Head Chef/Cook Salary
Earnings for Head Chefs & Cooks in the United States come in at around $12.64 per hour on average. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Some workers in this field — the larger part — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by over a third and dental plans are enjoyed by nearly one in four. Job satisfaction for Head Chefs & Cooks is high. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
|Salary||$20,094 - $58,957|
|Bonus||$70.00 - $12,500|
|Total Pay (|
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).)
|$19,312 - $43,685|
|Hourly Rate||$9.00 - $17.34|
|Hourly Tips||$0.00 - $2.78|
|Overtime||$12.23 - $26.55|
|Bonus||$70.00 - $12,500|
|Total Pay (||$19,312 - $43,685|
Job Description for Head Chef/Cook
Head chefs/cooks are responsible for overseeing the quality of food as it leaves the kitchen. They must ensure that their kitchens meet the health standards set in place by governmental agencies. Additionally, they are responsible for making sure that other kitchen personnel follow food safety guidelines and meet hygiene standards. Head chefs/cooks must understand how kitchen equipment functions and ensure that it is operable and in safe working condition. Additionally, a head chef/cook often supervises the rest of the kitchen staff. Head chefs/cooks are typically responsible for ordering, inventorying, and keeping detailed records of food items and their costs. They must have experience creating menus that assist owners in attracting and maintaining clientele. They also may be responsible for setting menu prices.Read More...
Head chefs/cooks' work environments vary widely; some work in small kitchens with a small number of staff, while others may work in multi-kitchen operations supervising a large number of kitchen staff. This job is usually salaried and offers benefits. Compensation varies depending on restaurant style, location, and the head chef/cook's job experience. This job often requires chefs to work on weekends and/or holidays. Depending on the restaurant's hours, they may work either very early in the morning or very late into the evening.
To be a head chef/cook, individuals must have previous experience with ordering, preparing, and cooking food in a professional setting and with managing a kitchen. Head chefs/cooks often possess either a culinary education obtained at a specialty school or years of experience working in kitchens. These individuals must have a high energy level, as the job demands that they spent a lot of time on their feet. This job also requires strong communication skills and the ability to solve problems quickly in high-pressure situations.
Head Chef/Cook Tasks
- Manage kitchen operation including food purchases and preparation, record keeping, quality standards, and sanitation.
- Train employees in cooking methods, plate presentations, portions, and cost control.
Common Career Paths for Head Chef/Cook
Popular Skills for Head Chef/Cook
Survey results imply that Head Chefs & Cooks put a diverse skill set to use. Most notably, skills in Inventory Management, Order Inventory, Menu Planning, and Team Leadership are correlated to pay that is above average. Those listing cooking as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Customer Service and Food Safety also typically command lower compensation. It is often found that people who know Food Preparation are also skilled in Menu Planning.
Pay by Experience Level for Head Chef/Cook
Pay by Experience for a Head Chef/Cook has a positive trend. An entry-level Head Chef/Cook with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $24,000 based on 251 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Head Chef/Cook with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $28,000 based on 286 salaries. An experienced Head Chef/Cook which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $30,000 based on 354 salaries. A Head Chef/Cook with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $31,000 based on 188 salaries.
Pay Difference by Location
Top-shelf salaries can be found in the three largest American cities: Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago all offer compensation that exceeds the national average in this field. The smallest paychecks in the market, 18 percent south of the national average, can be found in San Diego. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Orlando (11 percent lower) and Atlanta (1 percent lower).
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Key Stats for Head Chef/Cook
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