If you knew how much the highest-paid hospitality workers made, you might want to give up your day job. It’s true that hospitality staff and executives have great working environments that are lively, fun and certainly lucrative.
But it’s the restaurant industry that has gotten a lot of attention lately, with shows like Top Chef and Master Chef showing the art behind the restaurant industry. This article will look at what it’s really like to go into restaurant management and which jobs pay handsomely for the best talent.
Work Your Way to the Top
Restaurant management is one job that still allows you to work your way to the top. Generally, hospitality careers are quite lucrative, and many don’t require managers to go into debt for expensive degrees before you can reach the top of the chain of command.
In a restaurant, the top of the pile is the restaurant general manager, who oversees everything from customer service and food quality to profit and loss. It is a challenging position and as such, pays from $50,000 and up, depending upon the type and quality of the establishment.
You can start as an apprentice in many kitchens and work your way up to the executive chef role. These professionals, whose salaries generally start around $65,000, work at higher-end restaurants. They can make well over six figures, depending on their training, skill and experience. You’ll find these food artists in restaurants around the globe, from small eateries to top dining establishments to stand-alone facilities, and those located in hotels, theme parks or other venues.
Under the executive chef, but still considered management, is the sous-chef. Like the executive chef, their salary is dependent upon the level of establishment they work in. But a sous-chef worth their salt in a good restaurant can be a six-figure earner. Most consider this role a steppingstone to running their own kitchen, which is where the top dollars are always earned.
Baking is both an art and a science, which is why some of the best pastry chefs also earn good money, ranging from mid-30s to six figures. Many pastry chefs prefer running their own bakeries, while others handle dessert with their team at high-end kitchens around the world.
Then there is the maître d’, whose primary task is to oversee the overall dining experience of patrons and manage the reservation process and the servers. It is a very high-pressure role, and as such, these professionals can be paid a comfortable six-figure salary.
In the restaurant kitchen, the higher up the ladder you go, the better the salary and perks. But these professionals work very hard for their money, with many putting in 10- or 11-hour days on their feet in hot and sometimes dangerous environments. Each kitchen is different, however. For example, in a smaller kitchen, an executive chef usually has more of a hands-on role in food preparation. In larger facilities, they are all about quality control, overseeing cooking, food delivery, menu prep and ordering. Executive chefs like Wolfgang Puck, Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, with their celebrity status, make millions.
Interested in restaurant management roles?
Now is the time to make the switch, with employers desperate for talent and willing to give you the salary you deserve. Start the conversation with one of our leading hospitality recruiters today.