The F&B industry is a booming one. Everywhere in the world, there are possibilities for a career.
Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes in the kitchen of a restaurant? Are you interested in a career in the Food & Beverage industry? In this feature, we share with you the various roles in the F&B industry – from the restaurant’s management team, to the rank and file of the restaurant, and the hierarchy of chefs in the kitchen. Also, we have included a rough guide on the salary that each position gets.
Here is our guide to the roles in the F&B industry and how much they are paid.
In order to give you a complete picture of the F&B industry, we have included every role that is found in a formal restaurant. However, not every restaurant will have all the positions stated – in fact, most restaurants are probably short-handed most of the time and a staff usually performs the duties of multiple positions.
The restaurant’s general manager is the boss. He’s in charge of profile & loss of the restaurant, he’s in charge of the restaurant’s management, he’s in charge of making sure that everything is running smoothly in the restaurant. He also needs to look at the P&L statement to think of ways on how to increase sales and cut costs.
Average salary range: S$7,000 to S$8,000
Besides daily operations, the restaurant’s manager also has to look after other areas like the maintenance of the restaurant, dealing with customers, managing staff, training new staff, and allocating manpower.
Average salary range: S$3,000 – S$3,500 (for most restaurants), S$4,000 to S$5,000 (for hotels and fine dining restaurants)
ASSISTANT RESTAURANT MANAGER
The second-in-charge for daily operations. The assistant restaurant manager essentially performs the same role as the restaurant manager.
Average salary range: S$2,500 (for most restaurants), S$3,000 to S$4,000 (for hotels and fine dining restaurants)
From curating the wine list to recommending food and wine pairing to guests; training the captains and service attendants for proper wine knowledge; serving wine in a professional manner; and managing the wine inventory, the sommelier (or wine steward) is a trained wine professional and is in charge of everything that is related to wines. His job is not only to maintain a healthy level of inventory, but also to look after the P&L of wines in the restaurant.
Average salary range: S$4,000 to S$5,000
Someone who shows a keen interest in wines and is assigned to the role of assisting the sommelier.
Average salary range: S$2,000 to S$3,000
The job scope of a Maître d’ – also known as the “front of the house” – includes recognising and greeting regulars by name; managing the restaurant’s database, reservations and walk-ins; handling private event bookings; and planning seating arrangements for customers who have made reservations. In short, the job is to make the customers happy and satisfied.
Average salary range: S$3,000 to S$3,500
RESTAURANT’S RANK & FILE
The hosts help to assist the Maître d’ in bringing the guests to their designated tables. They are also tasked to take in reservations and to handle the walk-in guests.
Average salary range: S$1,800 to S$2,200 (dependent on S Pass for foreigners)
CAPTAINS (SENIOR WAITERS)
The captain, or senior waiter, has the most interaction with the customers and acts as the ambassador of the restaurant. He oversees a group of tables and manages a group of service attendants. His job is to recommend – and if possible, upsell – dishes and take orders. It is of utmost importance for him to have strong product knowledge of the food and wines served in the restaurant.
Average salary range: S$2,300 to S$2,800
SERVICE ATTENDANTS (WAITERS)
Like the captain, the service attendants are assigned to a group of tables and their main role is to support the captain and to ensure that everything runs smoothly. They mainly set and clear the tables, while learning more about the food and menu.
Service attendants in a formal restaurant are usually divided into two teams. One group will support the captains, while the other group will be food runners and performs other tasks such as polishing cutleries, and preparing bread and coffee.
Average salary range: S$1,800 to S$2,200
Also known as barman, barmaid or a mixologist, the bartender is the one who makes your alcoholic beverages. Other than managing the bar and taking care of the bar inventory, the bartender also has to come up with new concoctions. Make friends with the bartender and you will be well taken care of.
Average salary range: S$1,700 to S$2,800
IN THE KITCHEN
The Executive Chef – only applicable for hotels and bigger restaurants with various outlets – is the leader who looks after the big picture and determines the direction for the team. From planning the menu with the head chef, to creating recipes, managing food costs and product inventory, dictating the salary of the kitchen staff, and performing administrative work, the executive chef is the brain behind the kitchen and because of the nature of the responsibilities, this role is more of an executive position and he does not cook in the kitchen day to day.
Average salary range: S$6,000 to S$8,000 (S$6,000 to S$10,000 for those working in hotels).
CHEF DE CUISINE (HEAD CHEF)
Chief of the kitchen, the Chef de Cuisine is the one who takes charge of daily operations from liaising with suppliers, to managing staff and planning menus.
Average salary range: S$4,000 to S$6,000
Sous chef, or literally translated as “under chef”, is the second in command who takes charge of the kitchen when the head chef is not around. In reality, he is the reliable guy who is always around and someone that the other staff look for when they need help. He also works closely with purchasing to ensure the quality of the ingredients.
Within the sous chef hierarchy, it is further divided into three levels – executive (only for hotels and big restaurant groups), senior and junior.
Average salary range: S$3,300 – S$4,000 (Executive Sous), S$2,500 to S$3,200 (Senior and Junior Sous),
CHEF DE PARTIE (CHEF OF SECTION)
The Chef de Partie, or chef of section, looks after a certain section such as grill, sauté or pastry. He manages the line cooks and make sure that the respective section delivers the goods.
Average salary range: S$1,900 to S$2,400
This position is given to those who show potential of having responsibility to look after a section, while at the same time, can perform his individual tasks well.
Average salary range: S$1,400 to S$1,800
COMMIS (LINE COOK)
The most junior staff in the kitchen who does the most work but get paid the least. The commis is in charge of basic preparation like cutting and portioning of ingredients.
However, in reality, the commis position is slowly being removed because graduates from culinary schools will go straight into the kitchen as demi chefs.
Average salary range: S$1,200 to S$1,400
The greenhorns – usually culinary students – who are exposed to the reality of the F&B industry for the very first time.
Average salary range: S$800 to S$1,000
The kitchen helper is an unskilled worker who helps to support the team by doing basic jobs like peeling onions and potatoes, as well as chores like cleaning the kitchen.
Average salary range: S$1,000 to S$1,200
The porter does everything – from doing the dishes, to maintaining the cleanliness of the kitchen, and throwing of rubbish – in the kitchen.
Average salary range: S$1,600