Executive chef salaries rise, line cook pay falls

Executive chef salaries rise, line cook pay falls

Executive chefs and pastry chefs saw significant increases in salaries last year, while sous chefs and hourly line cooks took a hit in pay, according to the annual salary survey by StarChefs.com.

The survey of nearly 1,400 restaurant workers also found that male executive chefs made about 19 percent more than female executive chefs. White executive chefs made about 4 percent more than Asian executive chefs, 7 percent more than Hispanic-Latino executive chefs, and 31 percent more than African American executive chefs, the survey showed.

Executive chefs made an average salary of $79,402 last year, an increase of 6.1 percent from the previous year. Pastry chefs’ salaries rose an average of 5.7 percent to $48,861. Line cooks’ wages fell 2.6 percent to a national average of $29,662, and sous chefs’ average annual pay fell 4.4 percent to $42,266.

Pay for chef-owners remained basically flat year to year, up just 0.6 percent to an average of $85,179, the survey showed. Chefs de cuisine saw an average 1.9 percent bump in pay to $57,417.

The survey also found that executive chefs and pastry chefs make more at country clubs and other private facilities than those working at independent restaurants or in hotels and catering companies. Chefs de cuisine and sous chefs do better at hotels and catering companies.

Executive chefs at private clubs average an annual salary of $91,860, while at stand-alone restaurants they make an average of $71,063.

Similarly, pastry chefs make $61,167 at clubs compared to $47,491 at stand-alone establishments.

Chefs de cuisine average a salary of $65,171 at hotels and catering facilities compared to $56,868 at stand-alone restaurants, and sous chefs make $47,681 at hotels and catering companies and $38,560 at stand-alones.

Comparing the states of California, Florida, Massachusetts and New York, StarChefs.com said executive chefs and sous chefs did the best in New York, chefs de cuisine made more money in Massachusetts than in the other states — and significantly more than in Florida, where the average pay was $49,300 compared to $67,938 in Massachusetts — and pastry chefs were best off in Florida. The web site also observed that sous chefs in California reported average pay of $4,000 less than they did last year.

See full results of the 2010 Salary Survey. [3]

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected]