Search for chef now into 5th month
All Graeme Blackford wants is a ‘‘good country chef’’.
Someone who is qualified but can cook a mean steak, a good chicken meal and rustle up a few burgers.
But the Grand Tavern publican’s search for a chef has moved into its fifth month with no sign of a likely candidate coming forward.
He’s advertised in local and national newspapers and even has two blackboard signs outside the tavern in Te Aroha, advertising for a chef.
While there are cooks out there looking for work, no one qualified has put their hand up.
It has meant the tavern’s restaurant hasn’t been able to function properly,
‘‘You can’t function without a cook or a chef so we’re not getting by at all and it’s starting to cost us money.’’
Blackford is the president Thames Valley-Coromandel Hotel Association and he reckons his problem is not an isolated one.
A search of the job website, Seek.co.nz, showed there were 21 jobs listed under the title, ‘‘chef’’ for the Waikato.
Pay rates ranged from $20 to $29.99 per hour while another job was listed with the rate of $35,000 to $44,999 per year.
‘‘We [association] had a meeting recently and talked about the lack of chefs,’’ Blackford said.
‘‘You can’t get anyone. You look at the hospitality column of the situation vacant and it’s all people looking for chefs.
‘‘I know of a hotel in the South Island which took about 12 months to find a chef.’’
He thought there was a shortage of trades people across the board.
Grand Tavern publican Graeme Blackford reckons no one wants to work in Te Aroha because of a lack of rental accommodation.