When asked in a recent survey, only one third of employees from the catering industry said that they chose their job based on having a passion for food. But, what makes this industry an attractive one to work in and what is recruitment currently like in the sector?
Is there glamour beneath the apron?
A catering job can fit around a variety of lifestyles. It can bring flexible working hours, job security and an attractive salary.
Amidst economic downturn, the catering industry has continued to flourish in the UK. In fact, 61% of catering professionals found no change in footfall since Britain’s decision to leave the EU. Business has been booming at The Hog’s Head Inn, a hotel in Alnwick, Northumberland, so we’ve teamed up with them to get some insight into the changing world of catering careers.
Annual growth in the catering market was measured at 1% between 2013 and 2018 and the current workforce is a figure of over 28,000, as found in studies by IBISWorld, specialists in business information and market research. According to the British Hospitality Association (BHA), the market is predicted to continue growing at an annual rate of 1.9% until 2020. They determined that the sector was labour-intensive rather than capital-intensive, meaning it relies on its staff to operate effectively — great news and job security for those who are part of it.
Data from the job market between 2017 and 2018 was analysed by Job-Site, CV Library, and the results were compared. They determined that salaries were rising across the UK and the average salary in the catering sector was up by 2.8% to £24,570.
Despite long hours, a general ability to work around other commitments is a major bonus to catering jobs. For example, shifts can often be swapped to meet personal errands and people can often choose between day and evening shifts. Max Moran, a freelance chef from Derby, said: “I enjoy my flexible career as a freelance chef, the money is good and the ability to pick where and when you work really suits my lifestyle.”
Try something new
Careers in catering are becoming increasingly accessible, and more routes into employment are available for potential recruits.
New opportunities for career development in catering are emerging, and the old way of moving up the ranks from waiting on tables to becoming a chef is now a thing of the past. Casual Dining Group, for example, partnered with Remit Training in 2016 to deliver apprenticeships to its restaurants, focusing on servers, chefs and managerial positions.
Hoteliers are now choosing to set up training initiatives to develop skills in fine dining, exemplified by Lake District Hotels, the Cumbria-based group started its ‘Hotel Academy’ in April 2018 for aspiring chefs. This academy includes a one-year programme with guaranteed employment and accredited qualifications. These aren’t standalone exceptions either, people are realising the potential in the catering industry. It’s clear to see that more is being invested in talented young people who have an interest in progressing in the market.
In colleges across the country, catering courses are becoming a popular choice for the combination of learning and vocational experience which they provide. Often, students can showcase their skills to the public with dining school restaurants, giving them a taste of what catering work is truly like.
Demand for the catering industry is yet to waver. It offers a strong sense of job security for those who are part of it, due to its steady market growth and increase in average salary. New opportunities and investments in young people mean that the sector is becoming more accessible for those who may not have considered this type of role until now.
By digital marketing agency Mediaworks