St Austell Brewery fighting chef recruitment "absolute nightmare" with new incentives

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

Nick Hemming: "The impact when you can't recruit an experienced head chef in our managed estate is colossal"
Nick Hemming: "The impact when you can't recruit an experienced head chef in our managed estate is colossal"

Related tags: St austell brewery, Cornwall

St Austell Brewery has launched a range of incentives designed to entice new chefs into the kitchens of its managed pubs.

The South West based group, which currently runs 25 managed sites, has introduced new bonus schemes, competitive salaries and a training academy for its chefs.

Nick Hemming, catering development manager for St Austell Brewery, said: “Chef recruitment​ is becoming an absolute nightmare in the South West – everyone I talk to in the industry is saying the same thing.”

According to Hemming, St Austell Brewery’s food sales could be set to hit £14million this financial year.

But he said overspending on bringing in agency staff was still having an impact, reportedly costing the company over £100,000 last year.

Hemming said: “We strive to offer the best food for our customers but to do that sometimes we need to pay for agency staff at higher wages than permanent employees.

“This not only causes cost implications but also hinders a kitchen from running as efficiently as it should. The impact when you can’t recruit an experienced head chef in our managed estate is colossal.”

Head chefs can now enjoy a rewards package, including a bonus scheme of up to £3,000, sick pay and health care.

Employees will also be given training in skills such as butchery and fish preparation.

Hemming said: “At present too many people train at college in the county before moving away because they wrongly believe there are no opportunities for work in Cornwall and Devon but that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Don't forget to check out the Publican's Morning Advertiser's extensive digital feature on chef recruitment  Join the pub brigade​ - featuring in-depth analysis, special guest columns and video interviews with the top chefs in the business.

Related topics: Chefs

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