How To Negotiate Your Worth As A Food Manufacturing Worker

You have worked your way to the top of the ladder in the food and beverage industry, yet you are left feeling undervalued. Here’s how to negotiate your worth as a food production worker and claim your spot at the top of the proverbial ladder. 

“If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” 

This may sound way too obvious, but the truth is that 9/10 times if you don’t advocate for yourself, you most likely won’t get the salary you deserve. But as all communication experts will tell you, it’s in how you ask for something and the timing of the ask that leads to success or failure. 

Before you ask for a step up in your career, ensure you are ready for the promotion and have put in the effort. Asking for a raise one week after being on the job is likely to be seen as “self-entitled” and may even land you on the chopping block. 

So how do you know when is a good time to negotiate your salary package? 

Our team at QTalent, a leading talent discovery platform for food processing professionals, has broken down the three simple tips you need to know to negotiate your salary successfully. 

How To Negotiate Your Salary:

1. Timing plays a crucial role in salary negotiation

There is no perfect timing to ask for a promotion, but it's important to “read the room,” as they say. If your company has reported good earnings, it is far easier to negotiate a salary increase than at a time when a company is going through layoffs. 

Right now is great timing in the food processing industry, with reports indicating that 82% of Ontario's food and beverage manufacturers need or are actively seeking to employ skilled food and beverage professionals. If you have the right certifications, have been at the company for a year, and have the skills to move up, then the next step is to present your case. 

2. Leverage your skills, experience, and certifications in the negotiations 

Asking for a review of your salary increase is more complicated than just saying, “Hi, I would like more money because I think I am worth it.” Approach the salary negotiation meeting with solid evidence of your performance. Remember to include your experience and the skills you have developed in your previous positions as well as your current position. 

Write down all your accomplishments and list all the courses and certificates you have completed. An accredited certification can give you a competitive edge. According to Salary Explorer, “someone with a Certificate or Diploma gets a salary of 130,000 CAD per year, 57% more than someone having a High School degree.” 

Food & Beverage Manufacturing Salary

This is not the time to be coy but rather to shine! Include soft skills like leadership, professionalism, and your ability to work as a team. These skills are vital in all industries, especially in the food and beverage manufacturing workplace, where communication is critical. 

3. Think beyond monetary compensation 

While perks like “paid time off” may feel like they don’t pay the bills, other benefits like location, healthcare costs, and equity can all equate to more significant financial impacts for you. A long commute with the current fuel price can shave off a lot of your paycheck, which makes that slight salary increase less favourable than the option of a short commute. 

Likewise, for healthcare, employer-provided medical insurance can add between $5,000 to $30,000 to your base salary. That's a huge perk! 

A food and beverage manufacturing position can also offer bonuses or incentives, so it's important to negotiate this upfront when discussing salary. A salary negotiation is just that; it's a discussion and often requires multiple meetings rather than a one-off chat. If your employer cannot meet your salary expectations now, perhaps you can discuss a career succession plan with educational support or learning and development programmes you can do and then look at reviewing your compensation in the upcoming months. 

Educational programmes can pay dividends to your future self. As Mr. Colonel Sanders will tell you himself (if he could), there is no such thing as overnight success in the food business. 

QTalent is the first talent discovery platform in Canada that allows you to find a position by commute time, benefits as well as compensation. If you are a highly-skilled technical operations professional in the Meat, Dairy, Bakery & Beverage industries (and more to come!), let QTalent help you find the perfect job that compensates you according to your worth. We are not like any other job board out there; our sophisticated technology lets you: 

  • Do research on the company with robust company profiles 
  • Map out your commute with geo-mapped search results 
  • Meet your specific needs with benefits and perks search query criteria 

Find an excellent position with a compensation package that fits your expectations. Sign up today!

Romy Zwiers


Romy Zwiers is a journalist and marketing professional with 16 years of experience working across industries with a keen focus on the beverage and food industry, having worked with companies like KFC, Nandos, Cadbury and Coca-Cola.

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