Average Sous Chef Salary in South Africa (2024)

The average Sous Chef Salary in South Africa is R29,000 per month. An entry-level Sous Chef earns a salary range of R17,000, a Mid-career level earns about R29,400, and a senior/experienced level earns R39,516 per month.

Average Sous Chef Salary in South Africa

Job Title Approximate Monthly Salary (ZAR)
Entry-Level Sous Chef 17,000
Mid-Career Sous Chef 29,400
Experienced Sous Chef 39,516

Types of Sous Chef and Their Functions in South Africa

In South Africa, the culinary landscape is diverse and rich, reflecting the country’s multicultural influences. Within the realm of professional kitchens, sous chefs play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation and quality of culinary output. There are several types of sous chefs in South Africa, each with distinct functions and responsibilities.

1. Sous Chef de Cuisine

This role is akin to the traditional sous chef position and involves overseeing the day-to-day operations of the kitchen. The Sous Chef de Cuisine collaborates closely with the head chef, manages kitchen staff, and ensures that recipes and quality standards are upheld.

2. Sous Chef Pâtissier

Specializing in pastry, the Sous Chef Pâtissier is responsible for the creation and execution of dessert menus. They possess expertise in baking, pastry arts, and dessert presentation, contributing to the overall culinary experience in a restaurant or bakery.

3. Sous Chef Saucier

Focused on sauces, the Sous Chef Saucier is skilled in the art of sauce preparation. They manage the sauté station and oversee the production of sauces, ensuring that flavours are well-balanced and complement the main dishes.

4. Sous Chef Poissonnier

With a specialization in seafood, the Sous Chef Poissonnier oversees the preparation of fish and seafood dishes. They are responsible for maintaining the quality and freshness of seafood, as well as creating innovative and delectable seafood offerings.

5. Sous Chef Entremetier

The Sous Chef Entremetier concentrates on vegetable and starch dishes. They manage the preparation of side dishes, soups, and vegetable-based courses, ensuring that these components harmonize with the overall menu.

6. Sous Chef Garde Manger

In charge of the cold kitchen, the Sous Chef Garde Manger oversees the preparation of cold appetizers, salads, and charcuterie. They focus on presentation, food safety, and the artful arrangement of cold dishes.

7. Sous Chef Rotisseur

Specializing in roasting, grilling, and braising, the Sous Chef Rotisseur manages the meat station. They are responsible for ensuring that meats are cooked to perfection, and they collaborate with other chefs to create well-rounded meat-centric dishes.

8. Sous Chef Tournant

The versatile Sous Chef Tournant is a floating chef who can handle various kitchen stations as needed. This role requires adaptability and a comprehensive understanding of all kitchen operations, making the chef an invaluable resource during busy periods or staff shortages.

In South Africa’s culinary scene, these sous chef roles contribute to the vibrant and diverse array of dishes served in restaurants, hotels, and culinary establishments across the country. Each type of sous chef brings a unique skill set and expertise to the kitchen, collectively enhancing the overall dining experience for patrons.

Factors Affecting Sous Chef Salaries in South Africa

Sous chefs play a pivotal role in the culinary industry, assisting head chefs in managing kitchen operations and ensuring the delivery of high-quality dishes. The remuneration of sous chefs in South Africa is influenced by various factors, reflecting the dynamic nature of the culinary profession in the country.

1. Experience and Expertise

One of the primary determinants of sous chef salaries is the level of experience and expertise. Sous chefs with extensive culinary backgrounds, diverse skill sets, and a proven track record of successful kitchen management often command higher salaries. This factor recognizes the value of practical knowledge and the ability to handle the demands of a professional kitchen.

2. Geographic Location

Geographic location plays a crucial role in determining sous chef salaries in South Africa. Urban areas, particularly major cities like Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban, tend to offer higher salaries due to the increased cost of living and the presence of upscale restaurants and hotels. In contrast, rural areas may have lower salary ranges.

