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Chef Shortage – The Update

Tuesday, 26th April 2016

In summer last year there was a worldwide panic regarding the shortage of Chefs. It was everywhere, television, newspapers and all over social media.

Our Head of Sales & Operations, Katie Mellor, appeared in a BBC news feature and was also quoted in the Independent Newspaper, sharing our views on the topic.

The Chef shortage exploded onto our news feeds and it was discovered that the main causes are;

  • Low pay rates
  • Long & gruelling days
  • Split shifts
  • Unsociable hours
  • Poor work-life balance

Having all worked in the industry at some point, the Chefs Jobs UK recruitment team know that it’s hard graft being on your feet all day and not to forget that these environments are pressure cookers, kitchens are not easy places to work in.

So begs the question, what needs to change within the industry to ensure new talent is coming through and existing Chefs are recognised and stay in the industry?

Recently we have seen a lot of establishments making changes to their operations that will hopefully help combat the Chef shortage.

Early years

One of the biggest aspects that will see an increase in Chefs entering the industry is a drive on apprenticeships.

With more hospitality groups wanting to have apprentices in the kitchen, we need to ensure that schools and colleges make catering apprenticeships an appealing path to go down, to allow for more Chefs to come through to the industry.
In order to begin this process, Chefs Jobs UK are working closely with local schools and colleges to try and drive the Catering route forward. Having recently held our 2nd Annual Chefs Conference at Accrington and Rossendale College in state of the art training kitchens, encouraging catering students to work with our Chefs.

Rewarding Employees

We are now hearing of more and more companies who are willing to ‘take a hit’ on their profits, in order to reward their staff. Some companies are scrapping service charges and raising menu prices in order to allow for fairer pay for all staff.

Introducing bonuses and sharing company profits at the end of the financial year is a step in the right direction to ensuring employees feel an integral part of the team. This is a great way to retain members of the team.

Here at Chefs Jobs UK, we encourage all of our clients to reward our Interim Chefs the same as they would their permanent members of staff, allowing the Chefs to feel an integral part of the team. All of our Chefs receive rewards & recognition throughout the year, incentives and Chefs Jobs UK work wear. We aim to make all of our Chefs Jobs UK Chefs feel part of the team and an extension of our permanent employees.

Days & Hours

Another huge step taken to improve the work-life balance of hospitality professionals has seen some establishments reducing the number of days they open. We all know that establishments are
never going to close on Fridays and Saturdays but maybe looking at opening hours on other days will allow Chefs to have an overall better work-life balance.

Being an Interim Chef with Chefs Jobs UK allows Chefs to have a flexible work-life balance. Our Interim Chefs can have days off when they like and book holidays at any time of the year, they don’t have the need to try and fit around other members of staff.

All in all, we believe that the industry is heading in the right direction in order to solve the Chef shortage, but it does still have a long way to go.

Over to you…

How are you getting through the Chef Shortage?
Is there anything you think the industry could be doing better?
Have you made any of the above changes? How have they affected you?

The issues mentioned in the article above were all discussed in an article written by our Managing Director, Michelle Mellor, if you would like to see more about the issues causing the Chef Shortage, click here.

Written by Chefs Jobs UK

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01772 426450.