Rick Stein deplores job applicant no-shows as he seeks staff for Cornwall restaurants

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

The Rick Stein Group is seeking at least 30 members of staff to fill vacancies in its 13 Cornish restaurants, and, despite a high number of applications, many have failed to show up for interviews when called upon.

Celebrity chef Rick Stein called on hospitality workers to move to Cornwall, which he said was "thriving" thanks to limits on travel forcing many Britons to travel to tourist destinations in the UK.

He said: “If you have found yourself out of work due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I urge you to consider coming to Cornwall. It’s thriving and with travel bans still in place there is great hope that the staycation will extend through to early winter and bring some much needed revenue to the locality.

"We are looking for chefs, waiting staff, housekeepers, kitchen porters and reception staff, there are jobs available across the board. I would love to see new members of the team coming from more hard hit areas of the country, plus with a number of roles we even help with accommodation so there is no need to worry about that.”

Since it began seeking new staff last month, the group has received more than 3,500 applications for the jobs, ranging from minimum-wage to salaried roles (as detailed before).

For comparison, in 2019 it received 5,500 applications over the whole year.

Despite this, Michael Rabone, the group’s head of HR, said it had  had a large number of no-shows among the applicants.

“We’ve seen a noticeable increase in the number of no-shows at all stages of the recruitment process,” he said.

“This includes candidates that apply and cannot be contacted, candidates invited to interview that do not attend, and individuals offered roles that do not start work.”

The group got off to a rocky start when the coronavirus hit, as heads warned that it wouldn't have been able to pay staff unless the furlough scheme had been rolled out, and two of Rick Stein's restaurants – Porthleven and Marlborough – were at one point up for sale.

The former has since been bought by Gordon Ramsay, and the latter was saved when a deal was struck with the landlord.

The vacancies in the group are as follows: 

Breakfast chef, Sandbanks
Bartender, The Cornish Arms
Kitchen Assistant, Chip Shop
Commis Chef, Chip Shop, St. Petroc's Bistro, The Seafood Restaurant, Winchester
Chef de Partie, Chip Shop, St. Petroc's Bistro, Winchester
Waiter/Waitress, The Cornish Arms, The Seafood Restaurant, Chip Shop, Cafe, Marlborough, Sandbanks, Barnes
Assistant Manager, The Cornish Arms
Sous Chef, Fistral (Newquay), Sandbanks
Chefs, Marlborough 
Reservations Assistant, St. Eval
Housekeeper, Padstow
Kitchen Porter, St. Petroc's Bistro, The Seafood Restaurant, Winchester
Pastry Chef, The Seafood Restaurant
Food Production Operative, Padstow
Finance and Commercial Manager, St. Eval
Senior Chef de Partie, Sandbanks
Supervisor, Sandbanks
Junior Sous Chef, The Seafood Restaurant

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 10th August 2020

Rick Stein deplores job applicant no-shows as he seeks staff for Cornwall restaurants