When a hired chef wants a %, event pay and tip...

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by likewaterfc, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. likewaterfc

    likewaterfc

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    Is it industry standard if a head chef is paid a % of an event to also receive pay for working the event (8-10 hrs) as well

    as receive a tip from the client? I would like to hear everyone's experiences in this area. 
     
  2. mikeswoods

    mikeswoods

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    Could you explain the situation in more detail?

    In my experience, the owner/manager sets up the terms of pay before a chef is hired--and the chef agrees to the terms or is not hired.

    Is this employee telling you how to pay him? 
     
  3. likewaterfc

    likewaterfc

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    I employ a chef on a project basis paid by the hour. She does such a fantastic job I wanted to compensate her

    for the large events where her role is much larger. We agreed to 20% of the food portion of the invoice as pay. Where

    I am not clear is that she is telling me that she should also be paid to work the event by the hour. If this is standard

    I can accept this. However, if this is purely "double-dipping" then I would like to change terms. Can you advise me?
     
  4. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    So let's say the chef works 10 hrs @ $25hr = $250

    The food portion of the invoice is 100pp x $20pp = $2000 x 20%= $400

    $650 pay day for the chef, where do I sign up?

    This is all hypothetical, but paying the chef 20% of your food charges is way out of line in my opinion.

    When I was the chef at a restaurant that had banquet facilities, I was paid a salary, plus a small % of food, somewhere around 1% plus  2% of the 18% service charge(tip) IMO, I was compensated very well. It all added up nicely at the end of the month.

    In another situation, I got Very good hourly (union) pay plus $1pp
     
    brandon odell likes this.
  5. likewaterfc

    likewaterfc

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    Thanks for your feedback Chefbuba! I think I may be overpaying as well..
     
  6. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Quote:
    The quotes seem to be in conflict with each other.

    Whether her rate of pay is above or below or in the middle of industry standards doesn't really matter. Do you feel the services rendered are worth the amount you pay? Do you feel that it is a equitable relationship?
     
  7. vic cardenas

    vic cardenas

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    Agreed with chefbuba. It seems like you might be overpaying but like cheflayne says... Is she worth it? I get paid an hourly rate, plus a portion of the grat at 18%. Not any food percentage. If we have a large banquet that requires 4 staff. I get a quarter of the 18% grat. If I have a smaller banquet and do it all myself. I get the full 18%. It works out to be pretty good money any day we have a banquet. If we all got a percentage of the food we are putting out, we'd have to charge more for the food to make up for it. We have pretty good prices for banquets, and as a result we are pretty busy through out the season. If we were more expensive, I doubt we would have so much business because our prices would be more in line, or more expensive than our competition. 
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  8. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Depends on what terms he was hired under but the norm is NO
     
  9. brandon odell

    brandon odell

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    For what it's worth, 20% is at the top end of a typical kitchen labor budget, for the ENTIRE kitchen, including taxes and benefits, for an average, successful restaurant. It's over what most catering companies budget for kitchen labor. You would typically see kitchen labor for a caterer, and most restaurants, closer to 15-18% of revenue after taxes and benefits. If the chef is doing all the work on their own, and they are really good, they might well be worth the 20%, if that includes their payroll taxes and benefits or if they are a contractor. If you are having to pay for other cooks also, you are overpaying in my opinion.

    Some things to consider:

    Automatically charged gratuities are NOT "tips". A "tip" is a voluntary gratuity offered by a guest, and it violates federal labor law to split that tip with anyone other than service staff, unless the tip is given directly to a non-service related staff member. So if the guest decides how much to leave as a gratuity, the chef cannot get part of that money, neither can any manager or non-service personnel.

    Automatically charged gratuities, on the other hand, are considered part of your business revenue by the IRS and DOL. If you have an agreement with the chef to give them 20% of the sale on the party, they would likely have a case in court to claim you owe them 20% of any automatic gratuity that you charge. That money is "revenue", not a "tip". That said, what you are truly responsible for really depends upon the agreement you already have with the chef.
     
  10. likewaterfc

    likewaterfc

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    Brandon,

    This is incredibly helpful and gives me a better understanding of how the event system payroll works with chefs and overall kitchen 

    labor budget. Information regarding servers wages and prep cooks is easily found, but it gets quite difficult to learn what financial

    agreements owner/operators have with their chefs in the catering industry so THANK YOU!
     
  11. mikeswoods

    mikeswoods

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    A small thought for the future----

    I paid my kitchen staff well and never had a set bonus plan---

    When a job went well and was an unusual effort AND was profitable--I gave the kitchen staff a bonus.

    I never told them in advance----they knew I appreciated their work and skills---I shared the successes but they did not expect the bonus.

    Never make a promise you can't keep---

    Promise a bonus on a job and the customer doesn't pay or you have a huge business expense come up unexpectedly--and you could hurt the business if you are under legal obligations to pay a bonus.
     
  12. likewaterfc

    likewaterfc

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    Excellent advice!
     
  13. chefedb

    chefedb

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    In hotels and catering facilities in New York gratuity is collected and divided amoung banquet managers and staff. Each gets a set %.. Sometime kitchen is cut in.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013