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Running a Restaurant/Profit sharing with my Chef

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Question
Hi, I currently own 2 Italian restaurants in Massachusetts. In one of my restaurants I had recently hired a new chef, he has been with me for 5 months and has received an offer from another restaurant. He wasn't using this as a bargaining tool but, I have been so pleased with his work I really don't want to lose him. Our sales remain steady over the past 3 years. I want to offer him a sort of profit sharing if he can grow the food end of the business, hoping he will consider staying on. I pay him a salary now and need your advise on what could be a suitable offer for him to stay and grow the food end of the business. Our food sales have averaged 500K a year. We also have a full bar that contributes about 35% in liquor sale a year.

Answer
This is a tough one to answer. I probably wouldn't offer someone a stake in my business after only been there 5 months and wanting to leave. If you do offer him the share, what says he won't leave anyway. He has only been with you for 5 months and is leaving so quickly that chances are, he really doesn't care too much about the business and is only looking out for his own best interest. That is not probably someone you want on your team. If the drive to succeed isn't ambition enough for this person, money probably won't be a fix here. He'll just keep asking for more. If you are maybe under paying him anyways and are doing this as a sort of compensation, that could be a fair deal. I would just be leery of the latter. I would suggest, maybe his salary be based on a bonus system instead of a profit share. Meaning that if he can hit certain goals, food cost, increased revenue, labor cost, etc, he can earn more money. It's a much easier and realistic goals to hit. For food sales of 500K, I would expect his salary range to be around $35,000 per year. Any higher than that and it will be very hard to hit your labor costs unless he is working most of the hours, which again would not be in your interest either. You end up not running the business, just surviving day to day.

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Adam Hegsted

Expertise

I can answer most questions front and back of the house. I have been mostly back of the house experienced, but have owned my own restaurant and helped run and develop the other restaurants I have worked (from the boh). I am versed in many cuisines but no more about Mexican, Italian, and French. I have also studied a lot and done molecular cuisine or new haute cooking. I study the science of cuisine and cooking techniques as well and have practiced many. Also am certified proctor for Serv Safe. I have won a lot of culinary competitions ACF and national. I work with small farms and farmers and know quite a bit about laws and different things regarding that as well. I know all about setting up and building restaurants and everything do to with costing front and back of house.

Experience

Executive Chef Coeur d' Alene Casino, Resort and Hotel (current 3 years) (all types of restaurants, built and developed all, fine dining steakhouse, deli, grill, cafe, pub, buffet, room service, and catering) Owner/Chef The Wandering Table (current 1 year)(catering/fine dining) Owner/Chef Le Piastre (1 year) (fine dining/bistro) Executive Chef Brix Restaurant (5 years) (fine dining, multi course) and The Beacon, a pub (casual, pub fare) (all aspects of the kitchen and developed wine program) Executive Chef Cedars Restaurant (3 years) Fine dining steakhouse

Publications
Featured in R & I Magazine

Education/Credentials
Art Institute of Seattle- Associates of Arts in Culinary Arts Northwest Culinary Academy (Spokane,WA)- Associates of Sciences in Culinary Arts

Awards and Honors
2009 Wine, Stein, and Dine Cookoff “Best of Show” Best Entrée” “Best Dessert” 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Marti Gras Cookoff “Best of Show” “Best Entrée” The Inlander Magazine “Top 30, under 30” Won 2007 Battle of the Chefs (Iron Chef for Spokane Top Chefs) 2008 First Place National Peanut Advisory Recipe Competition 2007 Taste of Spain, Tapas Recipe Contest, Spanish Trade Commission 2008 First Place International BC Canadian Albacore Tuna Competition 2007 First Place Idaho Potato Commission Recipe Contest 2008 State Recipe Competition United States of Potato 2009 Rio Texas Grapefruit Recipe Competition 2008 “Best New Restaurant” Cuisine Magazine 2010 Haagen Dazs Foodservice Challenge with Marcus Samuelson 1st Place 2011 3rd Place California Grape Commission Competition I've competed and won numerous regional black box competitions. I've won 3 silver medals in mystery box competitions from the American Culinary Federation.

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