The article was titled, “Why You Should Start Tipping Chefs.”
I know that in some restaurants, chefs and line cooks get a portion of the tips each day. My husband has never worked in a restaurant that has done that. He has always been paid an hourly rate or salary.
What frustrates me, is the inequality of pay between a server and a line cook. (Neither of which apply to my husband so this post is not about me saying I think my husband deserves more money. Just clearing that up.)
It takes a very different skill set to be a server as it does to be a line cook. I will not get into a debate about which is harder as I think different people are good at different things. However, when a server walks out of the restaurant after working 6 hours making more money than my well paid Executive Chef husband who is on hour number 15 that day and still not ready to leave, does that seem right?
Does that even seem logical to ANYONE??
I’ll admit I have never worked in a restaurant and only know what I do based on what my chef/husband and I talk about. But it doesn’t take a genius to see that something’s not right.
Is it fair? No. But life isn’t fair, I know. But think about the conditions of the kitchen compared to the conditions in the main dining room, the physical work that goes into working on the line on a busy night, really?? It’s pretty ridiculous if you think about it.
I’m not bashing servers or saying they are less important or should make less money. No matter how great the food is, if the service stinks, people are not going to come back. However, you could also have amazing service but horrible food and people will not return. Both need to be done well.
The best server we have EVER had (in my opinion), was named Adrian. He works on board the Rhapsody of the Seas and was one of our servers in the main dining room on our Royal Caribbean cruise this summer. I told my chef/husband he should have tried to recruit him for the restaurant. He was so amazing! He knew everything about every menu item, was great with the kids, used proper serving etiquette, would never think of allowing crumbs to be left on the table (and with our 3 kids, that was a big task), etc. He was just REALLY good at his job. Put him in the pantry station in the kitchen and I would guess he would need some work. Same thing if you grabbed the cook from the pantry and sent him out onto the floor to be a server. They are both trained to do their job and to do it well. They work as a team to make the dining experience enjoyable for the guest.
So if they are truly working together to make the guest’s dining experience the best it can possibly be, why should the server walk out with $400 on a great night in December and the line cook walk out with $96 (before taxes)? I have no idea, but would love it if someone could explain this me.
Whether tipping the back of house is the answer, I don’t know. But the article did at least get me thinking (and frustrated)!
Thoughts? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
From one chef wife to another,