The U.K. is in the midst of a major restaurant boom, and under normal circumstances, this would be remarkable news; however, at the peak of this boom, restaurant owners and employment recruiters are faced with an enigmatic dilemma that threatens to stem the tide of this thriving business environment. The problem is that there is a shortage of chefs in the industry, as many of the leaders in the industry are speaking of pending doom if the current shortage is not addressed expeditiously.
Many of the leading restaurateurs admit that the shortage of chefs in almost every type of eating venue creates a challenge that cannot be easily and efficaciously engaged. If fact, these restaurant owners view this threat to be so serious that they believe it has the potential to put an end to the foodie boom, as the quest to find highly talented young help is proving to be immensely difficult.
At the front of the charge to build the chef reserve in the U.K. is one of the industry’s top chefs, Daniel Clifford, According to Clifford, the chef shortage has reached the crisis point in which nearly every restaurant in the U.K. is reporting some type of shortage at a significant level. Clifford admits every decent chef is looking to resolve staffing issues. Chefs are resorting to non-conventional methodologies in order to enhance their recruiting results. Some have even taken to social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more.
The real barometer in measuring the severity of this shortage is the fact that it is not limited to common or average chefs, but even some of the nation’s top chefs, including Simon Rogan and Tom Kerridge are being negatively impacted by this rapidly expanding shortage.
Clifford says that one culprit that is responsible for the current shortage is the success of reality TV shows that glorify the life of being a chef. He says that the glorified version that is shown on TV is a far cry from the reality of the hard grind that is the real life of a chef in a professional kitchen.
No matter how it is presented, this ongoing crisis that requires a concerted effort by the industry to prepare more young Chefs to enter into professional kitchens. According to Chef Mark Hix, one thing that schools need to invest more effort into is preparing young aspiring chefs to function under pressure, and he also iterated the importance of being proactive in the search for staff, as well as being willing to train them.