Your ideal head chef, anyone’s ideal head chef, will have the culinary talent of Heston Blumenthal, the strategic abilities of Carl Von Clausewitz, the patience of Gautama Buddha, the financial acumen of Warren Buffett, the physical insurance of Roald Amundsen and the image management chops of Donald Draper. It would be nice to have a Chef like this, but you probably won’t.
Keeping Chef Recruitment Costs low isn’t a “thing” it’s a strategy, a set of tactics, and most of all a state of mind. Some catering and hospitality businesses do this very well, and for others it is a constant struggle. The more noteworthy or outstanding your business, the less you are likely to struggle with Chef recruitment.
Yet even noteworthy kitchens, and restaurants, are finding that the going is becoming tougher over time. Being noteworthy or highly praised as a destination dining business, while helpful, isn’t a passport to the land of the chef abundance. But chef abundance doesn’t begin and end with chef recruitment, the most important component is chef retention.
You should help your best chefs to leave you and get a new job. As advice for dramatically improving chef retention that statement, at least on its face, is pure insanity; especially coming from anyone working at a Catering Recruitment Agency. Isn’t it? However, this is not about what is best for us, we’ll survive just fine, this is about what is best for you as a hospitality employer and improved chef retention rates is something I’ve yet to hear anyone complain about. However I know you’re not in the least bit convinced so I encourage you to persist and read on, even if it’s for no other reason than to confirm that you’re right and that I’m off my head. Naturally I’m hoping to convince you I’m not, off my head that is, so please bear with me a while.
When it comes to recruiting chefs the offer is the point where the tire meets the road, with the chef job interview out of the way, it’s the moment of truth and, sadly, it can sometimes go horribly wrong. Both parties, whether chef or employer, can, and do, break some fundamental rules which almost always results in an undesired outcome. We’ll be focusing on employer error in this post. It’s true that not every job offer results in a chef accepting the job, this is no different from any other industry, but in catering and hospitality there seems to be a tendency to play a bit faster, and looser, with important details than in other industries. The result is almost always negative and everyone is left to count the costs in wasted time and money.
Another year, another media story about Chef Shortages in Ireland, this time on our screens, and the longer it goes on the worse it’s likely to become. We’ve been here before, almost a year ago to the day we covered an Irish Times piece on the same problem and later on we revisited the issue with a particular focus on the Chef De Parties. This chef shortage is biting harder and deeper as time passes. While the recession has brought a welcome uptick in the numbers of young people interested in pursuing a career as a chef the training sector just hasn’t anything close to the number of college places available to meet the demand.
Here’s a video of the RTE Six One piece for your viewing pleasure: [Read more…]
We’ve just blown the budget on Irish Catering Jobs Boards, can you help us?
“Hi, do you have any Chef De Parties, Sous Chefs, Pastry Chefs, Head Chefs (delete as appropriate)?” Even before introducing themselves this is often the first thing we hear from our Irish catering clients. The second thing we often hear is “how much do you charge?” Now we really do know that they’re already down several hundred on Irish job board fees, know they urgently need an agency’s help but hate throwing good money after bad. [Read more…]
Chef De Parties in Ireland, the rare breed in Irish Catering Recruitment
We’ve covered the shortage of Chefs in the Irish catering industry in an earlier blog post about the great chef shortage. Since then there’s been little improvement in the supply of chefs anywhere in Irish catering, whether directly to the hospitality industry or indeed to catering recruiters.
Yet not all aspects of this chef shortage are created equal. One position in particular is a persistent headache for anyone attempting to run any catering business right now. That position is, Chef De Partie and there is almost no one who’s been left unaffected by this shortage. Kitchens island wide are groaning under the strain with little relief on the horizon.
Or why is it so difficult to find chefs in Ireland
Finally! This week the Irish TImes has got to the question every catering recruitment consultant, especially those of us who specialize in recruiting chefs, has had to field many times:
“Why, in such a recessionary market, can’t I find any chefs?”
Some of the biggest names in the industry are looking for qualified chefs, including Shanahan’s on the Green, the Shelbourne Hotel and the Michelin-starred Malahide restaurant Bon Appetit. Even Masterchef judge Dylan McGrath has been recruiting staff for his Rustic Stone restaurant in Dublin. Recently the jobs.ie website listed more than 100 jobs around the country for chefs at a variety of levels.