Out and About 23rd August 2019

This week has been a bit of a struggle to get chefs out we have 17 confirmed so far this week, the availability of chefs has been very tight.

We do however have 86 chefs out working this is up on last year by 13 which is great.

We are still happy for chefs to meet us in Moffat to discuss permanent and relief work, just get in touch with us to check our availability.

If you want to register for relief work please email your CV’s to include 2 recent contactable work reference and your up to date hygiene certificate.

When going to relief jobs please don’t forget to take ID for payroll (passport is preferred) or birth certificate, your P45 and NI number.

If you are a chef who has done work with us and get asked to go back to places you have been to please just keep us informed.

Here are some of the chefs we have out working

Bruce Robertson is at The Glen Nevis Restaurant

Calum Smith is at The Ben Loyal Hotel in Tongue

Sara Jayne Moffat is staying until the end of August at The Oyster Inn

Steve Cameron is at The Mustard Seed in Inverness

Ben Mailer is finishing next week at The Cawdor Tavern

Steven Mathieson has extended his stint at the Inch Hotel where George McCallum will cover when he is on holiday

Tony Vinter is finishing off the season at Hotel Hebrides

Marion Pohlmann is at the Sumburgh Hotel in Shetland

Robert Pop is at the Grant Arms Hotel

Steve Nye is at the Inn on the Tay along with Jamie Atkinson and Steve Moffat

Scott Macintyre is at the Nevis Bank Hotel

Stuart Urquhart is at The Classroom Restaurant in Nairn

Thanks to all of our relief chefs for your hard work and support 😊

Restaurants within prisons

I read an article this week about kitchens within restaurants situated in prisons. I have personally never been to any of these restaurants but feel it’s a good idea. It has shown that by prisoners working in restaurants and in kitchens there has been less re-offending. This could be due to the reason that they are learning a skill so it can be easier to find work. Also working in the kitchen can bring a strong sense of community to someone in what must be a very difficult and lonely part of your life. Gordon Ramsay did a channel 4 series on this about 7 years ago so I’m sure a lot has changed since then but re-offending at the time dropped from 47% to 10% when having been trained in The Clink restaurant. It seems it’s a good discipline for prisoners to learn and to work and train in the restaurant prisoners need to be within 6-18 months of the end of their sentence and obviously have the right temperament. The prisoners work up to 40 hours a week and while they are there they are working towards City & Guilds qualifications. The Clink, which is a charity has collaborated with about 120 different companies that will take on graduates from the restaurant into jobs. After they are placed a mentor will then visit the graduate for the first 6 months of the placement.

What are your thoughts on previous offenders working in the hospitality trade?


I always remember learning about Fairtrade in school and there always being loads of fundraising events for the charity. Its not until now that I have researched into it more and realised what they actually do. Originally founded in 1992 the now registered charity has changed the lives of workers across the world. Fairtrade aims to provide quality working conditions for those in local farms and plants. There are over 1.66 million workers across the Fairtrade system. Fairtrade aims to provide an equal pay to workers and to ensure working conditions are met to a high standard. They are working hard to ensure that the old ways of ‘slave labour’ are forgotten about and to ensure the farmers and plant owners have a fair say on where and who to that their produce is sold.

It is definitely something I will look into next time I’m in the supermarket, I believe that it is the Co-Op who predominately uses the Fairtrade brand and thinking about it I do see the logo on a lot of the their products, especially coffee and chocolate.

Here are some facts to think about when buying Fairtrade next time your in your local supermarket…
· 23% of all farmers and workers in Fairtrade are women
· 1411 Fairtrade certified producer organisations in 73 countries
· £158.3 million in Fairtrade premium paid to producers in 2016

Jade Porteous

Out and about Friday 16th August

There are 83 chefs out working which is 3 up on last year. We have 19 jobs confirmed for this week and hopefully there will be a few more confirmed today also.

Geoffrey Mshila who has done lots of relief work for us previously is back with us on his second stint at The Golf View in Nairn. Chris Wright is at Glengarry Castle where he has been asked to stay on until the end of the season. Damian Bolton is working 4 days a week around other commitments at The Inn at Lathones in Fife and is also stay until the end of the season. Gian Devey is at The Killiecrankie hotel and getting on very well. Ally Brown is at Skeabost and has extended his stint while they search for a permanent chef. Chris Robertson is working up in Peterhead at the Waterside hotel not too far from home. Alan Macpherson is at The Priory Hotel in Beauly which is also close to home for him. Lindsay Williams is also close to home at The Old Manor Hotel in Lundin Links where she has been asked to stay on longer. Daniel Haig and Virginijus Tiskus are in Edinburgh helping at La Garrigue while some of their staff is on holiday. Lillian Clarkson who has done lots of relief work for us over the years has just started her stint at The Falls of Dochart Inn.

Thank you to everyone for their hard work over this year and previous years.

Availability of Chefs 13th August 2019

Head chefs

If paying good money and in a central location such as Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, Dundee, Aberdeen and Perth the availability of head chefs is ok, basically, the more central and the larger local population the better availability

What is good money for a head chef? This can vary from a small pub to a large five star or 3AA Rosette Hotel and can be anything from £16 per hour for a one-man job cooking simple food to £45,000 and upwards.

For a standard hotel job, we would suggest in the region £32,000+ with overtime paid pro rata over 45 to 48 hours as sanctioned by management.

Bonus schemes always help and can be based on getting a gross profit margin of over say 65 to 70% and it is always advisable stressing in advance how often the bonus is paid and what the exact criteria are. Other bonuses may be based on increase in sales. Keeping wages ratio down and helping to achieve certain net profits subject to maintaining quality of food, kitchen cleanliness and staff retention.

In more rural Scotland it is harder to get and retain chefs and often accommodation should be offered to attract suitable candidates.

Sous chefs

The availability of sous chefs in rural Scotland is average. Sometimes, a mature former head chef will be happy to take a step back to work alongside head chef.

In more central Scotland, there are few candidates about if paying decent money (i.e. upwards of £28,000 or £13-15 per hour) and offering good working conditions.

In rural Scotland, there can be a need to think outside of the box to retain and attract good sous chef candidates. Its is almost essential that you will need to provide accommodation in rural areas.

Chef de parties

Availability is ok in Glasgow, Edinburgh and the central belt.

In rural Scotland with accommodation there are very few candidates and you may get applicants if wages are decent, suggesting £11 to £13 per hour or a salary of between £23,000 - £25,000. The more money you can pay the better the availability there is.

Commis chefs

There are a few candidates available centrally or further afield if offering accommodation.

Pastry Chefs: this is quite a specialist position and there can be a couple of specialised pastry chefs looking, not always though.

Enclosed link to minimum wages:

Availability of Relief Chefs changes, and we can advise daily. The rates of pay are £12.50 to £18.50 per hour according to the position.