Hell's Kitchen - How Much Do Contestants Get Paid?

January 10, 2024

There's a lot to think about when you sign up to compete on a reality show like Hell's Kitchen. Not only must you be willing to put your life on hold for five weeks, but you also have to make sure you're mentally and physically prepared to deal with brutal criticism from Gordon Ramsay every time you step foot in the kitchen. Then there's the fact that all of your actions are being filmed for millions of people to see.

All of that makes it pretty clear that contestants need to be paid decent money for taking part in the show. According to The Richest, the average contestant is paid between $750 and $1000 a week.

The amount each contestant gets varies depending on how well they do during the season. Typically, the worst-performing contestants get less than the best-performing competitors. But if a contestant is nominated for the final four, they'll receive an extra $500.

In addition to the monetary pay, the Hell's Kitchen contestants must also be willing to give up their day jobs and spend 16-20 hours a day on set. That includes filming the cooking challenges, reward/punishment, dinner service, and eliminations. Delish reports that during this time, the contestants don't have access to their cell phones or the internet.

While some winners have stayed on as chefs (like Season 7 winner Autumn Lewis), most have moved on and launched catering companies or other food-centric businesses, using their culinary training to serve slightly different markets. (As a reminder, Ramsay himself is a multi-millionaire with 35 restaurants worldwide.) So, while the monetary pay may be decent, it's not exactly lucrative for those who are battling the fiery chef and trying to win their way out of Hell's Kitchen.

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