It's not just the UK – US in chef shortage

12 August 2015 by
It's not just the UK – US in chef shortage

The US is in the midst of a serious shortage of chefs, mirroring the same problems UK restaurants are suffering.

Reports from across the Atlantic blamed an improving economy and a host of new openings across the country for the shortage.

Fortune magazine described the quest to find kitchen talent as "tougher than baking a soufflé during an earthquake".

Alfred Portale, co-owner and chef of Gotham Bar and Grill, a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York, told Fortune: "If I had a position open in the kitchen, I might have 12 resumes, call in three or four to [try out] in the kitchen, and make a decision [a few years ago]. Now it's the other way around; there's one cook and 12 restaurants" chasing that candidate."

"All the salary guys are working unforgivable hours, 70 hours [a week]" to make up for the lack, southern California chef and restaurateur Brian Malarkey added.

Meanwhile Robert Lutz, president of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, told the Boston Globe: "We have over 15,000 restaurants in Massachusetts. Excluding family-run restaurants, it's a pretty safe bet that not one is fully staffed today."

And blamed low wages as the biggest reason for the shortage.

"Most cooks will start out on salaries between $22,000 and $35,000 a year, and often the jobs at the best restaurants are located in cities with steep living costs," it said.

"Because of this, many graduates turn to "large chains, resorts, and other big facilities that can offer a higher paycheck."

Viewpoint: The industry's most wanted? >>

Restaurant Sat Bains With Rooms to introduce four-day week >>

Are you looking for a new role? See all the current restaurant vacancies available with The Caterer Jobs >>

Latest video from The Caterer

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking