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Asking for a raise


Jakea222
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It should be somewhat of an automatic thing if you're approaching your year mark. I'd be careful about asking ( I live in Florida and depend on Snow-Bird money, and they're not spending as much this year due to the economy slump).

As far as how much to ask for; it depends on how much you're making and where you're making it.

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I don't think there is a general answer without you providing more details.

Type of restaurant and your experience etc etc.

Unfortunately don't forget that in the restaurant industry many owners can care less if you improved quality. They are only concerned with profit margin.

Robert R

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It is a country club and we are up in sales 71% and we have brought on 150 new members in the last 3 months - so the money is there

With those facts in hand it is more then appropriate to ask management for a raise.

You also may want to consider a percentage for parties if your not getting it already.

Edited by robert40 (log)

Robert R

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There really aren't concrete guidelines for pay increases, although I can offer the following suggestions:

*emphasize that you bring a unique culinary perspective that would make you a difficult person to replace in the kitchen

*don't be greedy--if you expect a 25% increase, you'd better have a darn good way to justify that their monies will be well spent. (I managed to swing such a feat this year because I was underpaid to begin with and I had another offer on the table to start within two weeks)

*put your mouth where your money is (see above)--Unfortunately, sometimes you have to put people's backs against the wall in order to spur action. Don't be afraid to play hardball, but don't make idle threats.

*document your performance--do you get an annual perfomance appraisal? (if you don't, you should demand one) has anyone written a letter on your behalf regarding a meal that you prepared or were involved in? do you take pictures of your work? can you get your hand on old and new menus that will document that the changes you made added value to the club? Are you involved in inventory control and management--can you demonstrate that you helped your employers save money? Have you taken classes, participated in competitions, or earned certifications outside of work that you can or already use on the job?

*work, work, work--but don't complain and announce to the world that no one works as hard as you do. You know what they say about empty vessels? :raz:

****prove yourself first, the money will follow. If not at this job, then the next.****

Hope these suggestions help. By the way, I think a 5-10% increase provides a nice range for you and employer to negotiate.

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Owner speaking here. First, I prefer when an employee asks for a raise versus getting upset and looking for other work because 'they're underpaid.' So, you already are going to ask, so just don't make any assumptions about what management thinks.

Second, those are dramatic increases in sales - don't assume that management attributes them all to you. They take credit for you being there, and they also take credit for any marketing efforts that have gone on.

That said, I don't think in percentages when it comes to raises. If you're making $25,000 then a $5,000 raise wouldn't be sticker shock for me. If you're making $40,000, then a $5K raise still is where my head would allow me to go. But at $40K, if you asked me for $10K - there's no way. Its too much of a jump at one time.

My preference (assuming consistent quality) is to pay for loyalty. Consider offering a creative package that doesn't bind there hands if the economy continues to sour. For example, ask for a $3,000 raise this year, with a commitment for an addition $2K each year, and gas allowance and increased time off. Ask for some non-taxable options. Ask for a $250 a month allowance at your favorite restaurant supply store for products that you get to keep. But also, make a commitment to them. "I am commited to staying with you and growing this business for 3 years if you agree to what I want."

Just realize that you're seeking the win-win, and if you are good, your boss knows it, and they'll want to keep you. Good luck!

[Obviously adjust all of my figures as appropriate, especially if you're making $7/hr]

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Owner speaking here.  First, I prefer when an employee asks for a raise versus getting upset and looking for other work because 'they're underpaid.'  So, you already are going to ask, so just don't make any assumptions about what management thinks.

Second, those are dramatic increases in sales - don't assume that management attributes them all to you.  They take credit for you being there, and they also take credit for any marketing efforts that have gone on.

That said, I don't think in percentages when it comes to raises.  If you're making $25,000 then a $5,000 raise wouldn't be sticker shock for me.  If you're making $40,000, then a $5K raise still is where my head would allow me to go.  But at $40K, if you asked me for $10K - there's no way.  Its too much of a jump at one time.

