busy (55-60 at most/week) over the summer months with golf going on but then will slow down for the winter months. In the past winters I have always had to worry about a second source of income and this would take care of that problem.
Feel like I am in over my head here with a new concept and would love some advice when I go into the meeting and look at the offer.



Greatest lesson a chef can learn is how to play hurt.
Joined Mar 6, 2001
Just one point:

I'm not totally certain if this is law everywhere but, I've always recieved extra compensation for OT hours even on salary. I was told they had to legally. BUT the catch is they only have to pay you minimum wage, nothing near your current wage.

So somethings depend upon how many hours OT will they actually want from you. Your place sounds honest and you've been there long enough to know the true hours. Some places do manage to use their salaried people to death.

One place I worked at the guys that weren't salaried made double time when OT. So (if I did the math right) they were making enough money thru the busy season to equal what I made year round. But they didn't have to stick around thru the boring slow days.

I would ask them what your OT rate would be. Then do the math, you might not be making more money then if you remained hourly.


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
I would figure out what you made last year and add a couple of percentage points to it to figure out what would be a good salary. The one thing I must point out though is that I believe your club is in violation of Wisconsin labor laws by paying employees a salary. I do believe that in Wisconsin, one must have a certain percentage of time devoted to supervisory work and/or must have the ability to hire and fire in order to be paid a salary. This is to keep unscrupulous employers from hiring a bunch of people at low salaries and then working them like crazy. Don't know if I would bring it up, but it is something you should be aware of.
Joined Mar 25, 2002
Thank you both for the advice so far. Yes, I have heard that too about the Wisconsin labor laws. Actually the way that the club did salary for others in the past was something called flex-pay. For my ovetime hours I would receive a percentage (40-50 I think) of my base pay figured out hourly. So, if I made 23,000 base pay that would be $11.06 an hour. Then it would be 40-50 percent of the $11.06 that I would get paid for every overtime hour. This is briefly how they did it in the past and think they will continue it.
Any advice about benefits?


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
There's something to be said about getting paid for each hour you're on the job. This might not be true however, if you worked for Walmart! ;)

Your benefits package can sometimes be more important than your salary, and sometimes the soft benefits are even more important than the ones you can value in terms of $$$.

Ranked in order of importance for most people...

1) Health insurance
2) Vacation and sick days
3) Retirement plans, the most common being a 401k
4) Others ie., Flexible spending accounts, parking.

You should look these up, they're quite complex. There are literally millions of 401k plans out there which are pretty lousy.

Joined Oct 13, 2001
Hey PUCK , You have recieved some great advice here but I shall add my 2 cents . I was a young exec at a country club when I was 26 years old . I was offered 20,400 a year salary back in 1986 . Nothing on the overtime which was expected . I told the board yes but I would require to be on the clock at this wage which would give me the pay for the overtime involved .
It made a difference . 10,000 dollars more of a difference my first year . My feelings are you get what you pay for . The Country Club benifited and so did I . To many times I have seen chefs take a job and be glad to be at the property more than they are interested in there income just because it will look good on the resume . Negotiations are a big part of our job and our quality of life . We as chefs need to raise the bar on our negotiations for wages and get out of the back of the house slave mold . There is a new job opening in my area right now for an exec chef which starts at 150,000 a year salary . Why ? Because they want the job done right and are willing to pay for it . Of course you must earn it but is that not what we have been trained for ?
God luck PUCK and remember your quality of life is a deciding factor . Your friend in food , Doug............................................
;) ;)

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