The work of a corporate chef goes beyond the managing the kitchen of a particular restaurant. Instead, his work involves managing all aspects of the dining experience for a restaurant group, a chain of hotels or a corporation. He is responsible for keeping his customers satisfied, marketing the company's image and training all those who work with him. It often takes years of experience before a chef is promoted to this level of expertise, but the position can be a rewarding, though demanding, one.
Culinary Training and Experience
A corporate chef is a person who has already proven his expertise in the culinary arts. Many corporate chefs will have attended culinary school, and some have even taken additional coursework in business management and marketing. In their years of experience in the kitchen, they have developed a passion for food and a professionalism concerning its preparation. A keen sense of taste and smell, as well as an aesthetic appreciation of food presentation, are all important qualities for a corporate chef.
A corporate chef is responsible for the hiring and training of all those who work with and under him. He will manage all the restaurants within a corporate group, but each restaurant is staffed with its own executive chef, sous chefs, and line cooks. The staff have to be trusted individuals who are willing to learn from the experience and professionalism of the corporate chef. Corporate chefs are also responsible to the the owners of the restaurant group or corporation. Ultimately, a corporate chef should perform in such a way that his employers are prosperous and pleased and that the persons who work under his direction are well-trained and trustworthy. Good management skills are critical.
Marketing and Menus
Corporate chefs are also responsible for planning and promoting the menus for every part of the restaurant group. Whether she serves hot pretzels or heavy hors d'oeuvres, the corporate chef will have researched, designed and promoted the food on her company's menus. She will know what consumers want, what prices to charge and what profits she can anticipate. She also will be able to anticipate the time and effort necessary to prepare the foods on the menus.
Networking and Continuing Education
The best corporate chefs will continue learning and perfecting their own skills. As they travel and make business contacts for their corporation, the corporate chefs will have opportunities themselves to study market trends, current issues and daily operations in other successful restaurant groups. Consequently, they can contribute new ideas and better methods for their own corporations.
Salary and Compensation
Because the work of a corporate chef is a blend of business savvy, creative expression, and teaching ability, you can expect to be well paid. According to the website Chef Schools USA, it is not unusual for a corporate chef with several years of experience to make $80,000 a year. The position also has the added benefits of travel and continuing education. Over time, as his skills improve and his reputation strengthens, a corporate chef can expect to make a six-figure salary.