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Great British Turn Off: TV cooking shows exacerbating staff crisis, poll suggests

27 November 2018 by
Great British Turn Off: TV cooking shows exacerbating staff crisis, poll suggests

TV cookery competitions like the Great British Bake Off and MasterChef are putting people off joining the industry, a survey has suggested.

A poll of 2,006 people carried out by Opinium and recruitment website Caterer.com found 46% of Britons were put off the idea of working as a professional chef by TV shows, while 19% said the programmes made them question their own abilities behind the stove.

Meanwhile 63% of respondents said they would not consider a career in the industry, while 62% said they would not be able to cope with cooking for paying customers while under pressure.

Only 25% said they considered themselves a good cook, while 56% said their skills were average.

Neil Pattison, from Caterer.com said, "Whilst plenty of us enjoy sitting down to the latest episode of GBBO, it's important to remember these shows are edited for maximum entertainment - which includes focusing on heightened bursts of pressure and stress.

"This isn't an accurate reflection of the industry as a whole, which whilst certainly busy and often demanding, offers so much more, including career development, variety of experience and positive and vibrant teams.

"Hospitality is a fantastic, personable industry and the pressure depicted in these reality TV cooking shows should not lead people to think they can't handle the pressure of working within it.

"This situation is a particular concern as we have a skills shortage in the hospitality industry, which is guaranteed to be exacerbated post-Brexit due to decreasing talent pools.

"It's important to note that hospitality employers are well known for investing in training and development for their staff, so they are fully skilled and prepared to manage a whole host of eventualities, including busy shifts and pressurised situations as just one part of the job. No two days are the same in hospitality, which is why people love it."

The survey was published as Irish chefs drafted a workplace charter to try and encourage young chefs to consider a life in the kitchen.

Launched by ChefNetwork, who represent 3,100 chefs in the country, the network's head of community Ruth Hegarty said they were trying to "counteract the Gordon Ramsay effect" adding "when he is on television, he is a caricature playing a role onscreen. Someone at the Galway meeting suggested we draw up charter aimed at making cultural changes in kitchens."

Lib Dem leader signals concern over industry's looming skills shortage>>

Hospitality's ‘macho' image is to blame for skills shortage>>

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