Relief work pros and cons

This week and last has been hugely busy on relief specifically. We are right in the middle of the season now and there are lots of chefs out working through us. We do very often get establishments phone up and say they are looking for a relief chef who can start as relief and the possibly take on the permanent role. Although this does occasionally happen we usually advise that the relief chefs just like to do relief work.

What isn’t to like? Good hourly rates of pay, accommodation at no charge, paid for every hour that you work, travel at 30 pence a mile. But what most new relief chefs don’t realise that there are some down sides. If relief chefs are happy to keep their head down and work away, we can almost guarantee work until the end of October time. However, the relief work available over the winter time is very limited and this can result in a very long winter season. The places that the relief chefs go in to are usually in desperate need of a chef and they need a chef to go in and get the job done. The staff accommodation can be sometimes a little less than desired however we ask that is clean and single so not sharing a room with anyone else.

When I first started out as a chef the idea of being a relief chef never really appealed to me as it doesn’t now. I think this is due to the inconsistency and the changeability on what you do on a day-to-day basis. But I know that for some of our relief chefs doing relief work on a regular basis is the best way to ensure they can set their own work schedule and get that elusive life -work balance that we talk about.

What is the one thing you love about being a relief chef?

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