Menu and Cuisine
How much does a chef in Spain earn in 2023? In this article we explore the factors that determine a chef's salary and provide you with estimates of the average salary for different roles.
February 14, 2023
The numerous reality cooking shows help fuel the dreams of many people - often young people, but not only them - who decide to become chefs.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which deals with labor economics, the cook is the job of the future: in fact, its studies estimate that in the next five years it will be one of the most sought-after professions in the world.
Knowing that life in the restaurant business is anything but a walk in the park, the aspiration to one day be recognized as a talented chef is fueled by the common belief that a chef's salary is high.
This is true, but only under certain conditions, positions, tasks and situations that we will discuss together in this blog.
How much does a chef earn? How does a chef earn so much? What are the best-paid contract positions?
What is the salary of a starred chef who also becomes a TV personality?
And finally, can you achieve those numbers? And if so, how can you do it?
A chef's salary can depend on a variety of factors, such as experience, education, the type of establishment in which he or she works, and geographic location.
In addition, the demand for skilled workers in the culinary field may also influence chef salaries.
In this section, we will explore in depth the following variables and how they can affect a chef's salary:
Although it is not necessary to have followed a traditional career to be a good cook or to have attended prestigious training institutes, it can carry weight: as in any other profession, having a degree from a recognized institution will open many doors.
As in all jobs, references - or having worked in well-known restaurants - and experience gained in the kitchen can influence HR choices.
The amount of experience required by the workplace may vary depending on the position for which you are applying. A head chef, for example, will need to have a lot of experience before becoming a chef.
There are also environmental and hierarchical variables related to the catering context that condition the amount of a cook's salary. In other words, the structure in which one works and the role one plays.
It goes without saying that if you work in a Michelin-starred restaurant, you will be eligible for higher salaries. But beware, all that glitters is not gold!
Being selected in a restaurant of excellence is difficult: the physical and mental pressure and the quality standards required are higher.
However, it is easy to imagine how the salary of a cook working in a starred restaurant can be higher, even significantly higher, than that of a cook in a small, semi-unknown, but excellent quality local restaurant.
Let's suppose that in Spain a cook earns about 300 euros more per month, compared to someone who does another job. Nice, isn't it?
In the most prestigious restaurants, as we have already mentioned, the atmosphere is electric and the tension is palpable.
You operate as in all restaurants, but with the added responsibility of having to meet extremely high standards of quality and presentation, because customers who frequent starred restaurants are not buying a dinner, but a whole experience.
And they don't pay cheap either!
That's why selections are tough and being chosen is a privilege: starred restaurants provide those who work in them with a wealth of skills and practice that are in high demand by those looking for new brigadiers who are often willing to pay handsomely.
In practice, you will be able to literally resell what you have learned: you will bring added value to the kitchen where you work, you will be able to solve situations that others will find difficult to solve and, why not, you will teach the rest of the staff some tricks learned in prestigious kitchens, together with renowned chefs.
And if you are able to learn, collaborate with the staff, quickly understand your colleagues' directions and make the service run smoothly, you will deserve all the money you are paid at the end of the month, which will vary according to your role in the kitchen .
Another factor that determines a chef's salary is the geographic location of the establishment where they work.
For example, chefs in large cities with a high demand for skilled workers may earn more than chefs in rural areas.
In areas where there is a high demand for skilled workers in the culinary field, chefs can expect to earn more due to competition among employers to hire the best professionals.
In the kitchen, as you know, there is a hierarchy that corresponds to different tasks and responsibilities. The higher the responsibilities, the higher the salary, as in any other hierarchy.
Even a pastry chef or an ice cream maker earns good money: it is very difficult to find people trained in these specialties, so they are in high demand and, consequently, well paid.
The average monthly salary of a cook at the beginning of his or her career is around €1,000 net, which, with experience and after a few years, can reach €6,000. And the good thing about this job is that everyone has the opportunity to make a career and see their salary increase.
In summary, the average salary of a cook - with a seniority of 4 to 9 years - is about 1,800 euros net per month, but it should be noted that from level 4 the salary will be slightly more than 1,000 euros, a level 3 will receive a little more (about 1,200 euros per month) and so on: as you move up in level, the monthly salary will also increase.
An experienced cook, i.e. one who has already worked in this field for 10 to 20 years, usually earns about 2,600 euros, and over 20 years of service, about 4,000 euros.
This teaches us that your learning will be amply rewarded if this is your path and if you do not lose motivation.
Every self-respecting cook has dreamed at least once of becoming a star chef, and perhaps many assistants, crucial for the good service and smooth running of the kitchen, have also wished to do so.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, it is reality cooking shows that lead many people to decide that they want to pursue this career, and so it is common that, in addition to the desire to become a star chef, they want to become a celebrity chef .
Those who manage to combine their work as a cook with television will obviously see their portfolio increase.
Think, for example, of Gordon Ramsay who, with 14 Michelin stars and his presence on television, boasts a fortune of some $118 million.
Does Gordon Ramsay seem unattainable to you?
We don't have to go that far. In Spain, we are fortunate to have prestigious chefs who combine their hard career with television.
These chefs can earn around €20,000 per month. Maybe more if they combine their salaries as chef and television professional. It seems a very high figure but it is far from what other famous professionals in other sectors earn. Think about what a top-level soccer player can earn, for example. Or a youtuber with millions of followers.
Here are some examples of famous chefs we often see on television:
In conclusion, the salary of a chef in Spain in 2023 will depend on several factors, such as experience, education, type of establishment and geographical location.
According to our estimates, executive chefs can expect to earn between €2,500 and €4,500 per month, while the other ranks can expect to earn between €1,500 and €2,500 per month.
Kitchen assistants are the lowest ranking and lowest paid. In that case the average salary in Spain is around 1.000€.
It is important to keep in mind that these are average salaries and may vary according to variables. In addition, if you manage to become a renowned chef (either by appearing on television programs or by winning prestigious awards) your salary can multiply widely.
Hopefully this post will inspire you to become a great chef!
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February 14, 2023