Post Brexit sponsorship

Under new laws, the minimum salary for those who wish to work in the UK has changed. There will no longer be free movement and a stricter policy will be brought in to allow only ‘skilled’ workers into the UK to work. A points-based system will be brought into place and will be calculated on several things; qualifications, current salary, and their ability to speak English for example. A minimum number of 70 points must be achieved for those who wish to gain access to the UK.

The minimum salary for those wishing to gain entry to the UK is £25,600 per annum. However, this can be ‘traded’ for a lower salary if your job is a ‘shortage occupation’. For example, there is a large shortage of nurses currently in the UK and the government is stating that nurses on £22,000 per annum will be allowed access to the UK as we are in desperate need for nurses with the NHS under more pressure than ever. There is a shortage of chefs in the UK and we get a lot of chefs from Poland and Spain looking for work over here. It can be hard as many establishments simply cannot afford to pay the higher salaries to match what the government will require. There simply aren’t enough British chefs to go around and this will only make it harder to get chefs from other countries. What sort of impact is this going to have on our industry? Many smaller hotels in rural areas of Scotland may be in jeopardy as they are not busy enough to be able to afford the higher salaries and will solely rely on British chefs. A lot of front of house staff can be foreign too and again this can cause a shortage on the industry, especially for couples who come to work together. I do agree that skilled workers should gain access to the UK over those are ‘un-skilled’ but it can be hard to define a line between skilled and un-skilled work. This will eliminate those who simply come to the UK to not work and gain free housing, health care etc. Again, another touchy subject as more often than not these people are escaping war zones, poor living conditions etc.

What are your opinions on this? Is our industry, or even the whole of the UK, in serious trouble?

Availability of Chefs 3rd March 2020

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 very good, 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 £15 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 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 good. 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 candidates about if paying decent money (i.e. upwards of £28,000 or £13-14 per hour) and offering good working conditions there is no reason why you cannot keep a good sous chef with a stable track record.
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 very good in Glasgow, Edinburgh and the central belt.
In rural Scotland with accommodation there are candidates and you will get applicants if wages are decent, suggesting £11 to £12 per hour or a salary of between £22,000 - £25,000. The more money you can pay the better the availability there is.

Commis chefs
There are usually 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 £13.50 to £18.50 per hour according to the position.

Out and About Friday 28th February

We currently have 34 relief chefs out working and 11 jobs confirmed for the week.

We met Stephen Hamilton today to discuss relief work for the up and coming season, if you wish to book an appointment then please get in touch to check our availability.

Jessica and Jade have been getting lots of interviews arranged, we have placed 4 chefs this week and have got 26 adverts so far.

We still have £25 + vat off any advert placed until tomorrow at 12.30pm.

If you are looking to get registered for relief work please email with your updated CV, reference details and hygiene certificate.

Here are some chefs we have out at the moment

Sarah Pozzi is back helping as Head Chef at The Craigmanor Hotel in the Lakes

Michael George is at Thainstone Events working alongside Shaun Murray

Michael Pallister made it over to the Isle of Iona to start his 4-week stint at The Bishop’s House

Jim Miller is at the Inveraray Inn

Barry Owen is finishing today at The Galley of Lorne Inn

Ryan Willaimson is at The Skeabost Hotel in Skye

James Avery is at Portavadie Marina

Tim Morris is back helping at The Pinetrees in Perthshire

Thanks to you all for your continued support and hard work 😊

Corona virus 2020

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. Four further patients in England have tested positive for COVI-19, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to 13.

The risk to individuals remains low. There has been no one tested positive for the virus in Scotland so far. However, a school local to us in Carlisle which is only 36 miles away from Moffat is allowing pupils to work from home because of fears about the possible spread of Coronavirus following a skiing trip to northern Italy. While they didn't visit the effected region, which is the centre of the outbreak, travellers returning to the UK from the area were told they may need to isolate themselves in a measure to stop the spread of illness.

You will have seen in the news that a hotel in Tenerife in Spain's Canary Islands has been locked down after an Italian doctor visiting there tested positive for coronavirus.

People are close to calling the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

In Scotland during the summer season millions of tourists from all over the world visit to see our beautiful beaches, experience our culture and try our delicious seafood. Last year this contributed nearly 5000 million to the Scottish economy.

Has anyone had any holidays cancelled due to this outbreak and what impact do you think this will have on Scottish tourism for the upcoming season?

Monday 24th February

On Saturday we celebrated Johanna’s 10 - year anniversary at the CIS office and Maureen’s birthday. We went for lunch at The Bank in Dumfries just on the sands. We ordered a selection of tapas and drinks from the menu and shared amongst ourselves. I personally ordered the Mussels in a creamy sauce and coconut breaded prawns, a few other dishes we enjoyed were pigs’ cheeks, Chorizo & king prawns and some lamb kebab styled skewers. Lots more tapas too but too many to list! Also forgot to take a picture of the food as were too excited to get stuck in.

They have deals on through the week as well, a selection of tapas and a drink for £20. The prices were very reasonable as they were large portions for being tapas dishes. We thoroughly enjoyed, so much so that I am going again this Saturday for the mussels and prawns! Would highly recommend. We never had any desserts as we were full, but the selection looked nice. It’s a lovely restaurant with nice views of the sands as well. We continued on from here to the Hole I’ the Wa for a few other drinks.

We are all back in the office today and hoping for a busy week! We are hoping for snow but there is nothing in Moffat yet. Let see your snow pictures if you have any.