chef garnishing lemon tarragon chicken

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Dexter, Michigan

Why Cornman Farms?

As a Zingerman’s business, our mission is to enrich as many lives as we possibly can. To us, this includes employees as well as customers.

Nothing is more important to us than providing a safe work place. Learn about our COVID related health & safety policies.

Transparent Wages at Cornman Farms

It’s June 1, 2022. We’ve been focusing on open book management for years now, learning together about the expenses that affect gross margin, understanding direct and indirect costs and working hard to either increase sales or decrease expenses in our day to day work. It was eye-opening when we started looking at key financial numbers as a group. Our margins made sense once everyone realized what it costs to run the business and the value of the loans and investment made in order for us to open.


Rolling out transparent wages was the natural next step in our quest for complete open book management success. We don’t want to be a place where pay raises are arbitrarily given behind closed doors or employees spend time making up numbers about what their coworkers are earning. Instead, we want to be open about what the business is able to pay everyone and actively work to close the gap between hourly and salary employee wages. Changes to pay rates are evaluated during our annual planning process and rolled out for all employees when possible. We do this because we believe that individual pay decisions made behind closed doors can lead to environments where sexism, racism and favoritism influence pay rates. We want a gainshare game that pays real money as a result of the team’s hard work, splitting a portion of NOP gain equally among all employees, regardless of role. We think of employees as simply “hourly” or “salaried”, there is no rank and file here. Compensation isn’t tied to performance–we coach to optimal performance individually and privately; we pay transparently and openly, as all of us benefit from getting our coworkers to their best as quickly as possible. As managing partners, Kieron and Tabitha are proud of our small maximum pay ratio. All jobs are unique and important.
Compelling Reasons:

  • Smooth and transparent process for hiring, promoting and terminating that does not rely on personal feelings, guess work, and inadvertent favoritism
  • Clear expectations of training and job duties corresponding with wages
  • Diversity and inclusion: We are open and honest about what we pay and consistent in pay by position, regardless of gender or color.
  • Better productivity: Reduced confusion, misunderstandings, drama, gossip and speculation
  • Great finance: Allows more open dialogue about the farm’s finances AND a compelling gain share game is the fairest way to rally everyone around our common goal of increasing revenue and decreasing costs.
  • Supports our desire to be an “all for one and one for all” kind of workplace

How do pay increases work at Cornman Farms?

We rise as a team. The highest paid employee will never make more per hour than 5 times the lowest paid employee is paid per hour (currently, our ratio is 4x). Maximum Ratio was pioneered by Ben & Jerry’s whose company policy said no employee may earn more than 7 times another (since, Ben & Jerry’s has increased their maximum ratio–in 2000, the ratio was increased to 17, and they’ve since stopped publishing their ratio). In most European companies the accepted ratio is about 25, but in the United States the accepted ratio for large corporations has increased to about 500, up from 100 in the 1980s. That is not the kind of business we want to be. In order to increase pay rates, we must increase revenue each year. Our labor budget is currently 25% of our total revenue.

Salary Table

Role Base Wage "Average tips per hour" *based on last 12 months Quarterly Gainshare Milestone Bonus Year 1 Milestone Bonus Year 2+
Occasional & Temp Employees $15 $1.50/hr $200 $250
per season
per season
Full Time Porters $15 $1.50/hr $600 $1050 $2100
Office/Porter Coaches $17 $1.50/hr $600 $1050 $2100
Salaried Managers $52k N/A $700 $1050 $2400
Managing Partners $104k N/A $800 N/A N/A


Working at Zingerman’s comes with a variety of benefits and perks:

  • Company contribution to medical and dental insurance (for full time crew after 90 days of service)
  • Vision insurance
  • Voluntary Accident and Disability coverage
  • Life Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Health Savings Accounts
  • 401k and company contribution program (after eligibility requirements are met)
  • Long and Short term disability benefits (for eligible staff)
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Paid Training
  • Paid Time Off
  • Discounts at other Zingerman’s businesses (for eligible staff out of basic orientation)
  • Passes to The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village
  • Discounts to a variety of local businesses
  • 25% reimbursement on any massage
  • Company contribution towards the purchase of of slip resistant shoes
  • Become a Zingerman’s Shareholder — After completing basic orientation (90 days usually) you will be eligible to join nearly 200 other folks here at Zingerman’s to buy a share in our organization and to benefit in our financial success annually.
  • ….and so much more!