Shift revamp at Red Hotels to tackle chef crisis

By Liam Garrahan contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Red Hotels kitchen team
The Red Hotels kitchen team

Related tags: Cook, Chef

Chefs at Red Hotels properties in Cornwall are to benefit from new shift patterns which will see them have two days off per week in an attempt to tackle the chef shortage and improve their work/life balance.

The changes, brought in by the group’s new executive chef, Tom Hunter, will see chefs at the Scarlet and Bedruthan hotels work 45 hours per week over the course of five days, compared to the current average of 10 to 15 hours per day.

Hunter said that, as a family man, he needs a better balance between his work and his social life.

“Nobody chooses life as a chef if they want an easy, 9-5 job and 15 hour shifts are not an uncommon practice. However, as a family man, I want to achieve balance in my life,” he said.

“I’m also of the firm belief that enjoying life away from work means you are clearly more focussed and committed within work.  This is also part of the Red Hotels’ philosophy and this is why I’m determined to create and drive a team that also has the opportunity to make the most of their lives, and their careers, in this way.”

The changes will also include a wage that is ‘desirable and competitive’ within the industry and they will aim to employ more chefs, as well as install a new preparation kitchen to ease the pressure on the service across the two sites.

Hunter said: “This new kitchen addition will take care of time consuming jobs such as bread baking, which is made in the morning, and stocks, which are made last thing at night. This will allow the chefs to come in later in the morning and also leave earlier in the evening, ensuring we meet the target of shifts of no longer than nine hours at a time.”

As part of the new recruitment strategy, potential chefs and kitchen team members will be invited to stay with a friend of partner at the Bedruthan Hotel, a move that the group says will allow them to experience and understand the guest experience.

Red Hotel owner, Emma Stratton, said that Hunter’s new regime bucks the current trend in the industry and will benefit the group’s properties.

“His restructuring of the brigade and the new ways of working will deliver creative dishes for our three great restaurants and events operation,” she said.

“Everyone at Red Hotels feels strongly that all our teams need to have time to enjoy life, playing and relaxing in the beautiful county of Cornwall.”

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