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Old 01-06-2012, 11:49 PM   #1
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Curious to average wage franchises pay their line cooks?

Just curious for those of you who worked at franchises such as Milestones, Cactus Club, Moxies, Earls etc, how much did you get paid while being a welly trained decent line cook? and for those of you who took responsibilities of a kitchen manager [a role under a sous but involves taking similar responsibilities as to a sous but not officially being one and does not involve any worker schedule work, just really cost/labor management, quality food control, insuring staff are well and happy and assisting etc etc].

I'm currently working as a "KM" in a franchised restaurant which I will not disclose, but I don't feel I'm being paid a fair enough wage for the amount of work I'm required to do. Being paid 11 dollars an hour with the ability and knowledge to successfully work each station at my work place [these stations are salads, desserts, fried foods, the grill, the pans, and plating & direction of the kitchen] along with ensuring the restaurant is working with a good nightly labor on a staff>sales base.

Maybe I'm just complaining? But I'd really like some positive feedback on your experience. I would like to ask for a raise within the next week and would love some facts to put in with my request.

Also at the moment I am kind of attending school too so there a high possibility they will probably not give me a raise due to because I'm in school, but I am beginning to not feel up to it for going to work, doing so much more work then others who are getting paid more then me. [I've asked a few close "friend" close workers their wages and they made far more then me for doing less and they were shocked to hear the wage I was making for the amount of work they see me do.

Thanks for your time.
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:54 PM   #2
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From $10 - $13 for Line Cook
From $13.5 - $16 for Kitchen Manager

Jan. & Feb. are the slowest months of the year.
I don't know if it is wise to ask for raise
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:55 PM   #3
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bender Unit View Post
From $10 - $13 for Line Cook
From $13.5 - $16 for Kitchen Manager

Jan. & Feb. are the slowest months of the year.
I don't know if it is wise to ask for raise
I'll take that into consideration. Just that last year for the location I work at, we were still pretty steady for jan/feb.. like I just finished a 10k night just now.
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:02 AM   #5
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I'll take that into consideration. Just that last year for the location I work at, we were still pretty steady for jan/feb.. like I just finished a 10k night just now.
i barely hit 7k tonight =[
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:08 AM   #6
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i barely hit 7k tonight =[
yeah.. idk, for some reason we're still busy which is good which gives me high hopes that since sales are good, and that i run a good labour that means asking for a raise shouldnt be too bad
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:08 AM   #7
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From $10 - $13 for Line Cook
From $13.5 - $16 for Kitchen Manager
This seems about right. I was actually in the same situation as you a couple years ago. I started at 10/h and they kept me there even when i was acting as an unofficial KM. I knew all my stations, prep procedures, ordering, scheduling as well as other things.
To top it off, the accounting person told me that the GM would wipe everyones OT hours in the BOH. FOH got all the hours as well as extra cash to bring in servers for the night if required, while BOH got screwed.
Eventually, I just got fed up and got a job elsewhere.

I'd ask for a raise, but wouldn't expect it until it starts picking up again. If they are unwilling, I would start looking for a new job that would pay what deserve.
Hope this helps
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:09 AM   #8
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my job pays me 10 bucks a hour I'm looking for a job at a hotel or something.
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:12 AM   #9
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my job pays me 10 bucks a hour I'm looking for a job at a hotel or something.
Yeah.. I guess I should still be somewhat great full for what I'm being paid compared to some other people..
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:13 AM   #10
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Yeah, $11/hr is quite low. What do you mean by you're "kind of attending school?" I wonder if the reason is because you are a student, and the management is assuming that you're just going to quit once you graduate. Have you indicated by any means that you will be leaving the company once you do graduate? I think they haven't bothered giving you a raise because they think you'll leave anyways. It's not fair, but that may just be the reality, unfortunately.
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:17 AM   #11
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Yeah, $11/hr is quite low. What do you mean by you're "kind of attending school?" I wonder if the reason is because you are a student, and the management is assuming that you're just going to quit once you graduate. Have you indicated by any means that you will be leaving the company once you do graduate? I think they haven't bothered giving you a raise because they think you'll leave anyways. It's not fair, but that may just be the reality, unfortunately.

I've worked there full-time last year, but recently decided to go back to school cause I wanted to meet more friends, they were paying me so little and working my ass off really closing every night then opening the next day and so on, and I've always like to try to obtain "dreams" of mine or make a start in it lol.

They also quite frequently tell me they really appreciate the amount of effort I put in for all my shifts, and when everyone else is down and not "hyped" up for game time they enjoy my enthusiasm that i bring They even asked me "so when are you gonna give up school and become a sous here? lol"
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:19 AM   #12
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In a corporate restaurant I started out at 12/hr as a saute cook, shift leader 15/hr, then sous chef 18/hr.

Do you get a base wage + tips? Maybe you can ask for a raise in tips?
"KM" as in kitchen manager? What are your responsibilities and how many hours you work in a week wil define if you are eligible for a raise imo.
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:26 AM   #13
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In a corporate restaurant I started out at 12/hr as a saute cook, shift leader 15/hr, then sous chef 18/hr.

Do you get a base wage + tips? Maybe you can ask for a raise in tips?
"KM" as in kitchen manager? What are your responsibilities and how many hours you work in a week wil define if you are eligible for a raise imo.
i get 11+2 dollars in tips. christmas i got 3 dollars in tips
kitchen manager: labour for the night/day, plating food, supporting every other station along with my own, ensuring quality of food, ensuring quality of prepped items in fridges and inventory of whats needed prior to service, cleanliness of kitchen, fridges, prep areas, dish pit and making sure the cleanliness of staff and the regards of foodsafe standards are met

use to work 40/5 a week, school started now so about 24/3 along with picking up shifts during the weekday if im available as a support body.

lol
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:32 AM   #14
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I'm just a day line brunch cook and I'm at $14.5 + around $3hr in tips. So I usually average about $16.5 - $17.5 an hour.

