Out and about Friday 11th October

We have 68 relief chefs out working all over Scotland.

Relief has been steady this week, the availability for immediate relief is still quite tight and availability from the 25th October is better.

I have counted all the chefs we have had registered this year and the total was 248.

If all relief chefs can PM, call 01683 222830 or email with your availability over the festive period please. Christmas Day and New Years day is double time.

Jessica and Jade have been getting lots of CV’s sent out, interview and trials confirmed.

Here are some of the chefs we have out at the moment……………………….

Leon Edgson is work in 2 places he is helping 2 days per week at Rocpool Reserve and full time at Braeval Hotel.

Glenn Richards is at Platform 1864 in Tain.

Bobby Ainsworth braved the ferry up to Shetland and is at The Sumburgh Hotel.

James Avery is at Inverlochy Castle Hotel until the end of the month.

Lee Pattie is helping out at Eden Court Theatre.

Chris Rush is at Grantown on East.

Salvi Batalla is in Skye at The Duisdale Hotel.

Jo Fenner is at Auchen Castle near Moffat.

James Buckley is at Scotland’s Hotel in Pitlochry.

Alan Roberts is at The Glenburn Hotel in Rothesay.

Roddy Mackinnon is at Cawdor Tavern in Cawdor.

We appreciate all your hard work and support 😊

World Mental Health Day

Today, 10th October is World Mental Health Day. There is lots of information these days about mental health and I think there is more awareness now than there ever has been. Whilst lots of establishments are trying to be competitive with pay and think outside of the box to attract staff, one of the ways some places are doing this is by adapting work-life balance policies. According to the Mental Health Foundation, one in 6 people are experiencing current mental health issues. It seems that this can be mostly due to work-related stress which costs Britain 10.4 million working days a year.

To ensure a better work/life balance for the industry some establishments are aiming to be more flexible in their approach. This includes:

  • shorter working weeks such as 4 or even 3 and a half day weeks, a lot of the time the staff are still are working 45-50 hours per week but over a shorter period to give more down time
  • job shares for those with bigger family commitments
  • encourage health-promoting activities such as relaxation classes and allowing staff to attend support sessions during work time as if it was any other medical appointment
  • asking what days off each person prefers, not everyone wants a weekend off
  • provide rotas in advance as much as 3 months so employees know when they need to be working
  • as ensuring holidays are booked so that every employee gets some time off every 3 months to avoid burnout

Hopefully by implementing approaches like the ones mentioned, employees have more motivation and generally a better wellbeing. Is a good work life balance ever going to be something the industry can move towards?

Michelin Star awards

As the first Michelin Star has been revealed on Friday 4th October, awarded to Alchemilla in Nottingham, the remaining winners will be announced tonight at 4pm at an awards night in London.

Tonight will mark the publication of the new Michelin guide for the year 2020 and will feature those also awarded with plates and bib gourmands.
Are any of you currently waiting to hear if your restaurant has won an award or do you know anyone who is waiting to hear?

Out and About Friday 4th October

We are now into October. So far so good with 19 jobs confirmed this week with a few establishments still to get back to me.

In total we have 71 relief chefs out working 😊

If you have been out working on relief this season and would like to pop in for a chat, just get in touch to check our availability, best days for us are Tuesday to Thursday.

Here are some chefs we have out working

New chef James Buckley is at The Scotland’s Hotel in Pitlochry

Another new chef Alan Roberts has come up all the way from Wales to go to the Glenburn Hotel in Rothesay.

Roddy Mackinnon is at Cawdor Tavern

Sarah Pozzi is at Carfraemill in Lauder

Tim Morris is back at East Haugh House Hotel

New chef Martin Kelly is out at The Taychreggan Hotel

George McCallum is at Achnagairn Estate

Mike Pallister is also at The Glenburn Hotel

Gian Devey is at The Scores Hotel in St Andrews

Phil Smith is over in the Borders at the Cross Keys Hotel

Lee Donaghy is at The Old Manor Hotel

Donnie Lamont is at The Golf View Hotel in Nairn

Thank you to all our relief chefs for all your hard work and support

Making tax digital

As of the April 2019 HMRC require businesses to use digital software to complete and file your VAT returns. There are various softwares available, but we have chosen to use Sage. In the last few weeks after meeting with the accountant I have been uploading our accounts onto the Sage portal. There is quite a lot to upload and it takes time but its quite refreshing to learn a new skill and do something a little different from chef recruitment on a day to day basis.

First, I am uploading all our invoices and then I will need to mark which ones have been paid. Then I will upload all of our external supplier invoices and any other expenses the Chefs In Scotland business has including wages and office supplies.

With regards to the VAT return normally I would take the time to go through each monthly statement and deduct expenses to work out the VAT we must pay. With Sage its just a case of clicking a button as the software works it all out for you. We have enrolled already to making tax digital so we will then pay HMRC this figure.

Are any other businesses out there going through this process now?