Recruitment in the Catering Industry: An Inside Look

posted by Chris Valentine

During a recent study, statistics show that one third of people who work in the catering industry do it because they’re passionate about food. 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, who run hotels near Alnwick Gardens, to find out more:

Why the catering sector?

For a lot of people, catering is an ideal sector. It can bring flexible working hours, job security and an attractive salary.

The catering sector is constantly thriving, despite any political or economic turmoil. In fact, 61% of catering professionals found no change in footfall since Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

Market research and business specialists, IBISWorld found that the catering market experiences an annual growth of 1% between 2013 and 2018, and currently has a workforce 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.

Analysing data from the job market in 2018 and 2017, CV-Library compared the results. 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.

The hours are long; however, the flexibility of shifts can be beneficial for some people. 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.”

New opportunities

Thankfully, there are now many different entry routes that people can take to enter the catering industry, making careers in the sector more accessible.

You can always take traditional routes to a career in this market, such as progressing from table waiting to chef roles, but there are new ways to get in the sector now too. Casual Dining Group, for example, partnered with Remit Training in 2016 to deliver apprenticeships to its restaurants, focusing on servers, chefs and managerial positions.

Most of the recruitment in the catering industry happens through in-house initiatives, where leading hospitality firms offer their own tailored route into employment for prospective candidates. The Youth Career Incentive is one example, as this non-profit organisation uses its own partnerships with notable hotel companies to help young people to secure employment. It’s clear to see that more is being invested in talented young people who have an interest in progressing in the sector.

Furthermore, vocational courses are available for students who want to study catering-related courses at college. 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 clearly one that’s 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.

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