After earning a wealth of club experience, the average pay for the highest role in the kitchen depends on several factors.
As culinary professionals build on their skills and industry reputation, attaining the coveted role of Executive Chef naturally comes with greater responsibilities and a higher salary. Like most careers, however, the average pay of an executive often depends on the region of the country, the size of the club or resort, and the chef’s background.
According to data on Glassdoor, the average salary of an Executive Chef in the United States is $51,567 as of mid-December 2020. Zoom in on different regions of the country, and you’ll find that the average salary skews in either direction. For example, a New York City executive chef makes an average of $58,505 while one in Wichita, Kan., makes an average of $45,580.
While these averages provide a starting point, it’s important to note that there are many career and industry-specific factors that can add to a chef’s salary. Unlike other cooks in the kitchen, the Executive Chef takes on a major managerial role at the club or resort. This wealth of business acumen allows them to manage staffing, budgets, ordering, menu planning, and general oversight of the club’s dining scene.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the higher percentiles for chef and head cooks range as high as $86,990. This advanced pay level is typically offered to Executive Chefs with extensive experience in their field. A private club or resort may aim to attract a high-profile name to bring in new members or change the style of their dining experience.
Above all, once an Executive Chef has reached this level of training and report, there is room for both career and salary growth as they establish themselves in the field.