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  • Writer's pictureThe League of Extraordinary Chefs

The Average Time an Executive Chef Stays in a Position

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

Typically, executive chefs do not stay in one position for very long.

The executive chef plays a very critical role and are responsible for:

  • Overseeing kitchen staff

  • Managing the menu

  • Controlling food costs

  • Scheduling

  • Maintaining and adhering to state and local laws and licensing

  • Ensuring food quality meets high standards

  • Ensuring food presentation meets high standards

According to industry reports, the average length of time an executive chef stays in a position is between 2 to 3 years. The reasons behind this trend are complex and multifaceted.

Factors that contribute to executive chefs' short duration at a position:

Why do chefs quit?

  • Demanding work

  • Intense responsibility

  • Long hours (first person there, last person to leave)

  • Managing the entire kitchen staff

  • Overseeing the preparation of a large number of dishes

  • Managing issues with the kitchen staff, equipment, etc...

  • High-pressure situations

  • Burnout and physical exhaustion

  • Highly competitive industry

  • Turnover rate of restaurants

  • Conflicts with ownership

  • Low pay compared to the stress

The food industry is highly competitive. Chefs must constantly innovate and come up with new and exciting menu items to attract and retain customers. They must also deal with food trends and fads, which can change rapidly. The constant pressure to be creative and innovative can be exhausting, and many chefs may seek new challenges and opportunities after a few years, or often a few short months, in one position.

Restaurants open and close frequently, and chefs may be forced to move on to new positions when their current restaurant closes. Additionally, chefs may be headhunted by other restaurants looking for new talent.

The food industry is not known for paying its employees well. Executive chefs can make a good salary, but doesn't always make up for the amount of work and stress involved with the job. However, the short tenure of executive chefs can also be a positive thing. It allows for new talent and fresh ideas to come into the industry and keep things exciting and dynamic. Just like bringing in an executive chef, sous chef, production chef or line cook from the League of Extraordinary Chefs. Whether it's to fill an unexpected opening, or to get you through a season, we have the dedicated and professional staff you need.

The League was created to help fill culinary staffing shortages. Turnover is unavoidable, but what if you could put a "stop-gap" in place to limit turnover for your most essential culinary roles? Our team is committed to serving your organization through the end of the assignment, whether it's a weekend event or a full season, we don't go home until you're ready for us to leave. We're also ready to dive in with fresh ideas, if needed, and to energize your existing staff.

Ready to learn more about our culinary staffing services and how we can support your needs?

Schedule a short 30-minute call today to get all the details. We're here to help!

About the League of Extraordinary Chefs

The League of Extraordinary Chefs was established in May 2021 when a team of chefs converged upon the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby. Arising out of extreme staffing shortages in the culinary industry, the League was born and has grown to a full roster of highly-vetted and qualified culinary professionals. We offer talent management and placement of extraordinary chefs & FOH hospitality professionals for hotels & resorts, sporting & entertainment events, conventions, top tier restaurants, and vacation ranches. From short-term (3-7+ days) to long-term (6+ months) to permanent placements, let us source the right culinary talent for your needs. #STAFFEXTRAORDINARY

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