3. Type and Size of Establishment

The nature and size of the culinary establishment significantly impact sous chef salaries. Michelin-starred restaurants, luxury hotels, and high-end dining establishments typically offer higher salaries to sous chefs compared to smaller, local eateries. The complexity and scale of operations in larger establishments often demand a higher level of expertise and responsibility.

4. Education and Training

Educational qualifications and training also influence sous chef salaries. Sous chefs with formal culinary education, such as degrees or certifications from reputable culinary schools, may receive higher compensation. Additionally, specialized training in areas like pastry, international cuisine, or molecular gastronomy can contribute to salary differentials.

5. Industry Trends and Demand

Fluctuations in the culinary industry, including changes in consumer preferences, trends, and demand for specific cuisines, can impact sous chef salaries. A sous chef with expertise in a trending cuisine or culinary technique may see increased demand and subsequently negotiate a higher salary.

6. Negotiation Skills

The ability to negotiate plays a crucial role in determining sous chef salaries. Individuals with strong negotiation skills can effectively communicate their value to employers, potentially securing more favourable compensation packages. Negotiation may involve factors such as benefits, bonuses, and work-life balance in addition to the base salary.

How to Become a Sous Chef in South Africa

Becoming a sous chef in South Africa requires a combination of culinary skills, practical experience, and dedication. This guide outlines the key steps and considerations for aspiring individuals to navigate the culinary industry and attain the position of a sous chef.

1. Culinary Education

Begin by pursuing formal culinary education. Enrol in reputable culinary schools or institutions in South Africa that offer comprehensive programs. Look for courses that cover a broad range of culinary techniques, kitchen management, and food safety.

2. Gain Practical Experience

Secure hands-on experience in professional kitchens. Start as a commis chef or in entry-level positions to develop foundational skills. Rotate through various kitchen stations to understand different aspects of food preparation and service.

3. Networking and Mentorship

Build a strong network within the culinary community. Attend industry events, and workshops, and connect with experienced chefs. Seek mentorship from seasoned professionals who can provide guidance and insights into the industry.

4. Specialize and Diversify Skills

Develop expertise in specific cuisines or culinary techniques. Sous chefs often have a diverse skill set, so acquire proficiency in various cooking styles. This will make you a versatile and valuable asset in a kitchen.

5. Kitchen Management Training

Aspiring sous chefs must understand kitchen operations and management. Familiarize yourself with inventory control, staff supervision, and menu planning. Pursue courses or workshops that focus on kitchen leadership and organization.

6. Showcase Leadership Qualities

Demonstrate leadership skills in your roles. Show initiative, take on responsibilities, and work effectively with a team. Sous chefs are often responsible for coordinating kitchen activities, so leadership qualities are crucial.

7. Stay Updated with Industry Trends

Keep abreast of the latest culinary trends and innovations. Attend workshops, read industry publications, and follow renowned chefs on social media. Continuous learning and adapting to evolving trends will set you apart as a knowledgeable professional.

8. Obtain Necessary Certifications

Ensure you have the required certifications for working in the culinary industry. This may include food safety certificates, health and hygiene certifications, and any other relevant credentials mandated by South African culinary regulations.

9. Build a Strong Resume

Craft a compelling resume that highlights your education, experience, and achievements. Tailor it to showcase your suitability for a sous chef position. Include any notable culinary competitions, awards, or special projects you’ve been a part of.

10. Apply for Sous Chef Positions

Once you have accumulated sufficient experience and developed the necessary skills, start applying for sous chef positions. Look for opportunities in reputable restaurants, hotels, or catering establishments.



The average Sous Chef Salary in South Africa is R29,000 per month. The salary of sous chefs in South Africa is influenced by a combination of factors, including experience, location, establishment type, education, industry trends, and negotiation skills. Understanding these factors is essential for sous chefs seeking competitive compensation and employers aiming to attract and retain top culinary talent in the diverse South African culinary landscape.

Becoming a sous chef in South Africa is a journey that involves education, experience, networking, and continuous improvement. By following these steps and staying committed to your culinary career, you can increase your chances of ascending to the role of a sous chef in the vibrant and diverse South African culinary scene.