A survey by the Association of Catering Establishments (ACE) sheds light on the salaries paid to catering staff at various levels, with cleaners and dishwashers at the lower end of the spectrum and some managers and chefs earning over €30,000 per year.

And, while this would still make it exceedingly difficult to take out a home loan or comfortably rent in today’s property market as a single person, the survey aims to showcase the various ways in which career progression can lead to a lucrative path for some catering positions.

The survey was conducted among 121 restaurants (which form 25 per cent of ACE members) employing 1,044 full time and 942 part time employees. Restaurant owners were asked to choose from a choice of six salary brackets for each respective category. The following results are based on a regular 173 hour working month, and do not include any overtime, sales’ commissions or customer tips:

The survey notes that the gross salary bracket paid to waiters and servers of 72 per cent of the respondents is between €14,500 to €19,200 per annum. On the other hand, the gross salary bracket paid to bartenders by 78 per cent of the respondents, is between €14,500 to €19,200 per annum. A proportion of 82 per cent pay their dishwashers and cleaners a gross salary pay below €14,500 per annum.

When respondents were asked about the gross salary bracket of restaurant managers, 73 per cent declared that it varies between €19,200 and €34,000 per annum. “It is interesting to note that 10 per cent of the respondents pay restaurant managers a gross salary pay above €30,000 per annum,” ACE remarked.

When asked about gross salary pay of kitchen staff, 78 per cent of the respondents noted that the average pay for a Chef de Partie ranges between €14,500 to €19,200 per annum. A proportion of 88 per cent noted that the average gross pay for a Chef Tournant ranges between €15,600 to €23,000. 

The survey notes that 78 per cent of the respondents pay a gross salary that ranges between €20,400 and €31,200 for a Sous Chef. “It is interesting to note that 11 per cent of the respondents pay a gross salary of more than €31,200 for a Sous Chef”. 

The survey notes that the highest gross pay is for a Head Chef. Indeed, 90 per cent of respondents declared that the annual gross pay for a Head Chef is between €27,600 and €40,000. A proportion of 40 per cent of the respondents have noted that the annual gross pay for a Head Chef is above the €36,000 bracket.

“It is important to note that most standalone restaurant owners even pay an additional commission on sales, and it is estimated that each restaurant staff member earns an additional €3,600 euro in tips per annum, over and above their monthly salaries.” 

The survey also addresses issues related to a “haemorrhage” of talent. A final question was asked in which sectors such talent has migrated to, with 27 per cent of the respondents noting that the majority have shifted to government entities, the gaming sector and the sales and property market.

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