Spirit Group launches drive to attract chefs

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Spirit Group is tackling the industry-wide skills shortage head on with an aggressive recruitment drive to find 150 new chefs.It is holding a series...

Spirit Group is tackling the industry-wide skills shortage head on with an aggressive recruitment drive to find 150 new chefs.

It is holding a series of open days around the country to seek out new talent from commis chefs and kitchen managers to sous chefs and head chefs.

Successful candidates will be given a brief telephone interview, then invited to join Spirit staff for lunch and a chat to chefs about the jobs available - and the potential for career progression - within Spirit brands including Chef & Brewer, All-day Family Feast and Tom Cobleigh.

Chefs are in great demand throughout the industry and pubs are struggling to find well-trained, enthusiastic recruits.

The number of school leavers entering catering college has dropped, despite the cult of the celebrity chef. And because money is tight, many college-trained chefs have big gaps in their knowledge because colleges simply couldn't afford to buy ingredients.

But now Spirit is tackling the problem. "Anyone who is interested in furthering their catering career should consider coming along to find out more," said Spirit's director of food development Nick Moore.

"Not only are we recruiting for head chefs, we're looking for sous chefs, commis chefs and kitchen managers - catering posts across many different food concepts to suit people with years of experience and those with hardly any."

Spirit Group bought Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) Retail last year in a deal that included strong food brands such as Chef & Brewer. It also took over S&N's award-winning food development centre and chef training scheme, the Guild, and is in the process of combining S&N training with its own.

Mr Moore added: "We invest heavily in training - after all if we want to offer the best in pub food we need to employ the best chefs to prepare and serve it."

Spirit will be at at the Brown Cow, Leeds, on February 23, the Kings Arms and Royal Hotel in Godalming, Surrey, on February 10 and 24, and the Festival Inn in Ilkeston, Nottingham, on February 11 and 25.

For more information contact 0870 243 5353.

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