Only one third of people have admitted that they only work in the catering industry because they are passionate about the sector. But, what makes this industry an attractive one to work in and what is recruitment currently like in the sector? We’ve teamed up with the Hog’s Head Inn, a modern country pub in Seaham, to find out more:
What is the main appeal?
A career in catering can work out brilliantly for many people. It can bring flexible working hours, job security and an attractive salary. Many hotels in Alnwick appreciate this, with employees working the hours that suit their lifestyles best.
Even during unpredictable times, the catering industry has emerged strong. In fact, 61% of catering professionals found no change in footfall since Britain’s decision to leave the EU.
Statistics from IBISWorld, market research specialists, found that between 2013 and 2018, the catering market experienced a 1% growth, with a current employee headcount of over 28,000. 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 analysed by Job site, CV-Library from the period 2018— 2017 determined that catering salaries were rising across the UK, and the average rate in the catering sector was up by 2.8% to £24,570.
Long hours are countered out by flexible shifts, which adds to the appeal for many. 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.”
A breath of fresh air
There is no single route in to catering nowadays, and there are multiple career paths for prospective recruits to follow.
The age-old tradition of working up the ranks still exists, showing that traditional career progression is still possible. Casual Dining Group, for example, partnered with Remit Training in 2016 to deliver apprenticeships to its restaurants, focusing on servers, chefs and managerial positions.
Lake District Hotels, a hotel group in Cumbria, launched their initiative ‘Hotel Academy’ in April 2018, to train aspiring chefs and practise fine dining. 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.
Vocational courses related to catering are also thriving in colleges across the nation. Often, students can showcase their skills to the public with dining school restaurants, giving them a taste of what catering work is truly like.
The catering industry is certainly here to stay. 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.