Nathan Outlaw on the staffing crisis: 'I don’t think it’s too late to turn things around, but we do need to act swiftly. ‘Strike while the iron’s hot’, so to speak'

The Staff Canteen

Michelin-starred chef Nathan Outlaw is urging restaurateurs to join the Hospitality Rising campaign to stimulate recruitment in the UK hospitality sector

Nathan Outlaw is the owner of the one Michelin-starred restaurant, Outlaw’s New Road, in Port Isaac, Cornwall. He joined Hospitality Rising, expected to be the UK's most extensive recruitment advertising campaign with a target budget of £5m (though at £600,000 at the time of writing) to increase the hospitality sector’s workforce nationwide.

By encouraging more people to join him, Nathan Outlaw said: "This is a massive opportunity to review the industry and make changes to see it successfully into the future. The worse thing we could do is carry on as we are. If hospitality businesses don’t change with the times, I suspect they will fail." 

'By working as a group, we will be more powerful'

Nathan Outlaw joined in February when chef Angela Hartnett introduced him to the campaign, as he grew concerned with the state of the industry in his local area.

"Being very rural with lots of places quite remote, staffing for hospitality in Cornwall generally has always been an issue," he explained, but "nowadays, with the lack of rental housing and the price of those rentals, and houses for purchase being so high, it’s even more of a problem."

"I’m pleased to say we are starting the new season fully-staffed and have managed to find suitable people from the local talent pool," he added. 

Nathan is unsurprised that others haven't joined the campaign yet, as, he said, “they’re probably too busy trying to save their businesses," and many have "tended to work in isolation, partly because when hospitality is busy, there’s no time for anything else, and partly because we traditionally tend to see other hospitality businesses as rivals." 
However, the chef believes that the sector’s success rests on having a collective voice, which is where the Hospitality Rising campaign comes in. He said: "It takes time to change people’s ideas so that they realise that by working as a group more, they will be more powerful and get more done."

"I think the Hospitality Rising campaign has made us more aware of the need to engage in changing the public’s perception of hospitality as a worthwhile career, though, in order to attract more people to the industry in general."

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th May 2022

Nathan Outlaw on the staffing crisis: 'I don’t think it’s too late to turn things around, but we do need to act swiftly. ‘Strike while the iron’s hot’, so to speak'