A salary guide to Chefs

The salaries of chefs in the United Kingdom can vary wildly. The pay a chef receives can depend on various factors, including their level of responsibility, experience, employer, location and whether they specialise in anything particularly distinctive.

Trainee, entry-level or commie chefs can earn anything in the region of around £13,000 to £18,000, with those working in London and the South East more likely to be at the upper end of this band. Most people working at this level attend college when they are not in the kitchen, though young apprentices can earn around 50% of this.

Section chefs or chefs de partie tend to earn between £16,000 – £21,000 per annum. This is a higher rate than above as it reflects their additional skills and responsibilities. Sous chefs normally have a salary of £22,000 to £26,000. Sous chefs are one step below head chefs on the kitchen ladder and will normally have managerial tasks to attend to.

Head chefs or chefs de cuisine usually earn between £20,000 and £35,000, though some working at top establishments can take home much more. However, only a limited number of head chefs are able to command above £35,000, and a small number of head chefs do earn less than £20,000. The average wage for head chefs is almost £25,000 across the UK, but their roles and responsibilities can vary substantially. The vast majority of head chefs at reputable and busy establishments in the UK earn somewhere between £30,000 to £35,000 each year.

There are only a modest number of top executive chefs in the UK, and these tend to have specialist culinary skills and work at highly prestigious establishments. Those employed at this level tend to earn at least £40,000 but can take home much more. Most top executive chefs work in the country’s biggest cities, such as London and Manchester.

The team at Saffron Vanilla can come to your assistance if you need to find the right chefs and catering staff at short notice. Though the recruitment process for chefs can be lengthy and complicated, the support of a leading agency can drastically speed up the quest for experienced professionals.