Now that the catering industry is allowed to open again, another major problem has become visible: the acute staff shortage. Entrepreneurs are forced to look for cooks from Portugal, Spain or Greece. Save on staff by letting visitors order via a tablet. Or let the director help out in the kitchen himself.
Hendrik Karabagias from Zwolle, due to a lack of Dutch staff, gets his employees for his five catering establishments from various countries. “In the kitchen above is Adriano, who arrived the day before yesterday from Portugal, in another shop Xenia from Greece works and on Sunday we expect Gustavo from Tenerife”.
He is not the only one, assures Dick van Ostaden of the recruitment company ‘Cooks from Spain’. “The influx into professional catering courses is minimal, at thirty percent of its capacity. I receive requests from all kinds of catering entrepreneurs: from the eatery on the corner, to five-star hotels in Amsterdam and Michelin restaurants”. And a lot of catering staff has left during the corona crisis. “The RIVM and the GGD pay better, we can’t compete with that,” said Karabagias.
The Spanish cook Juan José Rosello has been working at the Van der Valk restaurant in Eindhoven for two days now. He lost his job in Mallorca, because the restaurant there had to close again because of corona. “Perhaps people in your country would rather have an office job. Because in the hospitality industry you work a lot of hours, sometimes a few hours in the morning, and then again in the evening. That’s tough. But it’s my passion. I’m so happy that I can work here.”
According to director Rick Polman of the Van der Valk branch in Eindhoven, he can certainly place another 25 people in the kitchen or service. “And we have temporary hotel rooms available for foreign staff, because housing is also a problem”. As long as there is a shortage of staff, Polman occasionally helps out in the kitchen. He takes off his jacket and stands behind the stove smiling. “I am the fourth generation Van der Valk, and we always start in the kitchen. I just stuck around a little longer”.
In Zwolle Hendrik Karabagias experiments with a tablet on every table. This way you can order your food or drink yourself, without a waitress having to walk back and forth four times. Ultimately saves twenty percent in personnel costs, according to the Zwolle entrepreneur.
But this will not structurally solve the problem. “I already hear that signing bonuses are given in some parts of the Netherlands. A few hundred euros if you switch to a colleague restaurant. But I think it is better to structurally focus on foreign countries. That works better than fishing in each other’s ponds. .”
Rick Polman of Van der Valk does not rule out that in a few years half of all chefs will come from abroad. “Dishes with a Spanish or Italian sauce perhaps. But the schnitzel or applesauce with cherry, that stays of course!”
Spanish and Portuguese chefs in Dutch kitchens due to staff shortage
Staff shortage in the catering industry so great that cooks are brought from Spain
Source link Staff shortage in the catering industry so great that cooks are brought from Spain