What are paying your top cooks these days?

I’m looking for a solid full-time cook and it’s looking like I need about $10/hr to get somebody worthwhile. Wondering if this is in the ballpark of what everybody else is paying these days. This cook would be responsible for a lot of prep while being the primary day-time cook and being a top Friday and Saturday night guy.

My current part time night staff is mostly at $8/hr, but I wouldn’t consider any of them top-notch Friday and Saturday night guys.

I scouted and looked around and talked to people and found a competitors top pie maker making 8.50 a hour. I dove into watching him and his work ethic. I talked to the staff and it helps I know his friends real well. The guy had been there 2 years and still making the same amount. I did the “big Dave” way and left my card with a note. He did not respond, I talked to a mutual friend who told me he liked the offer but that his currant boss gave him a job when he needed it and could not leave him now. I can appreciate that. Fast Forward 6 months, the owner sells his shop, and the new owner closes for 2 weeks to remodel. That was all I needed, I swooped in an offered him a 4 dollar raise and the use of a company car. The car was my pt cruiser I had put some vinyl on and was driving myself before I decided to get a new car. So yes for the market I really over paid but my guy does the work of 3 employees and I can go to sleep every night knowing he will be there when I get there.

We’re in a small east-central Illinois town, yet my line makes $10, and my go-to was making $12…it still wasn’t enough as he took a spot in another restaurant promising $14 PLUS 5 vacation days paid, AND full health. Sometimes you just have to say no but I’m surprised you have been able to attract decent help paying basically minimum.

I’m not attracting decent help; I guess that’s why I need to make a change. We’re always staffed with part-timers; a lot of high school kids, or people working second jobs. I’ve only recently taken on my first non-management full timer. He’s at $10/hr, and he’s a workhorse. If I hire a new guy at $10 I’ll have to give him a raise too… but he does the work of two people.

Looking at my current staffing, I think I can drop two $8.00 per hour shifts on Friday and and Saturday nights and replace them with one really good employee at $10. That won’t pay for all 40 of his hours, but it will cover a big chunk of it and probably leave me with a lot less headaches than the $8.00/hr employees are giving me!

I’m just in a rut with my staff right now, and I’ve just cycled out a couple of pretty good cooks in the past few weeks. I just need some guys that come in and bust their *sses all night long - not whine about how tired they are because of an eight hour shift.

Solid cook $10. Top cook $11. Key holder (able to open, shift manager) $13-$14.

I would think that question is also determined by cost of living in your area.

My top GM is $650 a week plus bonus + gas card + health insurance. He averages 50 hours a week. My best cook is only $8.50 hr but is also still in high school. My lowest level shift runner is $8.75hr + bonus.

Ha…and now our “esteemed” Governor has the great plan to raise our minimum wage to $10.00 for PART TIME workers. Geesh. There is no end to the stupidity of some folks in government.

Man it’s a different world up here in the great white north…
Start high school kids training to answer phones/prep at $10.50 for first couple weeks. $12 within a month.
Cooks start at $14. Opener/cook/closer manager $3,000 month, five weeks paid vacation, medical, $3,000 credit once a year for any vacation he chooses.
I am far from the top “payer” in my area. A cook at a chain like Original Joes starts at $16+ …

I have a pizza guy in front, cook in the rear, and they both make $11. Assnt manager. $11.5, and manager $12. However I am getting ready to increase manager. All my guys are crossed trained, so they can work pizza or cook, but of course some are better at certain things.

with min wage proposed to increase another $1 next year, we are looking at dishwashers making 9.25/hr…the hourly rate for starting pizza cooks is approx $11 and up to $14. Kitchen cooks are more like $15

not talking hs part timers here

Perry, what part of the world are you located in?

Why would a minimum wage change impact your higher wage employees?

An increase in the minimum is exactly that: an increase in the minimum allowable wage… not an increase to all hourly wage earners!

i.e. Wages are dollars per hour, not dollars per hour above the minimum. If the minimum is 7 and it goes to 8 a worker making 9 is not entitled to a raise to 10.

Bodega…
in theory, you are correct…but in actuality, its a challenge to deny older employees additional compensation, once word ‘gets out’…

it can be managed, but thru my past experience, over time, it will impact all employees and within a years time, most old employees will have their base wage increased…

That has not been the case in the 14 years I have been in business… but then we are several dollars above minimum and have never been able to hire at minimum any way so no-one is getting a raise as a result of the minimum rising. I can see it might be different if you were giving raises to other employees to comply with the requirements of the increase.

We just ignore it.

spot on Patriot…its all relative in my experience as well

unfortunately we are located in the most unfriendly small business state in the nation and a report was just done also giving it the most expensive for utilities also and lets not even discuss taxes and insurance!

we start ours at $9.50, goes to 10 after 30 day probation, my top supervisors cap at 17, $.25 raises every quarter that they show improvement and don’t get any write ups. We look at it like this “people seeking minimun wage seem to only want to do minimum work, usually anyone worth paying 10 or more, is worth keeping happy and keeping around” we have very little turnover, I have been with the company 11 years, some of my staff have been here 10 years.

Well my top cook is also my manager i guess, so thats a tough one. Pizza makers get 9.50-10Hr