Sat Bains: Restaurant set for six-figure hit due to four-day working week

By Liam Garrahan

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chef Culinary art Better

Chef Sat Bains says his Nottingham restaurant with rooms will lose more than £100,000 by changing working practices for staff, but he is willing to take the risk to ensure staff retention. 

Bains, who runs the restaurant with his wife Amanda, announced in July that he would be introducing a four-day working week for staff in November with staff salaries and bonuses unaffected as a way of countering the chef shortage problem.

“We’re going to take a six-figure hit, but we’re willing to risk that and see how it goes,” Bains told BigHospitality at the launch of his one-day collaboration with burger restaurant Shake Shack.

In our exclusive video, Bains also discusses how news of the change to operations has already given the restaurant’s recruitment a boost, his best tips to retaining staff, and his views on what has caused the shortage of chefs.

As Daniel Clifford, chef-owner of two Michelin-starred restaurant Midsummer House said in August, radical changes are needed to address the chef shortage problem affecting the majority of businesses across the industry, or we will witness its demise.

Other chefs have started followed Bains’ lead in making working conditions better for chefs as a way of solving the problem.

Dave Ahern, co-founder of Fulham’s Wahleeah restaurant, is offering staff a profit-share scheme​, while James Close of Raby Hunt is cutting lunch service to improve staff hours​.

A BigHospitality round-up of views from across the industry found a number of suggestions to solving employment crisis, including an emphasis on better investment in training and improvement of working conditions.

More recently Craig Allen, director of hospitality recruitment company The Change Group, said that relaxing immigration laws to allow freer movement of chefs around the globe could solve the issue​, and the Tante Marie Culinary Academy has launched the UK’s first business focused culinary qualification​ to tackle the shortage.

You can read our round-up of industry views on how to tackle the crisis here​.

For more industry reaction to the chef shortage click here​.

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