Red Hotels, owner of the Scarlet and Bedruthan hotels in Cornwall, has unveiled plans to give all kitchen staff a better work/life balance.
Tom Hunter (pictured), executive chef for the two properties, is the driving force behind the initiative, which will see staff work a maximum of 45 hours per week over five days.
In addition to shorter working hours, the firm has also launched a recruitment programme to offer potential chefs and a guest a night’s stay at the Bedruthan.
Hunter, who was recently promoted from the role of head chef at the Scarlet, has introduced a new production kitchen to ease the pressures on the service kitchens in both hotels. This is expected to help with time-consuming jobs such as baking bread and making stocks.
As a result staff will be able to start later in the morning and leave earlier in the evening to ensure the hotels meet the target of nine-hour shifts.
Hunter said: “Nobody chooses life as a chef if they want an easy nine to five job and 15-hour shifts are not an uncommon practice. However, as a family man, I want to achieve balance in my life. I’m also of the firm belief that enjoying life away from work means you are clearly more focused and committed within work.
“This is also part of the Red Hotels philosophy and this is why I’m determined to create and drive a team that also has the opportunity to make the most of their lives, and their careers, in this way.”
Having trained in London, Hunter moved to Cornwall four years ago when he took the job at the Scarlet.
Emma Stratton, owner of Red Hotels, said: “Tom has done such a great job with the Scarlet kitchen. He’s built an award-winning team that is constantly driving a full set of sustainability principles through a thriving business proposition. Yet he’s constantly delivering the very highest of standards to our restaurant guests.
“We are delighted to see that now he is our executive chef, he’s bucking the damaging trend of long, long hours in the industry. His restructuring of the brigade and the new ways of working will deliver creative dishes for our three great restaurants and events operation. Everyone at Red Hotels feels strongly that all our teams need to have time to enjoy life, playing and relaxing in the beautiful county of Cornwall.”
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