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Pastry Chef compensation & pricing issues


beacheschef
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A local upscale restaurant wants to hire me to bake in their kitchen on Saturday mornings making desserts for the week. According to health department codes, I'm not supposed to bring any food in that's come from an open container, so all of the ingredients have to be ordered by the restaurant.

I've never set up this kind of relationship before and am not certain how to be conpensated for my work. I'm thinking that payment on an hourly basis would be better than by the piece made, as some desserts are quick and easy, but some have multiple components.

Please share your thoughts.

Thanks - Mary

Beaches Pastry

May your celebrations be sweet!

Beaches Pastry Blog

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I would ask first, do they want ready to serve desserts, or are they going to have someone with at least basic skills to plate? If it's the former, then doing pies, cakes, and other easy to serve stuff is a no-brainer, and you can probably charge per item-and many items could be frozen and pulled only at service. If they want fancier stuff, with decorated plates, sauces, etc., then you'll have to know if you have someone to count on during service to put together components. If you have a couple of good sauces and a couple of good staples that can be plated chilled, or warmed and plated, I would opt for the second route. You could still bill per each item supplied, or by the hour....it depends on if you know how fast you are able to make stuff. Also, the offerings depend on what kind of clientele the place has...upscale (fancier plated desserts), average (cakes, pies, brownies, and other basics).

Edited by Marmalade (log)

Jeffrey Stern

www.jeffreygstern.com

http://bit.ly/cKwUL4

http://destination-ecuador.net

cocoapodman at gmail dot com

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Hourly or a daily amount for a certain amount of hours would make sense. Just make sure if they are going to pay your taxes and social security or are you going to be considered an independent contractor and given a 1099 form at the end of the year. If you are considered an independent contractor you will need to have your tax person or yourself figure how much income tax to pay and whether to do it quarterly or yearly and also pay your social security. The compensation you ask for should depend on how much work they expect whether it be how many hours or how many items you will be expected to produce. Don't sell yourself short.

check out my baking and pastry books at the Pastrymama1 shop on www.Half.ebay.com

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It would be to their advantage to just hire you as their part time pastry chef. That way you can order your ingredients through their purveyors and get a discounted price. If you contract out your work you would end up charging them more just to cover your retail costs for ingredients (that is, if you already are paying retail and don't have a relationship with a purveyor yourself). Personally I wouldn't charge by the piece; I'd want to be compensated for my time. Especially when you get special orders, you know you will get your butt covered.

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I won't be able to work at this restaurant more than one day a week, as I have a full-time job elsewhere. I think the restaurant owners and exec. chef are looking for a couple of signature desserts to compliment what they're already serving.

I'm glad to hear others think an hourly pay scale is the way to go - that's what I thought would be best.

I do work with purveyers in the area already. Any ingredients the restaurant can get for me will come through them and I'll have to find out how to order the more unique ingredients - whether they'll reimburse me or have me order them through the restaurant.

Beaches Pastry

May your celebrations be sweet!

Beaches Pastry Blog

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I have a one-day-a-week contract as a chef for a not-for-profit agency. The compensation is per week. Some weeks I work 10 hrs, others I work 8. But, the average works out ok for me, based on my regular hourly contract rate.

When calculating one's desired compensation, it's important to bear in mind the number of hours spent in planning the (single) work day. I find that there is more planning to be done when working off-site, so take that into consideration when calculating your compensation.

FWIW, I prefer working as an independent contractor to working as an employee. My tools, samples, and experiments become business expenses, rather than free trials.

Generally, I find that contract work can be valued at between 2 and 4 times the regular hourly rate for an employee doing similar work. It may depend upon what the client is willing to provide (tools already on hand, specific pans, a dishwasher to clean up after you, storage, delivery of supplies, etc.)

Karen Dar Woon

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I have a one-day-a-week contract as a chef for a not-for-profit agency. The compensation is per week. Some weeks I work 10 hrs, others I work 8. But, the average works out ok for me, based on my regular hourly contract rate.

When calculating one's desired compensation, it's important to bear in mind the number of hours spent in planning the (single) work day. I find that there is more planning to be done when working off-site, so take that into consideration when calculating your compensation.

FWIW, I prefer working as an independent contractor to working as an employee. My tools, samples, and experiments become business expenses, rather than free trials.

Generally, I find that contract work can be valued at between 2 and 4 times the regular hourly rate for an employee doing similar work. It may depend upon what the client is willing to provide (tools already on hand, specific pans, a dishwasher to clean up after you, storage, delivery of supplies, etc.)

Karen - wow - great thoughts. I am spending quite a bit of time planning this weekend, scaling recipes and creating ingredient lists for the restaurant to purchase for me. This assignment is a challenge to my organization skills - I can't count on the restaurant to have tools for me, internet access to quickly check...

Beaches Pastry

May your celebrations be sweet!

Beaches Pastry Blog

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