Sous is starts at $39k to around $43k

Our KM that just left was making 70k but new KM starts at around $50-55k
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:32 AM   #15
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Imo your wage is low for the responsibilities you have on your shoulders.
What restaurant are you working at that does 10K in a night lol. Is it Cactus?
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:34 AM   #16
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I'd say its cactus considering the amount of sales on during this time of the year. They are notorious for paying low wages to their cooks.
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:38 AM   #17
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nah not cactus
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:43 AM   #18
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Yeah.. I guess I should still be somewhat great full for what I'm being paid compared to some other people..
my workplace is so expensive... my boss don't think i deserve a raise because he doesn't care about my experience at all (i completed apprenticeship level 1 (red seal) Even I'm working 25-40 hours per week and the shifts are pretty much fucked up.
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:52 AM   #19
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nah not cactus
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Sounds like Whitespot.

Anyways - if your reviews are always awesome, I think you need to arrange a meeting and ask bluntly for a wage - while telling them how valuable you are.
It's best to ask for a raise when you are in demand - i.e/ working 4 shifts or so.

Having worked in the industry in the past, it seems to me that you have to ask for raises to be paid above average from your peers - then again, you have to be good as well. Otherwise, they will be milking you for all your worth, giving you meager raises every so often to keep you happy.
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:46 AM   #20
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one thing to keep in mind, is its dependant on where you're working. if sales are around 7k a night, and you're acting like a KM, then definitely you're underpayed. Hell, i started higher than you as just an appy cook. There are restaurants that will underpay you regardless of how much work you can do.

my ft job, i am almost like a first cook there, yet i make so little that my new executive chef even said straight up i deserve much more than that.

imo, and its gonna be dependant on what restaurant you work at, but if youre acting as KM, you definitely should be around the $17/hr mark MINIMUM.
thats just what i feel, in comparison to the two restaurants i work at.

feel free to pm me if you wanna talk more about this.

good luck
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:06 AM   #21
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Damn $11 is way too little for that position. Considering the minimum wage is $9.50 now I feel like there should be a greater distinction between a dishwasher, entry level cook, and someone with more leader responsibilities such as yourself.

When I started as a dish/prep cook I was paid $12.50 + $1-2 tips (non-chain but 3/4 locations)
I left that job and was rehired at $10.50 + $1-2 tips and line cooks were paid ~$12.50 at the time, IMO it's a dead end job and as Senna sort of stated they might not feel that you're such an asset to them in the long term that they feel the need to pay you more. A friend of mine who I worked with was eventually promoted to Kitchen Manager (highest position at the store) after 3 years with the company, he was paid a decent salary but he realistically worked 60+ hours a week for >2 years

Overall I feel the industry is high stress and low pay with little upwards mobility, I left that job and took a pay cut of ~$2/hr for a much easier job which is also a lot more fun, I only work ~20hrs a week and money isn't too big of an issue for me so it's fine, wanted to diversify my resume too anyways.
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:03 AM   #22
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Reading these posts reminds me of when I used to work BOH at Earls.

Did over 4 years. Hated my life. Felt tremendously unaccomplished. Partially due to the fact that the job was only suppose to be temporary while I finished school. After school was over, the recession was in full swing, and no one was hiring.

Only thing I enjoyed about the job was the people. Met some really great people.

My wage was awful, like 9.10 or 9.30 when I left. The dishwasher got paid more than me. I wasn't a KM though, but I did know 4 stations.
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:45 AM   #23
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^Same situation as you. Worked at Cactus for 3 years while in school. Started at $9 + $1 tip then eventually got up to $11 + $3.5. (Knew all 4 stations) Like everyone have said, its a dead end job. The most you can make is around $16 unless you get promoted to Sous position. Even then, as a Junior Sous, since you're on salary they make you work longer hours so in reality you're still making around $16. However, they do get a food account so I guess thats the only incentive.

Food industry is a bad place to get into unless you're a server. Its sad when you work your ass off and get paid peanuts when the servers there make $300-400 on a good night (mostly in tips too so they don't get taxed) without having to work as hard. The company make millions every year yet they underpay the cooks so much because its a job that requires no qualification. They can easily train up some high school kids in a week and pay them minimum wage.

Only good thing I enjoyed about the job was the people there. Met some really awesome people. Also, the servers are hot so there are lots of eye candy.
I'm just glad I'm outta that shithole industry.

TIP: Always ask for a raise after you learn a station. Management is cheap as fuck. They will not give you a raise unless you ask for it. It never hurts to ask, at the most you get turned down. But who cares, just wait a couple months and try again.
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:52 AM   #24
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I worked at Cactus for a month when they opened the new Broadway location...and hated it!

First, I was making minimum wage while training. Second, no one would tell me what the wage would be until I was working there(which, when I finally found out, I was like, cool. I can't afford to work here) Then they had some staff in from other locations for training and this one chick drank too much company kool-aid and was constantly "reminding" people that you needed to say, "may I speak?" before asking them a question which finally made me snap on her one day.

Then I found a job that was willing to make me a manager, which is what i wanted to do, and when I told them, thats when they started telling me about all the possibilities in Cactus, and I'm like, "thats great, but right now this job is costing me money"

So apart from the money issue at the chain restaurants, the culture thing is really hard to deal with. All this after I had worked from the bottom at two other restaurants for actual chefs that could actually cook.

Turned me off of food, cooking and franchises.
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:53 AM   #25
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You dont work at Cactus for the money, you work there to bang hot chicks.
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