Chef Shortage to Hinder London Olympic Games

New data has revealed that Chefs are in short supply as we approach 2012 London Olympic Games.

The London Olympics promises an influx of visitors from oversees, while many Britons are expected to forgo foreign sunspots and instead holiday in their own country.

But statistics published on demonstrate that the shortage of chefs could jeopardise the much hoped for tourism boost.

Advertised head chef posts are attracting an average of only nine applicants. That number dwarfs the number applying for waiting and reception jobs in the hospitality industry which averages around 60 for each job advertised.

Towngate Personnel operations manager, James Tucker claims the shortage of skilled chefs is a long standing problem and has been exacerbated by a lack of junior chefs joining and then staying in the industry.

”The problem dates back to the mid-1990s after the last recession,” he explained, “and it has never gone away. There is a shortage of junior chefs and over the years this has impacted on the number of experienced chefs available.”

“The number of applications for junior chef jobs is even lower than the figure for those applying for senior posts.”

Towngate claims that many junior chefs are now finding themselves promoted to senior chef very quickly. And many of those leaving college to go into the profession are also expecting to gain promotion. This raises concerns over the capability of head chefs managing busy kitchens.

Ready to Capitalise?

This presents a serious problem for the UK hospitality industry. It is estimated in our article on Olympic facts for the hospitality industry that the F&B potential of the Games is 18 million meals. There will be 350,000 foreign visitors per day contributing an additional £2.1 billion in tourism. The industry can not afford to let that opportunity slip.

Ian Burke, a director at, insists that the country’s hospitality industry must plan for the future if it is reverse the shortage of skilled chefs.

“Along with adequately preparing for the Olympics, hospitality businesses should use this moment in time as an opportunity to recruit, train and progress staff for the coming years,” he said.

The 2012 Olympic Games presents an unprecedented opportunity for the UK hospitality industry, but operators must ensure that they are appropriately resourced to capitalise on the event.

Time is ticking!


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