Chef job advert

3 Things Blocking Your Chef Recruitment Success

With so many chef recruitment openings and so few professional chefs available, it’s more important than ever to present your business in the best possible light when trying to hire.

If you’re struggling to recruit chefs, take the time to review these three aspects of your business to honestly assess where you’re hitting the mark and where you’re missing an opportunity to be better.

1. Is your establishments reputation harming your chef recruitment efforts?

The culinary world is very small. Word of mouth travels fast when it comes to your reputation as an employer. Do you keep a positive attitude around your employees? Are you consistent in scheduling? Do you allow your head chef the flexibility to try out new menu dishes? Are you willing to brainstorm with your chefs so that the restaurant doesn’t stagnate? Do you empower your employees and reward them for success?

Googling your business or checking sites like can give you insight into what former employees are saying. If you’ve struggled to create a positive work environment for your kitchen staff, those issues might be the first things potential hires hear about your restaurant.

Chefs want things to run smoothly in the kitchen, and that includes how you interact with them. Ensuring that daily interaction with ‘management’ is an overall positive experience for staff is a key part of building that strong reputation within the industry. Establishing your reputation as a boss takes time, but it’s also a crucial part of finding (and retaining) great employees.

2. Are the salaries you offer harming your chef recruitment?

If you’re having difficulty keeping chefs, convincing applicants to take your job offer after the interview, or even just getting qualified candidates to apply to your job listing, the problem could be as simple as how much pay you’re offering.

Research into the market could reveal that you’re below average in your area. If a chef can get better pay at one of your competitors who carry the same or better prestige, they could pass you by. Even if you’re able to hire, your chef could jump ship if other restaurants are offering them pay that is better in line with their level of skill.

Raising wages for your chefs means adjusting your budget, but the money and time saved by avoiding constantly training new staff — only to have them take better offers — is huge. Do the maths and see for yourself.

3. Are you offering the right chef benefits?

There needs to be more than just pay to hire and keep great chef talent. Do you have any benefits in place? For instance:

  • Does your establishment offer dining discounts for staff?
  • Do you provide staff with more than the statutory holiday allowance? Are you careful to set up schedules so that staff can have two days off in a row?
  • Do you offer a 4-day week?
  • Gym membership and more?

In the war for talent and in a post Brexit and Covid operating environment things have changed – which means your benefits probably need to as well.

When it comes to chef recruitment some benefits can seem small, but they add up in a positive way for potential recruits. Implementing even a few of them in your establishment (and then including them in your chef job listing) adds up to potential employees considering more than just what you are paying.

And finally…

The industry has changed, but has your approach to hiring chefs?

A smaller chef talent pool and much more competition means its vital for every employer regardless of size to utilise the most effective recruitment tools in the market to engage the talent they need.

Save yourself precious time and money by using Only Chefs – The UK’s leading chef-only direct hire platform. Plus, sign up today and get 6 weeks free access to the platform and a chance to win 12 months free access worth £3,000 (T&Cs apply, click link for more).

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