Why Is There A Shortage Of Chefs In The UK?

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The UK’s Food Industry has been struggling to recruit and keep hold of decent Chefs for a long time now, but why is this?

1. TV Chef Glamorization
One reason may be due to Chef television programmes, which portray the Chef lifestyle as being somewhat glamorous. Giving people who go straight from Catering College to working in a busy kitchen environment a big shock when they experience what it’s really like.

Young new Chefs are often surprised by how hard work it is, and struggle to cope with the long hours and dedication that comes with being a Chef. The kitchen can be a high-pressured stressful environment, with demands being shouted back and forth when it gets busy.

2. Too Much Time In Classrooms & Not In Kitchen
Students spent too much time in classrooms learning about being a Chef, and not enough time honing their knife skills in the kitchen. Chef apprentices are more likely to want to remain working in the industry, as they see the true reality of what it’s like to be a Chef on the job.

3. Lack Of Social Life
Not having a social life is also another reason why people often quit. It’s normal for people to want to go out and have fun- so when all their friends have a social life and they’re not joining them because they’re working long hours- it can be tempting to hand in their Chef whites so that they can have fun with them.

4. Long Hours
It’s rare that Chefs work “normal” working hours such as 9am until 5pm, Monday to Friday, such as people who work in offices. A lot of Chefs work 12-hour shifts, weekdays and weekends, and see this as being standard.

5. Low Pay
Another reason why people often leave the Chef profession is due to the low-rate of pay that they receive when they calculate how many hours they work, compared to the amount of money that appears on their pay slip at the end of the month. Many Chefs regularly work overtime and don’t get paid for it, working a 70-hour week is normal for some Chefs, and when they’re not getting paid by the hour, many people are paid lower than minimum wage when they do the math.

If Chefs work for a Chef Recruitment Agency such as Back-2-Front, they have the ability to choose when and where they work. This allows them time to be able to have a social life. Chefs will also get paid a higher-rate of pay. Especially, if they have a DBS and choose to work in schools and nursing homes.

Need a Chef for your restaurant or event? We provide all levels of Chefs across the whole of Bristol, Bath, Cotswolds and Wiltshire. Call us on 01179041001 or request a quote here.