How to make more money as a cook

For some of us, cooking and baking is a passion, and something we’d do every day, even if we weren’t being paid for it.

There’s a fine line between loving your job and being obsessed with it, and we think that we toe the line between both.

But let’s face it: as a cook working in the UK, it can be difficult to make ends meet, often requiring low-paid roles on short-term contracts or covering only a few hours a day, meaning we need to take on a second job.

But all is not lost. We can’t promise to make you a millionaire in today’s article, but we can promise to give you some food for thought and make more money as a cook, chef, or baker.


Start your own business

Many cooks and bakers start their own businesses from the comfort of their own homes, selling cakes and bakes online to friends and family.

The truth is that there’s a lot of work involved in running a business and you won’t be successful overnight – take your time, be patient, and work hard.

Consider starting a business as a secondary income stream so you can hold on to your full- or part-time job to have some guaranteed income in the meantime.


Do some temp work

If you’re happy to move around for work or love a new challenge, then temp work could be an option to consider.

Working with an agency that specializes in chef recruitment will help you to stay in the loop with new positions that come to the forefront, and because you’ll be working in different kitchens, you’ll be able to expect a little more than your usual hourly rate.

It’s important to note, however, that temp work has its drawbacks – you’ll have to move around to work, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to find another role as soon as you finish up on your first job. Be mindful of this before quitting a full-time permanent job.


Take a college course

Another way to increase your salary and still do the job you love is to get a qualification for your skills, either by going back to college or by working with a company that offers training on the job.

The truth is that a bit of paper isn’t going to make you a good cook, but it shows businesses that you’re passionate and serious about your industry, making them more likely to choose you for a job interview.

Do some research and look into local authority – depending on age and financial circumstances, you may be able to enroll in a free college course.


Ask for a promotion

If you’ve been working as a cook or kitchen porter for a long time, consider speaking with your manager about the potential of a promotion.

Express your interest in taking on some more responsibility and tasks, and be mindful of the fact that your boss won’t immediately be able to hand you a pay rise and promotion.

Show that you’re serious about working hard and progressing, put in the hours and hard graft, and the rewards will come to you.


Nobody said that working in food or the hospitality industry was easy – the truth is that the majority of us do it for the love alone. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to earn a decent living and progress up the career ladder. We wish you the very best of luck with it.