Long working hours, a lot of overtime, little appreciation, coarse interaction in everyday work, a whole bundle of stress... The list of the disadvantages of a job in gastronomy is long. Very long! It's no wonder that many people decide on other vocations and use their talents in fields where the overall conditions are better. Skilled personnel with a completed apprenticeship in the gastronomy branch decide to work in other branches such as food or technology for reasons that are all too easy to understand.
Far too little was undertaken for far too long and now gastronomy companies are paying the price. The skills shortage has a firm hold over the branch. According to DIE ZEIT every third gastronomy company has difficulties in getting the staff they need. This situation will become worse and those who do not act now will miss the chance to be successful in the long term.
4 suggestions for enthusing skilled personnel and apprentices in the gastronomy branch
- More regular working hours: It is no longer OK to simply say “That's the way we've always done things.” Applicants, especially the younger ones, have different expectations of their job. And in times of skills shortages and a scarcity of apprentices, you are not in a good position to argue. Because then you need to find someone else to do the job. And finding staff is the big problem here... Employees in restaurants with Michelin stars and in major canteens need to do away with rigid structures and create a staff rota that enables a good work-life balance.
- An appropriate salary: Overtime, stress and low pay – three things that don't seem to go together at first glance. It's no surprise that staff don't want to work longer hours. Employers need to accept that it is far too expensive in the long-term to constantly be looking for new staff who they then have to train rather than motivating existing staff with good conditions. In the worst-case scenario the hunt for new recruits will be fruitless.
- More respect in dealing with each other: The way we work together also needs a rethink. Stress is part of working in gastronomy, especially in large kitchens. There are always a great many things that need to be done right away. Cordiality is one of the first casualties of this. This is why employers need to have clear and binding guidelines on how employees interact with each other that apply even in stressful situations.
- Greater appreciation for good work:Recognition of good work is particularly important for apprentices. It makes them better able to assess their own performance and also boosts their self-confidence. Confident employees are a great help in day-to-day business and are quicker to take on responsibility. Of course you shouldn't go overboard with praise, especially for minor tasks. Otherwise praise loses its significance.
Word of mouth marketing: satisfied employees are happy to talk about their work
„Begeisterte Mitarbeiter sind die beste Werbung!“, ist sich Lukas Göcke, Anwendungsberater bei Hupfer “Someone who feels at ease and appreciated, someone who is satisfied with his working hours and his salary is someone who talks about it – with his family, friends and acquaintances. This turns employees into free-of-charge influencers. If there's a vacancy in the company, the employer won't have long to wait until it's filled.”
“The skills shortage – the major challenge in the gastronomy sector”
You will soon be able to read more about this in our series “The skills shortage – the major challenge in the gastronomy sector” on topics such as:
• Spicing up recruitment: new ways of finding employees
• Retaining staff instead of constantly seeking anew: inspiring and obtaining employee loyalty
• What the future holds: young professionals are essential
• Automated and digital: the kitchen of the future