Boutique Hotel Group hires five chefs from India after struggling to recruit

29 July 2022 by
Boutique Hotel Group hires five chefs from India after struggling to recruit

Boutique Hotel Group (BHG), owner of Nunsmere Hall, Peckforton Castle and Inglewood Manor in Cheshire, has recruited five chefs from India after struggling to find staff in the UK.

The company said skilled chefs were "extremely hard to come by" but its new recruits were "settling in well and bring a fantastic energy and work ethic" to the business.

BHG said it was also "extremely difficult" to recruit housekeepers as positions had usually been filled by Eastern European workers prior to Brexit, but many people had since left the UK to return to their home countries.

The hotel group said it has always paid above minimum wage and is working on improving staff retention and making the business more attractive to join.

Hospitality operators have called on the government to introduce specific visas for hospitality staff to ease staffing pressures in the UK.

Writing in its financial results for the 12 months to 31 October 2021, BHG said much of the year had been taken up hosting weddings postponed by the pandemic.

Peckforton Castle, a Grade-I listed building with 48 bedrooms, a restaurant and brasserie, typically hosts around 220 weddings per year. BHG said it expects demand to "remain strong" for a number of years, with the property potentially hosting 220 – 250 weddings per year.

But the company said its Land Rover Experience at the property was suffering due to supply issues in the global car industry making it difficult for Land Rover to deliver the demand.

BHG reported pre-tax profits of £1.3m for the year and turnover of £7.2m, after posting a loss of £1.26m in the previous 12 months.

"We are expecting to be back on track within the next 18 months, having delivered all the postponed business and recovered our cash reserves," the company said.

BHG repaid its CBILS loan in full in January 2022, as it felt it would no longer be required.

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