The hospitality industry is continuing to face a shortage of skilled chefs, threatening its success in the run-up to the London Olympics, research has warned.

According to a recruitment survey, head chef positions make up 40% of advertised restaurant vacancies. However, they attract the smallest number of relevant applicants.

The Hospitality Employment Index from Caterer.com found that each advertised head chef position attracted an average of just nine applicants. This compares with an average of around 60 applicants for reception roles and waiting staff positions.

Caterer.com director Ian Burke warned the run-up to the Olympics was crucial for the hospitality industry. "Along with adequately preparing for the Olympics, hospitality businesses should use this moment in time as an opportunity to recruit, train and progress staff for the coming years," he said.

"We're seeing that many managers are putting interesting and engaging staff benefit programmes in place in a bid to boost staff retention. Improved employee training and involvement, through the likes of consultations and appraisals - as well as financial incentives - are key areas where businesses can improve staff retention."

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