Craig Allen, co-founder of The Change Group, said that restaurants, hotels and pubs could be left short-staffed if migrants are unable to take jobs in the hospitality industry.
He warned that businesses would struggle fill the roles with UK talent as there are not enough young people training to be chefs.
Last year nearly 60 per cent of the candidates registered at Change were from outside the UK, 48 per cent of which came from countries within the EU.
According to the company's research only a third of applicants for top chef roles in London are from Britain, with the figure falling to a fifth for chef de partie jobs.
“Within the hospitality industry we have seen restaurants struggling to fill both front and back of house positions due to a lack of talent, which is worrying when you consider how many of these people come from countries in the EU,” said Allen.
“In an ideal world we would be encouraging and training up young British school leavers to be chefs, but the chef shortage is affecting us now and exiting the EU will just have a further detrimental effect and lose a large proportion of EU talent.
“Losing or not attracting a large part of the hospitality workforce could have a detrimental effect on the industry, not to mention the economy.”
Allen added that the UK’s reputation as a ‘culinary capital of the world’ was reliant on foreign restaurant investors and chefs being able to easily bring their ideas in to the country.
He said: “An exit from the EU could affect investment into the industry and the talent supply, and there could also be a reduction in wealthy residents. Tourism could also be affected due to visa restrictions making it increasingly difficult for people to travel.”
Last year Allen called for a relaxation in immigration laws to allow for a 'freer movement of chef talent' around the globe.
The UK vote on whether to remain part of the EU on 23 June.