TSC Back to Work Survey: '50% of chefs are already back in the kitchen and over 30% of those working with a full team'

The Staff Canteen

At The Staff Canteen we pride ourselves on being part of the chef community and we wanted to know how they were dealing with getting back to work as individuals and as part of a team.

The objective of the survey was to understand how the industry has been impacted by COVID-19, how many chefs were returning to work and who remains on furlough. It looks at various sectors and was completed by chefs with job titles across the career ladder. 438 people completed the survey and 50% of those were head chefs and sous chefs, 14% were catering managers and 36% were either a chef de partie or commis.

There are many positives for the industry which are highlighted in this survey with 50% already back in the kitchen and over 30% of those working with a full team. There are still obvious worries particularly around October and the end of furlough – sadly the 10% who have already lost jobs may increase at this time.

We have said goodbye to some iconic restaurants during this period like The Ledbury which announced it will remain closed, and due to adapting and changing direction many have completely overhauled their offering such as Restaurant Nathan Outlaw; trailblazers like The Dairy shutting its doors will leave a real hole in the market as a restaurant that chefs would flock to on a day off.

Some sectors have been hit harder than others, casual dining was struggling before the pandemic and for many such as the Casual Dining Group which owns Bella Italia, Belgo, Cafe Rouge and Las Iguanas, it has been the final nail in the coffin as it announced it had gone into administration in July.

But it’s not all doom and gloom as Gordon Ramsay announced this month that he is looking to launch 50 restaurants across the UK after recording £15 million in profits last year.

He may not always be received positively but the promise of around 2,000 jobs should be celebrated. Every little helps and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme has at the very least encouraged consumers to head back to restaurants with hospitality businesses claiming for over 35 million discounted meals since it launched.

Nearly 50,000 restaurants have taken advantage of the scheme and hopefully diners will continue to eat out now they feel confident and comfortable to do so. Inevitably due to travel restrictions those who provide hospitality for the aviation industry are expecting it to take several years before it can begin to pick back up again.

However, it’s clear from the chefs who took the time to feedback to us on this survey that the industry as a whole is aware of what they may face in the future and will do what they can to get through the tough times and come out stronger on the other side.

It’s a real positive for the supply chain and those who rely on our industry, to know that hospitality is getting back on its feet, customers are coming back and in turn chefs and restaurants can start spending money again – they will be looking to regain those relationships with suppliers and forge new ones in order to get back to running successful businesses as they did before Coronavirus lockdown.

Will hospitality ever get back to normal? The answer to this is still uncertain but as an industry the ability to adapt means if we have to we will find a new normal and make it even better than the old one.

For more information and to view the full survey contact Jen Farrell, Head of Sales on 0330 2021051 or [email protected]

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 24th August 2020

TSC Back to Work Survey: '50% of chefs are already back in the kitchen and over 30% of those working with a full team'