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Relief chefs

message posted 28-Sep-06 11:06:49
I have been a relief chef for the last four years, whilst someagency chefs have a pretty bad reputation i have only comeacross three (one per year) and in those cases it was the agency who placed a guy with the incorrect experience for the job.

I have recently found out from a friend who moved to devon, cornwall exeter are that agencies are only prepared to pay relief chefs £6.50 / £7.50 per hour. Now that is absolutly scandelous. Lets put that into perspective. Most relief chefs on average are at a seniour chef de partie level which has taken on average four to five years of experience to achieve and that is without three years of college.

A fireman on the otherhand takes six weeks training, you would not dream of paying a man or woman £6.50 an hour to save your life and home would you!

We need to name and shame these agencies and find one that is prepared to pay a min £10.5 - £12.5 per hour. Once we find that agency all the chefs simply move to that one in the Devon, cornwall, exeter area.

message posted 08-Nov-06 10:28:41
Agency's need to leave the catering industrie alone they know bugger all about it yet they get the say so on who is best placed for the job , i am a releif chef and at first i will admit i tried getting work through them , we all know as chefs our rate is no lower than 10 pH if you are worth your salts , my rateis 12 but yet i still get calls from the agency's to say would i go and work , THE HOURLY RATE IS 7.00 absolute bull shit , we need to stop these pubs and hotels -Restrurants contacting them , thats why Chefs world is the cats pajarmas it encourages employers to book direct i.e cutting out the middle man there is another site they let there own staff out on hire when it's quiet , what a great idea.

message posted 08-Nov-06 19:34:14
Hey Marco

If you are ever offered a job at a prison run like hell.

I was offered one, anway they said to me that they would pay double and there are only chefs in the kitchen no prisoners. Ok cool I thought, easy money. When I arrived i was given a 15min lesson on what to do if taken hostage, next they took me into the kitchen, with surprise surprise, prisoners.
I took one look at them, one look at the knives and &%$(" off.

I still invoiced for a day.

These agencies need to realise that chefs are proffesionals.

message posted 22-Dec-06 10:41:16
Hi Lads
I have read your comments with interest and although I agree with you there seems to be a few major factors you have all missed.
A. There will allways be people who for there own reasons will work for 6.50 so real chefs boycotting agencies will only add to the amount of work they recieve.
B. Setting up on our own is great until the Junkie/alchoholic physopath slips through the net and screws it up for everyone. And trust me he will.
C.As a RElief chef freelance Temp or whastever you want to call us. Remember in the majority of jobs we are gods when we walk through the door because due usually to bad management they are in the shit. When weve worked our asses of and sorted the place out they cant wait to see the back of us. A regular client of mine with a large hotel in the New Forest loves me to work 80-100 hrs per week @ 13.50ph. Then employs a Head Chef of 24-26 (no offence) on 18,000 and wonders why the poor kid has a breakdown or hits the bottle or does the Ive left sprint down the drive at 2am.
Please try to remember In an ideal world All chefs would be hard working,respectable, non aggresive,
Teetotal Christian individuals working 39hrs a week every fourth weekend on and all major Puplic holidays off on 35,000p.a tax free. The Horel; MARSHMALLOW in FLUFFY LAND DONT EXIST.
If the world was perfect they wouldnt need us at all.
The guy on about the prisons come on mate every kitchen Ive ever been has been full of nutters who normally you wouldnt introduce to your kids but hey hes a Chef Mostof them should have been banged up and not let loose with a plastic knife never mind an offensive weapon. And the guy at Trafford college good luck mate why are you sitting on your ass on a computer get out and start banging on doors and do some free trials find the best kitchen in your area Michelin starred hard core prefferable and if they dont have a position for you go free till they do. You will find a lot of respect out there from us lot who dont understand anyone wanting to pack in a decent job to join us kitchen dwellers itdenotes a touch of insanity you will fit in well.
Anyway good site keep guys keep up the good work.

Best Wishes for the festives
message posted 10-Feb-07 15:47:43
hi guys im a relief chef as well and totally agree with your ideas on agencies i have worked for one of the largest and they are not a benefit to our industry as i have known general assisstants to be booked to do a chefs job and give us all a bad name ,, one of the best agencys was run by a chef and he also went out into the field as well and had a very good relationship with his chefs as well as the employers ,, regards leesy55
message posted 05-Jul-07 14:11:08
Hi guys

I have been working on and off for an agency that have in the whole been great. I has jsut been offered another 6 month contract abroad. 9 p.h all exoensis paid. They need more guys anyone interested let me know and I will tell them to get in touch with you.

message posted 26-Jun-08 08:59:17
Hi, Chaps

Relief work is just that, your covering a firm, who's in the shit. If your water pipe bursts in the middle of the night you call out a plumber you get screwed on price and you think he's a cunt, but who else will do it?

Pubs and catering companys are used to a work force, they don't have to pay alot,

We've started a new wave of Chefs who want to paid a decent rate, more power to us, but as Andy1905 says, unless your bangin on doors, making calls the only place your gettin regular work is agencies.

I work with Adecco, Catering and hospitality in Preston, they cover a huge area and have a fair reputation. Over five years I've been in some shit holes, some great places, pretty much every type of catering from schools and prisons to cafes and gastro pubs! The hourly rate varies, but the guys and gals at the agency, do their utmost to keep me in regular work, a steady income, be it 16 pound per hour or 9 pound per hour. Different companys have different budgets and different jobs require a different skills, you can be a fabulous head chef with loads of experience in michellin star establishments, but if the local school is missing a dinner ladie who works for 6 quid per hour and the agency is offering you 8, its a days work, where else you'd be sat at home playing with yourself.

The beauty of being self employed is you can turn the job down if you feel its beneath you, or if your hung over and can't be arsed, just please don't whinge at the end of the week if you've no work on and no money coming in.

Thanks for this site though Tim, its fab and I think its really helping to empower chefs!

All the best chaps.

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