In reaction to the people and skills shortages across hospitality, a restaurant group in Sussex has introduced a work policy to improve their team’s work life balance and encourage more young people to enter the world of hospitality.
Sussex Pass is located in the village of Wadhurst and is designed to showcase the finest produce in Sussex and Kent while supporting local makers, growers and communities. This week, founder Sam Maynard announced he is changing the work policy within the restaurant, and two others, to introduce a 4-day week for all members of his team.
We spoke with Sam Maynard earlier today to understand the reasoning and circumstances behind the change.
Having spent 15 years in hospitality, mostly in hotels he said that he recognised now is the time for change.
Maynard was forthright saying that for too long he has worked, and expected his team to work, long hours that result in fatigue and ultimately burn out. The pandemic has compounded industry issues that he decided to face and change rather than push to the background.
The pandemic has changed much across the industry, that as we emerge from it, finds a completely new hospitality landscape to operate within. Maynard is adjusting to it not fighting it.
He is experiencing great difficulty in attracting applicants to well paid jobs. All employees are paid a minimum of £10 per hour, above national living wage rates, with an additional profit share for all employees, as well as a four day week. The profits are shared quarterly between all employees at all levels, where 7.5% of quarterly profits are divided equally irrespective of job title.
But, chef positions that would ordinarily pre pandemic attract circa 20 applications, now see only 1 or 2. Waitress and waiter job ads see zero. Brexit has not really impacted Maynard as his recruitment pool is focused on local Sussex people who appreciate local produce and local food. He does employ people from Europe and further afield, but it is the locals that are now not returning from furlough.
He runs two other restaurants, a 100 cover pub, and a 24 cover fine dining restaurant. 45 people were placed on furlough and 20 have now not come back. Reasons are… other sectors are less demanding with a better work life balance.
Maynard is sanguine, he has the view that things have changed, and maybe for the better, even if things are tuff short term. Speaking with him, he cares about his people, he cares about providing good consistent hospitality to his guests, and he cares about our industry. But he feels he needed to make the changes he has to adapt to a new world of hospitality, and is of the opinion the industry faces and needs to make massive changes. I agree wholeheartedly.
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Hospitality & Catering News: More restaurants choose team wellbeing and reduced opening ahead of struggling. – 4 June 2021 – More restaurants choose team wellbeing and reduced opening ahead of struggling.
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