It’s official: Chefs have big egos

chef demo cooking saucing dish

A new ranking of jobs by the self-assessed skill level of the holder confirms what restaurateurs have known since the invention of fire: The biggest egos under their roof tend to be the ones in the kitchen.

Chefs and head cooks scored highest among employees who are peculiar to the restaurant business at No. 7, just above bartenders and just below plant and system operators.

But they seem like buckets of opportunity compared to the personal chef, who topped the list compiled by PayScale, a company that advises clients on what to pay their employees. The report ascribed a Big Ego score of 74% to private cooks, compared with a 72% rating for CEOs and a 65% rating for art directors, the runners-up on the list.

The score was based on how strongly participants agreed with the statement, “I am the top performer at my company for jobs similar to mine."

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Exclusive Content


Why the Burgerim settlement exposes flaws in franchise oversight

The Bottom Line: The federal government allowed the chain’s founder to avoid major penalties by simply paying $1,000. What’s the point of regulation in the first place?


Why the Smashed Jack sparked record-smashing demand at Jack in the Box

Behind the Menu: The chain’s newest menu addition aims to break the mold on what a fast-food burger can be, and customers are buying in.


Why Wingstop isn't afraid of Popeyes' chicken wings

The Bottom Line: The fast-casual wing chain says its sales improve when another brand pushes the product. Here’s why that might be.