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Cooking for guests on luxury yachts is often one of the most intense challenges for a professional chef, but also one of the most rewarding. Being able to travel the world, produce creative dishes using the world’s best and rarest ingredients, and serving your creations to no ordinary guests, are a few reasons why cooking on board a superyacht is one of the most exciting jobs a chef could do.
A yacht is also a pretty good workplace for a private chef if they’re after a top salary seeing as it’s paid more than the majority of jobs in land-based restaurants and locations. With larger salaries comes larger responsibilities, however, and with the environments typically experienced on board, an above-average salary is well justified.
Let’s not forget too, like pretty much all yacht crew, living expenses are taken care of so you get to save a huge proportion of your earnings.
If you're interested, you can also take a look at other yacht crew salaries.
Depending on the size of yacht, salaries can vary quite substantially, as with many roles in yachting.
On yachts up to about 40 metres (131 feet), a superyacht chef can expect to earn between €3,000 to €4,500 in basic salary per month depending on experience level, and will likely be the sole chef on board.
Once you’re on the slightly larger yachts, from roughly 40 to 60 metres (131 to 196 feet), standard salaries for yacht chefs can enter the region of €4,000 to €7,000 per month. Without special skills, specialties or a swathe of experience, a chef’s salary will likely tend towards the lower end of that scale, though.
If you’re lucky enough to land a head chef job on a yacht from 60 to 80 metres (196 to 262 feet), then the salaries really start to ramp up. Many chefs can expect a basic monthly salary of around €7,000 on boats this size.
For chefs championing cuisine on the world’s largest 80-metre+ (262 feet+) yachts, expect a starting salary around the €7,500 mark, but also the highest standards with the highest pressures. On these larger boats, there is no real cap on the salary a chef can earn – it often comes down to how difficult it would be to replace the current chef.
In addition to a healthy salary, most yacht chefs will also receive their fair split of any tip left by a party of guests upon the end of their stay on board (read our lowdown on crew tips article). It is a fairly standard industry practice to divide tips evenly by the number of crew (although this isn’t always the case), so superyacht chefs typically receive the same earnings in tips as other crew members.
With a typical charter tip from satisfied guests being roughly 10% of the charter fee. Let’s take an example charter on a 45m yacht costing €150,000 per week. Assuming a 10% tip was left to a crew of eight, each crew member would receive €1,875 each.
On a 75-metre (246-foot) yacht charging €525,000 per week to charter, a typically sized crew of 22 would each be splitting just over €2,385 each.
Interested in knowing private yacht chef jobs? Check out our article on how to become yachting qualified.
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