Corporate chefs do more than cook. This position requires education, experience and creative talent as well as a strong business acumen.
Corporate chefs manage the culinary operations and entrepreneurial aspects of a dining establishment. They are executive chefs who generally oversee dining experiences at hotel or restaurant chains, ensuring that the best practices are implemented and commercial growth is achieved. They need years of experience in professional kitchens as well as some business acumen in order to create budgets and assist with marketing.
Training to become a chef varies, with some learning through experience, and others completing programs at culinary schools or community colleges. Professional certification, while optional, is a common way chefs display their level of expertise.
|Required Education||Ranges from on-the-job training to bachelor's degrees in the culinary arts|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)*||11% for chefs and head cooks|
|Annual Median Salary (2018)*||$48,460 for chefs and head cooks|
Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Becoming a corporate chef requires several years of professional experience and innovational expertise. With their distinguished culinary skills and penchant for delectable cuisine, corporate chefs redesign menus and make up new recipes that'll help promote the brand recognition of a company. The recipes they come up with may be included in the regular menu, listed as a dining special or classified as a seasonal offering. Corporate chefs also handle catering events where they showcase cooking techniques, such as searing fish, carving a turkey or braising vegetables.
As culinary leaders, corporate chefs train and monitor the kitchen staff to be highly efficient. Moreover, corporate chefs examine the freshness of ingredients, conduct food tastings and evaluate food presentation. These professionals even ensure that the kitchen team strictly adheres to state and federal regulations when it comes to food storage, handling and preparation and other safety and sanitation codes involving dining utensils, kitchen equipment and overall cleanliness.
Business Functions of Corporate Chefs
Aside from their culinary duties, corporate chefs coordinate with other units like the purchasing and merchandising departments in corporate restaurants or hotel chains where they're employed. Chefs may help in setting a budget and indicating the products and supplies necessary to fuel the business. Furthermore, they may influence restaurant sales by reviewing menu and merchandising prices. They could also help devise marketing strategies that widen brand awareness and generate new or repeat customers.
Corporate chefs also create ways to communicate with customers to learn about their level of satisfaction and capture feedback that are instrumental to the improvement of dining services. Since corporate chefs are in the loop about various trends in the food industry, they're responsible for passing that knowledge to the cooking staff and incorporate new dishes or food and wine pairings
Salary Information and Job Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), executive chefs receive high compensation in notable hotels and restaurants and in prominent urban and resort areas (www.bls.gov). In May 2018, the BLS reported that professionals in the 90th percentile or higher earned $81,150 or more per year, whereas the bottom 10th percentile earned $26,320 or less per year. About employment growth was predicted to increase much faster than the national average for chefs and head cooks from 2018-2028.
Corporate chefs must be both team leader and chef. Not only do they need to be able to create stunning dishes, and ensure that their kitchen(s) are producing the highest quality food they also need great communication and management skills.