Availability of Permanent Head Chefs and Relief Chefs

18th April 2021

The Availability of Permanent Head Chefs and Relief Chefs in Scotland

As we edge closer to much of Scottish Hospitality reopening on Monday the 26th of April, the availability of chefs is tightening up.

Most Head Chef jobs, if paying decent money, are still attracting applicants, although in many cases each Head Chef is being interviewed for several jobs at the same time, this seems to be particularly true in the major cities.

In rural Scotland, it depends very much on the job as to the number of applicants. 2AA Rosette Head Chef positions may get several applicants but only 1 or 2 who have relevant 2AA Rosette experience.

Hotel jobs paying by the hour in excess of £15 per hour will quite possibly still get a few applicants.

What is “decent money”?

Again, this can vary from job to job and by location. For Head Chefs I would say £35,000 and upwards is starting to be “decent money” This for a 45-hour week equates to just under £15 per hour. For 3AA Rosette Head Chefs, salaries can be in the region and in excess of £50,000 per year.

Bonus Schemes: A good bonus scheme can help to attract and retain Head Chefs. Based on achieving suitable gross profit margins, of say 65% and above. Wages ratio, kitchen cleanliness and customer feedback, all seems to be suitable for being built into a concise bonus scheme, getting certain amounts of money for achieving set criteria.

For relief chefs, the rates have currently stayed the same at Chefs In Scotland as last year as we look to get the season underway.

The availability of good relief chefs, well known to us, at the moment is quite reasonable. Many chefs have left the industry and have not returned at the moment, others have taken on permanent positions, as we move towards opening up the availability is expected to become poor, a bit like what it is like usually at Easter and just before Christmas, i.e., everyone who wants a job is fixed up.

The next couple of weeks promise to be quite challenging for all: hoteliers, restaurateurs and chefs, although hopefully things will begin to settle into some sort of rhythm.

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