Chef Salary – How Do I Get The Highest Salary Possible?

There are many establishments chefs can work in they will include Restaurants, hotels, event caterers, casinos, cruise ships, national chef agencies. Learn more on how to get the best chef salary for your chef level and to progress your career.

Key steps to achieve the best possible salary within a chef’s job role

The key point here is to be PREPARED. Write a concise easy to read CV for a great first impression and be fully prepared for an interview, this can be achieved by practising your interview technique and having answers well rehearsed for interview questions.

Working Trial Tips

Working trials are used as a way for head chefs to see the job candidates skills in action. The key here is to be PREPARED, practice your signature dishes over and over again until you have them well rehearsed.

Key points to remember on a working trial:

  • Work clean
  • Be well presented, clean quality chef whites and high-quality knives.
  • Show off your skills


Essential CV Tips

When you are sending out your CV you will not always receive a response so your CV needs to be concise and easy to read to give the best chance of a successful first impression. Your CV needs to be well prepared and well thought out in order to almost guarantee you getting an interview.

Many people do not submit a winning CV, and this can be extremely demotivating. Here I have listed two common CV mistakes we all make and the solution to rectify the problems.


chef salary

The same CV for every job application
Job seekers can be extremely lazy when it comes to writing their CV if you use the same CV for every Job application and the CV is not a winning CV then you are highly likely to fail all the applications, as the one CV has been used for many different jobs.


The applicant for the job has built the CV around themselves
Too many of us create a CV around ourselves, the correct method is to create a CV around the job we are applying for.


Here are the two simple solutions to these common mistakes


One CV for each Job application
Firstly, do not send the same CV to every job you apply for, Each CV you write must be custom-fit around the description of the job advertised by the employer. Also, a  new CV needs to be written for every job so that you cover the employer’s requirements detailed in the job roles description.

Then design your CV to match the jobs requirements


Identify the keywords and phrases from the job description and build them into your CV
When you are reading a job advert look out for the keywords being used to describe the candidate’s skills and experience needed.

For instance, if the keywords “customer focused“ and “excellent craft skills” are used in the job advert make sure you use and clearly state in your CV that you are “customer focused” and have “excellent craft skills”. It is a good idea to use a highlighter pen to highlight the keywords and phrases as you identify them.


Seven Sample Interview Questions and what response the interview panel are looking for

 To get ahead of the field we need to practice interview questions that an interview panel may ask you during an interview, preparation is the key here and here are 7 interview questions you may be asked. With a description of what the panel are looking for in your answers.

  1. Can you tell me about yourself?

This can seem like a simple question but many people fail to prepare for it, this is a big mistake. When answering this question don’t give your complete employment or personal history.

Give a concise compelling pitch consisting of 2-3 specific accomplishments or experiences that you most want the interview panel to know about you.

Finish this question given a reason as to why your previous experience has positioned you for this specific job role.


  1. How did you hear about the position?

This is a perfect opportunity to stand out and show your passion and enthusiasm for the company. If you heard about the job through a professional contact name drop the person, then explain why you were so excited about the job. No matter where you found the job listing explain what caught your attention about the role.

  1. What do you know about the company?

Read the about page of the company to have an understanding of the company but anybody can do this. So the interviewer is looking to see whether you care about the company. That you understand the mission goals, use keyword phrases from the company’s website in your answer. Make your response personal. Say “I’m personally drawn to this mission because…..” and share two personal examples.

    4. Why do you want this job?

You need to answer this question with passion, be passionate about why you want the job. And identify a couple of key factors as to why the position will suit you.


     5. Why should we hire you?

This question is great to sell yourself and your skills to the interview panel. Be prepared with a well-crafted answer to this question which answers three things:

1. You can do the job and deliver first class results;

2. You will fit in with the team and culture extremely well;

3. You will be the best applicant for the job.


  1. What are your greatest strengths?

Firstly when answering this question you need to be accurate, relevant and specific. Choose your relevant strengths to the job, be specific with your answer and give an example of when you have demonstrated this strength within a professional environment.


  1. What do you consider to be your weaknesses?

This question is so the interviewer can gauge your self-awareness and honesty. You should give a weakness, something that you struggle with and then turn this into a positive. For example, you may not be the best communicator in the world but you have recently volunteered to help at a local charity helping and communicating with disadvantaged people.


To Achieve The Highest Salary Expectation You Will Need To Have A First Class Interview.

For a first class interview we need to have a system to follow, each of the key areas I have identified, are all crucial for an interview. Once you have a formula you can use it for every interview that you attend. The formula I have used many times is broken down into three different sections.

  1. Interview Technique
  2. Research;
  3. Responding to the interview questions.


Practice your interview technique

When I am preparing for my pre-interview I will concentrate on developing my interview technique. The key areas I will be focusing on will be as follows:

• Develop a positive first impression
• Presentation skills
• Effective communication
• Body language and correct posture
• Final questions for the interview panel
• Develop a positive final impression

Do your company research well and practice answering interview questions with role plays.

 How Do I Pitch My Salary Expectation To The Interview Panel?

Of course, everybody wants to have the highest salary possible, you need to pitch your salary in a well thought out way. For instance, if you are going for a chef de partie job with a salary expectation range of £18000 – £22000 it is important to pitch yourself well.

When you do pitch your salary make sure you can back up your expectation with the skills needed.

If you go in at £18000 the panel may think you are low in confidence and do not have the skills required, it’s good to go in at a higher range of £21500 and say you are willing to show how good you are at the job before you reach the £22000 salary.

But make sure you can back up this higher salary with the relevant experience for the job.

Average Uk salaries for chefs

Salaries will depend on location and quality of the establishment.


Commis chef salary                £15000 – £21000   Average = £17000

 Chef de partie chef salary    £19000 – £23000   Average =   £20500

 Pastry chef salary                   £21000 – £29000   Average =     £25000

 Sous chef salary                      £23000 – £29000     Average =   £23500

 Head chef salary                      £21000 – £32000   Average =     £ 25500

 Executive chef salary             £25000 – £38000     Average =     £35000

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