It is now widely understood that good chefs are in short supply right now in the UK.
There are of course many reasons for this staffing crisis in restaurants up and down the country and with the amount of new outlets opening and the number of talented chefs leaving the market; some collective changes are needed in the industry to reverse the trend.
Lets face it, for too long we have failed to look after the talented chefs that have been coming into the market. We have historically paid chefs poor wages and forced them to work an eye watering number hours as standard. As other skilled professions have been paid higher wages and getting a much more desirable work life balance, chefs have been left behind. Owners have taken advantage of the fact that many chefs see their long and unsociable hours as a right of passage and this spirit of dedication has helped to forge great team bonds over the years. In recent years, owners are asking chefs to work even harder and longer to cover staff shortages and pick up the slack from reduced margins.
We believe that a tipping point has been reached and chefs are starting to realise that with 47% of chef vacancies being described as “Difficult to fill” by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), they should be able to assert far more control over their own careers.
Many chefs are looking for new ways of working that will allow them to stay in an industry that they love and also pay a wage that their talents deserve and give them the flexibility to achieve a healthy work life balance.
What do we know so far?
- There is a huge issue with the lack of quality chefs in the market.
- Recruiters are finding it harder than ever to fill vacancies.
- Chefs can earn a lot more money and have a much better work life balance if they work on an interim basis.
We believe that the solution is to empower chefs to set their own rates of pay and work when they want to. This will ensure that chefs are always paid a fair rate of pay and they are paid for all the hours that they work. Chefs can balance their work with their private and family lives by working exactly when they choose to.
If we can work towards a future where highly skilled and experienced chefs can work in a way that avoids the burn out, stress and frustrations that are currently forcing them to leave the industry, fantastic benefits can be made not only for themselves but also for the industry at large.