Food Service and Restaurant Salaries – #10 in Kinsa’s Food & Beverage Salary Series

December 5, 2022 in Career and Job Search Tips, Food & Beverage Industry Information, HR Best Practices



The success of your food service business is connected to developing and producing unique, great-tasting, high-quality food and beverage products for your customers. That’s why you need to find the technical, curious, artistic, and customer service skillsets required to rise to the challenges of the food service and restaurant marketplace today.

To help you better plan for new hires in your food service and restaurant operations business or to simply retain your current top talent, Kinsa Group food and beverage executive recruiters have collected salary data from more than 8,000 candidate interviews across several food and beverage categories and skillsets during the past two years.  We share that data with employers and job candidates alike in our 2022 Food and Beverage Salary Guide so that you can stay competitive in the dynamic food service labor market of 2022-2023.

We’re taking some time this week to expand on Food Service and Restaurant titles and salaries shared within these pages…

Attracting and Retaining Your Leaders 

The restaurant operator category took a hit in 2020-2021, yet leadership salaries have rebounded back to previous levels due to the shortage of professionals that decided to remain in the food service industry after the COVID pandemic.

  • Vice President / COO – Median base salary compensation for VP level Operations professionals returned to $190,000, up from $175,000 in 2021. The high end of the range grew to $260,000, up from $230,000 in 2021.
  • Director of Operations professionals reported a consistent $110,000 median base salary, up 16% from the $95,000 median in 2020, yet equal to 2021.  The high end of the range came in at $160,000, down a bit from the $180,000 high reported in 2021.
  • Director of R&D, Culinary, and/or Innovation professionals reported a median pay of $150,000 for their activities and $210,000 on the high end.
  • Executive Chef compensation grew 22% from $90,000 median up to $110,000 for their culinary expertise.  Executive Chefs reported the largest range among food service professionals from $50,000 to $200,000, so location, cuisine, restaurant size and chef experience will play a big role in where this base salary should land.

Where Do You Need to Be to Retain and Attract Your Restaurant Managers?

  • Restaurant District Manager base salary median compensation increased by 5% to $110,000 in 2022. But the real difference came with the high end of the range increasing from $120,000 to $150,000. It will likely take a bit more in 2023 to remain competitive.
  • Restaurant General Manager base salaries went from a median of $85,000 in 2020 to $100,000, an 18% increase in 2 years.
  • Restaurant Area Manager median base pay held steady at $90,000 from 2021 to 2022.
  • Restaurant Manager base salary median has a wide range from $60,000 to $90,000, with a median of $75,000, which is up 15% from 2020 expectations.

Retain and Attract Your Food Service Managers With These Salaries

  • Foodservice Director roles reported being paid a median base salary of $85,000, with the high end at $100,000.
  • Food & Beverage Manager / Director increased from $70,000 in 2020 to $80,000 median base salary in 2022.  The high end is $100,000.
  • Food Service Managers saw a 20% drop in median salary from $100,000 in 2020 to $80,000 in 2022, though the high remained at $100,000.
  • Catering Manager median base at $75,000 and high end at $90,000 will keep you competitive in this market.

Kinsa Group’s 2022 Food and Beverage Salary Guide

Direct your attention to page 12 of the 2022 Salary Guide to see the complete range of pay for Food Service and Restaurant position titles from General Manager to COO.

Feel free to reach out to our team or contact us to assist you with launching a new search to hire a Food Service or Restaurant professional for your company today.

Looking for the complete food and beverage salary insight guide? Download now for free and get access to the range and median of food and beverage salaries from C-Suite to Sales and Innovation to Operations.


If you are looking for a career in food service or culinary arts, then Kinsa Group can match your product and menu development expertise to the perfect job. Our recruiters are true food industry specialists who will listen to your career goals and find the position that aligns with your objectives. Search our Job Openings here!

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