- Restaurant chains are grabbing luxury hotel chefs with bigger pay packets
Mumbai, Nov 16: This is sure food for thought. Top chefs are exiting big brand hotels to work in relatively lesser known restaurant chains. The bait, of course, is money but should this trend continue, hotels had better revisit their salary structures.
Take the case of Jitendra Kumar, executive chef of Taj Lands End who recently quit and is tipped to join the BJN group’s restaurant chain which owns Aroma of China and Angeethi.
He has worked in the Taj for 17 years prior to which he had had a three-year stint with the Oberoi group. While Kumar refused to comment on his move, sources say the new job gives him an annual package of Rs 45 lakh, more than twice his Taj pay packet.
The executive chef is one of the most important links in a hotel. This is because he gives the special touch that immediately becomes synonymous with top quality cuisine. Apart from Kumar, the Taj boasts of the likes of Hemant Oberoi, Ananda Solomon, Satish Arora, Sandip Kachru and AV Sriram.
Oberoi, who is the corporate chef says, “We produce the best talent and many groups/chains pick up our people and pay them twice as much. Our pay structure is comparable with industry.”
He reasons that if somebody wants to quit, there is little the group can do. According to him, replacing top chefs is not too much of a problem as there are enough going around within the group.
Celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor says the hotel industry needs to ensure greater satisfaction for chefs. “In my company, we share profits with senior people so they feel they are part of the organisation.”