My preference (assuming consistent quality) is to pay for loyalty.  Consider offering a creative package that doesn't bind there hands if the economy continues to sour.  For example, ask for a $3,000 raise this year, with a commitment for an addition $2K each year, and gas allowance and increased time off.  Ask for some non-taxable options.  Ask for a $250 a month allowance at your favorite restaurant supply store for products that  you get to keep.  But also, make a commitment to them.  "I am commited to staying with you and growing this business for 3 years if you agree to what I want." 

Just realize that you're seeking the win-win, and if you are good, your boss knows it, and they'll want to keep you.  Good luck!

[Obviously adjust all of my figures as appropriate, especially if you're making $7/hr]

Well, I'm packing my bags to come work for you! Wow!

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I like that approach - cut and dry - hard to figure these people as they know I look constantly just to see what others are doing - really to find out if I have under cut myself (which I have) in the package they gave. 1 day off a week and my line cooks most of the time I bail out on the line and neglect my own work, get more money than me - as a CC with ACF.....so I think it is time to play a little - thanks guys...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Im not going to lie. Im in the exact boat you are somewhat. I know that Im the lowest paid in the kitchen for a fact(as ive done my work to see how much other are getting paid in the kitchen) I just wanted to know exactly where I stood. Im the lowest paid by a great percent. I live in Florida and work for one of the worlds most powerful celeb chefs. Im 24 years young and Im very new to the business, however Ive done many great things outside of the culinary world. I used to own a business that I started with 270$. I was making 32k$ a year paying myself, however I knew what I wanted to do in life and that was make a name for myself in the culinary world, so I started on that path.

I started out as a Prep Chef, almost one year ago. Worked my way up to daytime Aps Station, Then when I heard a nite crew member quit, I told the Chef that I wanted his position. I got it, learned it and worked it fantastically, Then trained on two more stations that I work a few days out of the week, otherwise Im on the station that I originally signed up for nite crew. I work all three stations with pure enthusiasim, and show up to work EVERYDAY 1-1.5 hours before work, set up my station and ask others if they need help. I always ask people if they need my assistance.

A few days ago however I had a very big incident with a Sous Chef and told him to go fornicate himself after he yelled and cursed at me. I got wrote up, but so did he by the Chef. During said meeting I asked him if this was going to effect my yearly review and he said it deffinetly didnt help, and that he had given me a raise. It was a 7.5% raise, but since I make so little it wasnt even noticable. So now Im wondering since I didnt ask for a raise and he never told me about the raise, durring my yearly review, do I ask for that extra bit that I wanted? I need and I cant emphasize this, I need to make atleast 100$ a day. Im being swindled out of my time and life. I make 10$/hr, I have two degrees BS, and AA. Im well worth the money and I love my Chef and the company I work for, but I seriously SERIOUSLY need 12.50/hr. If he wont do it, I have to do what works for me.

Edited by 317indy (log)
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Not that I want to play universal owner/decider, but your timing is wrong. Just yesterday I had an employee approach me about a raise. I internally laughed because he had just come off of a probation (it was an issue of background checks, not poor performance), and hadn't been back even a month. I just said, "Let's talk again in 6 months."

You now need to heal the relationship with the chef. One of the things I value is employees who can stay out of the shit. I know that employees bicker and battle. I don't ever want to see it, nor do I want to even hear about it. When people put energy into bickering, it tells me they aren't focused on the job at hand or are a bit immature. Your skills and dedication would have to be so over the top for me to overlook those characteristics. BUT, its healable.

I had an employee that was on the verge of firing because of a fight that they were in with a co-worker. I pulled them both in and told them that even though they were my best two employees they needed to stop immediately or leave because it was creating a poisonous environment for everyone else (please hear my reasoning very clearly since its probably relevant). I haven't had one issue since that day and they are again my best two employees, and I'm fighting for raises (significant raises) for both of them. Its been about six months since we had our talk.

So, apologize. Move on. Let the other chef dig his own grave and you just keep focused. Six months from now, thank the chef for his/her guidance and let them make the next move. A week later then ask for your raise (that's a small increase so its not earth shattering). And most importantly, please read THIS COMMENT I made in another topic. Its a small world out there.

[Please don't take offense at my comments - I'm just an anonymous person on the web who is offering objective advice hoping they'll help.]

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