Running a Restaurant/percentage


I Have an opportunity to open a restaurant with some life long friends and i am the only one with the knowledge to run it, as the chef, what percentage of ownership should i be looking for compensation, should i get a base salary also?

Hello Christopher, Thanks for the question.

First, get a lawyer you can trust and then plan the divorce before the first kiss!

All business agreements need a well sorted out contract and partnerships are like marriages, in that the love/like can turn for the worse when the pressure is on. No matter how the deal is structured there needs to be a clear path for you to be bought out fairly, or a way for you to buy the others out if you find you can't work together. Please spell out in the contract (I'm not kidding)what will be provided to the business by each partner - you must have clear lines of responsibility - in order to hold each other accountable. If not, you might quickly find the true meaning of the saying "Too many chefs in the kitchen."

It would be reasonable for you to be paid a base salary if you are working at the business as the Chef/GM - as the business would have to pay someone to do the job/s. Check with a local/national recruiter to thumbnail out basic pay ranges for your local area/responsibility level.

Aside from the above two points, you can find ownership percentages for chefs that run to all extremes. I can only advise you to try for the best deal you can make for yourself. However, most "deals" include first in/first out understanding for the money people. In plain speaking, that would give the profits of the business above what was needed to run the business in a reasonable (read as - not stressed) fashion back (at an accelerated rate) to whoever gave the business its startup capital until they were "made whole" i.e. - got their money back. After that, there could/might be a different split of the profits.

You might find this book to be of some help  
Best of luck in your new venture!

Running a Restaurant

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Chase LeBlanc


I am the author of the new book, HIGH IMPACT HOSPITALITY: Upgrade Your Purpose, Performance and Profits! I am also the founder and CEO of Leadagers LLC (leaders who manage, managers who lead, "leed/i/jers") a hospitality industry consultancy. Our primary focus is in upgrading the purpose, performance and profits of restaurants, bars, food & beverage outlets and/or nightclubs. We have expertise in operations, start-ups, training, in-house leadership development and positive customer service experiences. 720.269.9537


My 30+ year hospitality career started as owner/operator of a nightclub development and management company. After successfully selling that business, I led within a variety of national and global operations as General Manager and multi-unit Regional Manager and I have also served corporations as Vice President and President. My extremely broad range of experiences includes leading training stores, entertainment complexes, fine dining establishments, high-volume theme restaurants, quick-service restaurants, dance/night clubs, comedy clubs, college taverns, dueling piano bars, pizzerias, high-volume sportís bars, live music showrooms, retail stores and gift shops, fast-food concessions, catering/banquet facilities and high-volume arcades.

"Staffing Doctor" columnist for Hotel F&B Magazine Top 10 - Core Hospitality - Quick Serve Leader - Wise Words - Inside F&B And have been a featured blogger for In addition to my new book High Impact Hospitality, I have been a contributing writer for and/or my properties have been featured in Cheers, F&B, Food Service News, Hot Spots America, Military Club & Hospitality, Nationís Restaurant News, Night Club & Bar and Top Shelf.

Attended the University of Colorado for three years and left to open my first nightclub at the age of 21.

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