Here’s what the cast of ‘The Bear’ would actually make working at their restaurant

    Jeremy Allen White plays Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto” in “The Bear.”

    Courtesy of FX Networks

    Season 3 of “The Bear” premiered this week, giving fans a glimpse of life working at a restaurant.Business Insider analyzed wage data to see how Carmy, Sydney, and the staff would fare in the US economy.Since 2020, restaurant workers’ wages have grown faster than inflation, but high housing costs are a burden.

    Season 3 of “The Bear” premiered June 26, meaning fans finally got to devour new episodes of the viral kitchen drama.

    The previous season followed chef Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto (played by Jeremy Allen White) and his crew transform their beloved family-owned restaurant — the Original Beef of Chicagoland — into a fine-dining restaurant, The Bear.

    Ask a fan of “The Bear” if it’s inspired their cooking and you’ll likely hear, “Yes, chef.”

    How about a career change?

    Now, that one’s less certain — but as viewers watch Carmy and Sydney (Ayo Edebiri) cook up food for patrons, one question might arise: How much money does a chef and their staff actually make?

    Those salaries will differ across establishments, locations, and times. But it’s possible to get a general sense: Business Insider analyzed national and Chicago-area wage data for restaurant workers to gauge the average staff salaries if The Bear opened in 2023.

    Overall, pay for leisure and hospitality workers — which includes restaurants — has outpaced other workers in recent years.

    Restaurant staff’s wages have grown 31.1% since January 2020, which is faster than the average 25.4% increase in wages for all private workers.

    That growth is due to state-level minimum wage increases between 2019 and 2023 coinciding with a tight labor market, according to the nonprofit think tank Economic Policy Institute.

    Overall inflation has risen roughly 21% since January 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, meaning restaurant wages have also outpaced general price increases.

    All things considered, though, staff at The Bear wouldn’t necessarily be better off right now.

    According to a new report by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, 48% of renters in Chicago feel cost-burdened — meaning they spend between 30% and 50% of their income on housing.

    Chicago’s suburbs are also the second most competitive rental market in the US.

    But when it comes to basics, like the annual salary for staff at The Bear, that number depends on the job.

    Carmen “Carmy” BerzattoCarmy, the head chef at The Bear, would make over $60,000 per year running the fine-dining establishment in this economy.

    Courtesy of FX Networks

    As head chef at The Bear, Carmy is undoubtedly the mastermind behind the operation.

    A chef or head cook in Chicago made an average annual salary of $68,620 in 2023, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Carmy’s supposed salary of $68,620 is more than the national average of $59,310 for chefs or head cooks and amounts to nearly $33 per hour. That puts him better off than the $28.51 national average for chefs.

    In Chicago, the median household income is $75,900, according to Harvard’s report.

    Sydney AdamuAyo Edebiri plays Sydney Adamu in “The Bear.”

    Courtesy of FX Networks

    As sous-chef at The Bear, Sydney’s salary is less clear.

    If management paid her on par with Carmy, Sydney could expect to bring in $68,620 a year as a chef at a Chicago restaurant.

    Another potential category Sydney fits into is supervisors of preparing and serving food — according to Chicago data, this role made an average of $44,690 in 2023.

    Neil FakMatty Matheson plays Neil Fak in ‘The Bear’.

    Courtesy of FX Networks

    A restaurant can’t run if the gas doesn’t work.

    The mechanic is an oft-overlooked, duly needed position for any establishment.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Neil Fak (played by Matt Matheson, who is also an executive producer of the show) would have made $56,020 in 2023 as a general maintenance and repair worker in Chicago.

    That’s considerably more than the $35,440 national average salary for repair workers.

    Natalie BerzattoAbby Elliot plays Natalie Berzatto in “The Bear.”

    Courtesy of FX Networks

    Managing a restaurant — a new one nonetheless — is no easy feat.

    Food service managers in Chicago made an average of $68,770 in 2023, meaning Natalie (Abby Elliott) would earn just a little bit more than Carmy and Sydney.

    That means Natalie is The Bear’s highest earner, but her salary is a little bit less than the national average of $72,190.

    Tina MarreroLiza Colón-Zayas plays Tina Marrero in “The Bear.”

    Courtesy of FX Networks

    As a cook at The Bear, Tina (Liza Colón-Zayas) would make $38,030 — that’s the annual salary for a cook at a Chicago restaurant in 2023.

    Tina’s salary may have improved the most among staff due to The Beef becoming The Bear.

    Fast food cooks in Chicago — like those at The Beef — made $30,790 in 2023.

    That means Tina gained an extra $7,240 a year when she signed her new contract at The Bear.

    Richard “Richie” JerimovichRichard “Richie” Jerimovich is played by Ebon Moss-Bachrach.

    Courtesy of FX Networks

    As a restaurant host, Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) could earn $31,900 per year in Chicago.

    That translates to an average hourly wage of $15.34, which means Richie is The Bear’s lowest-paid employee.

    However, it’s more than the national average for front-of-house hosts, which was $30,270 annually and $14.55 an hour in 2023.

    Marcus BrooksMarcus Brooks bakes pastries, among other delicacies, at The Bear.

    Courtesy of FX Networks

    Marcus Brooks (Lionel Boyce) would make $36,610 working as a baker in Chicago in 2023.

    That breaks down to an average hourly wage of $17.60.

    Brooks would have made more than the national average for bakers, which was $35,760 annually and $17.19 per hour.

    Has “The Bear” inspired you to switch careers and work in restaurants? If so, please contact this reporter at [email protected].

    Read the original article on Business Insider


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