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Are you paying employees enough?

Photograph: Shutterstock

Operators hoping to understand the wide variances in restaurant pay won’t find much help in a comprehensive new review of the average starting rates for various field-level and home-office positions.

The averages cited in the latest edition of Gecko Hospitality’s annual Salary Survey Report show a sizable gender gap in the starting compensation for nearly every position, including hourly jobs (female crew members tended to make 76 cents less per hour in 2017, or an average of $12.53). A woman hired to serve as general manager of a restaurant was typically paid almost $8,000 less than a male counterpart—$53,556 on average, versus $61,354 for male GMs.

The discrepancy was particularly dramatic for corporate management posts. The study pegs the average starting pay for female headquarters executives at $63,000, or $15,546 less than the $78,546 mean earned by men in corporate positions, a gap of 20%.

A newly hired male sous chef not only made more than a female counterpart ($53,727 versus $46,010), but also more during year one than a female GM, according to the data.

Yet both male and female GMs made less than an executive chef of their respective genders, the report found. A male executive chef was hired at a pay level of  $66,647, compared with a mean annual compensation of $61,500 for a woman recruited for the same job. The executive chefs made more, even though a general manager is typically higher in the pecking order of unit-level management.

The one position where men lagged behind women in pay: the multiunit manager role ($65,600 vs. $82,136).

Here’s a look at how various positions stack up, by title and gender.

The average annual starting pay for restaurant jobs

Hourly (per hour)

Source: Gecko Hospitality, “Salary Survey Report 2017”

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