open thread – November 3-4, 2023 — Ask a Supervisor


The setup: Fake that I’m a chef in a elaborate restaurant, however in actuality all jobs on this situation are distant. I, together with my different cooks, put together appetizers, entrees, and aspect dishes. Ranges are Chef 1, Chef 2, and Chef 3, all salaried. As a Chef 3, I don’t simply prepare dinner, I additionally give you new menu concepts and create improbable new dishes. I and one other chef have been doing this for 40+ years, and we’ve many common patrons who love our meals. For desserts, nonetheless, our abilities solely run to plainly frosted cupcakes and sheet desserts. However that’s okay as a result of this restaurant additionally has Pastry Cooks 1(hourly), 2, and three (salaried), and so they design and create lovely fancy desserts that might be at residence within the best of patisseries. Probably the most skilled pastry chef has been a pastry chef for 12 years.

Plot twist: Three years in the past the restaurant proprietor determined to cease serving appetizers, entrees, and aspect dishes, however they needed to proceed to make and serve these fancy desserts. The proprietor provided to let the cooks keep in the event that they needed, however they needed to grow to be pastry cooks. I and my coworker determined to remain and had been transformed from Chef 3s to Pastry Chef 2s (due to our lack of abilities in pastry however to acknowledge our basic kitchen abilities), and we each agreed with this determination. Our salaries simply barely squeezed into the highest of the pay band for Pastry Chef 2 (that is the necessary half).

For the final two years my coworker and I’ve solely labored on making, let’s say, tarts of all sizes, shapes, and flavors, and we obtained good at it. Two months in the past, we had been assigned to start out making fancy cake toppers. That is new to us and we’re nonetheless studying and will not be but as expert because the pastry cooks who’ve now been doing this for 15 years. However the Pastry Chef Supervisor has been supportive and appeared, all in all, to be a really affordable supervisor. Nonetheless, final week once I talked about a cake topper that we’re fighting, he snapped out, “YOU MAKE $20,000 A YEAR MORE THAN THE MOST EXPERIENCED PASTRY CHEF HERE!!”, implying, I assume, that due to that I ought to be Good at All the things Pastry. I used to be so shocked that I didn’t even reply, and he ended the decision shortly. Then two days later, when my coworker, supervisor, and I had been assembly to debate that very same cake topper, he snapped out the very same remark about our wage and mentioned flat out that the (15 12 months) pastry cooks do higher work that we do. He sounded very offended and upset over what he apparently perceives to be a pay inequity. Neither of us responded to his outburst and the assembly simply type of went on, by some means.

Firstly, of COURSE the opposite pastry cooks who’ve completed nothing however desserts for 15 years are higher than us at the whole lot pastry! My coworker and I feel we earn this wage as a result of we’ve been working within the cooking business for 40 years, not as a result of the restaurant proprietor thinks we’re higher than the opposite pastry cooks. Our pay nonetheless match into the pay band for Pastry Chef 2, though we didn’t attain that degree AS pastry cooks. Is {that a} right assumption or is there one thing we’re lacking? Additionally, if proprietor is underpaying these initially HIRED as pastry cooks (and we don’t know if that’s the case or not), that’s not our fault.

If we’re right in our pondering, do we have to handle this with our supervisor, or simply let it go? If we attempt to handle it, ought to we do it in a easy e-mail, like “We earn this as a result of Forty Years, not higher talent”? Or would a gathering be higher? We’re a bit involved about our yearly opinions, plus his continued notion of us. By no means had one thing like this occur earlier than so actually don’t know what to do about it.

Pertinent information: When the Chef position was eradicated, the ratio was 13 cooks to about 50 pastry cooks, with about 200 individuals total in our division alone. This isn’t a small firm. Additionally, coworker and I are close to retirement and have no real interest in studying the sophisticated abilities required to be promoted to Pastry Chef 3.



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