These Are the Best Cities for Chefs


Which U.S. City Pays the Highest Chef Salaries? Hint: It Isn’t New York

These Are the Best Cities for Chefs


Are New York City chefs (and other cooks around the country) underpaid?

Danny Meyer’s announcement that he was getting rid of tipping certainly caused a stir in the culinary   world, and it’s highly likely that other restaurants will follow in the footstep of one of New York City’s most successful restaurateurs. Meyer, who heads Union Square Hospitality Group (Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern) and founded Shake Shack, has stipulated that the new policy will allow for kitchen staff and chefs to earn bigger paychecks.

But the question is, are New York City chefs underpaid? New data from American City Business Journals says yes: The statistics show that New York City is actually eighth on the list of the top 10 American regions for chef salaries in 2014. The number one city for high chef salaries is actually Poughkeepsie, New York.

In 2009, the average New York City chef salary was $72,830, but by 2014, that number was $54,660, dropping by about one-third. Mark Erickson, the provost of the Culinary Institute of America told Biz Journals that he has no idea why chef salaries are struggling to keep up when high-end restaurant jobs are consistently in-demand. 

Here is the rest of the list:

1. Poughkeepsie, N.Y.: $61,860

2. Springfield, Mass.: $60,750

3. Trenton, N.J.: $59,160

4. Washington, D.C.: $58,890

5. Allentown, Pa.: $58,640

6. Miami: $56,830

7. Birmingham, Ala.: $56,240

8. New York City: $54,660

9. Ann Arbor, Mich: $53,680

10. Boston: $53,410