This is one of the most asked questions in hospitality recruitment at the moment. It seems chefs are in more demand now than ever. With an abundance of restaurants and hotels opening on a regular basis, the search for good quality chefs is proving difficult in all areas of catering and hospitality. So what is to blame, is it the education system or low salaries on offer?
Having spoken with some top chefs within the business, the consensus is that both the lack of quality coming through is due to not only the above but also the reality of working in a kitchen is a lot harder than people think. Generically a Chef de Partie that works in a fine dining environment invest 50 to 75 hours on a weekly bases in the kitchen. It is not just a physically demanding environment, it also mentally difficult to sustain the pressures. London is one of the biggest culinary capital, the competition in hospitality is massive, only the best businesses will survive the market’s rules. Chefs therefore need to be: experienced, knowledgeable, fast, precise, able to work with high volume, flexible on working 12 hrs a day… for an average of £22K circa.
Here below the average:
• Commis chef £17K
• Chef de Partie £22K
• Sous Chef £26K
• Head Chef £30K
So, coming back on our question: what is to blame: is it the education system or low salaries on offer? Is there lack of quality chefs because of the “multi-media picture”? Are we convincing the young generation that “cheffing” is an easy profession? Or is the economy underestimating how hard is committing to such a role?
Neil Buckley - Managing Partner
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