The Chef Crisis : Opinion Piece

It has been widely publicised in the media that the shortage of chefs is approaching crisis point. One thing that we’ve noticed while surveying, is that in many cases this shortage can be traced back to the pay scale for Chef de Parties.

In most cases a Chef de Partie will have completed 2/3 years in College and spent an average of 4/6 years working in kitchens. Yet a large majority of establishments are paying a rate of €12 per hour for CDP. In most cases this is an annual salary, so a Chef working 45 hours a week will take home an hourly rate of pay of just €10.40 per hour.

I last worked as a Chef de Partie 16 years ago. I was on £12 an hour, old money at the time. In the last 16 years the minimum wage has increased several times. There is now, justifiable, a strong movement being led by a large group of chefs. Utilising the power of social media they are pushing for a minimum wage of €15 p/h for Chef de Partie. This in my mind would go a long way towards solving the existing chef shortage.

Shane McLave – June 2016

Ranelagh Hotel given the green light

An Bord Pleanála have given the go ahead for the development of a boutique hotel in Ranelagh. Paddy McKillen Jr will add the Hotel at 117-119 Ranelagh to his already impressive Press Up Entertainment Group portfolio, which includes The Dean Hotel and Workman’s Club.

Despite several appeals and objections, the five floor, 41 bedroomed Hotel will go ahead. The boutique hotel will also include a 50-seat arthouse basement cinema and roof-top restaurant. It is believe the development will take between 18-24 months to complete creating 80 full and part time jobs once opened.


Amazon Fresh launches in UK


Amazon have launched their Fresh Food and Grocery delivery operation after months of logistics and planning. From today, Amazon Prime members in North and East London can avail of the service from the internet based retailer. In its first expansion outside of the US, Amazon confirmed that they will offer the delivery service to Amazon Prime users in 69 postcodes across London at a cost of £7 per month.

Amazon will be partnering with Morrison’s to provide 130,000 products which will include branded and local produce of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy and household items, with one hour time frames selectable to ensure users are home. Same day delivery will also be applicable to all orders received before 1pm. Amazon will also deliver goods from around 50 small local specialist stores, including stalls at London’s Borough market, local fishmongers, and high-end chocolatiers.

This is the first location outside of the US where Amazon fresh will be available. Amazon Fresh will offer free deliveries on all orders over £40 and orders below this will incur a £4 charge. Ajay Kavan VP of Amazon Fresh said “We will be very methodical and considered in how we roll this service out further in the UK. “We are launching with a comprehensive offer in a limited area and will take our time to hone and improve our service based on our learnings and feedback from our customers’’.

SWOT analysis and templates

A SWOT Analysis/Matrix has become a common prerequisite for interviews. A SWOT analysis allows an employer to quickly ascertain the candidates understanding of their business, and the practical changes they could potentially bring.

An acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, a SWOT analysis requires candidates to structure their planning methods, evaluating the business and shedding light on the opportunities and potential threats faced by businesses.


Strengths and Weaknesses are internal to the company.

Opportunities and Threats are external.


(Internal / Positive Factors / Within Your Control)

Strengths will describe the positive, internal factors of the company that are within your control.

Questions to address

  1. What is done well?
  2. What advantage do you have versus competitors?
  3. What factors add value or pitch the company above the rest?
  4. People power. Are there influencers within the business, setting the pace verse other companies?
  5. Think about location, distribution channels, education, training etc.


(Internal / Negative Factors / Within Your Control)

These are to address aspects of the business that detract value. They need to be addressed and tackled in order to improve competitiveness, talent retention and to gain competitive advantage.

Questions to address

  1. What areas need improvement?
  2. What does the business lack, relative to competitors?
  3. What factors are within your control to change?
  4. Can you do anything better?
  5. What causes problems or complaints?


(External / Positive Factors)

Here you will identify external, positive factors that will add value to the business and make it prosper.

Questions to address

  1. Local events that can/will add value?
  2. Would you benefit from targeted marketing, social media or promotional techniques?
  3. Factors relating to the market.
  4. Seasonal and trends specific to the business.


(External / Negative Factors)

Threats will be external factors beyond your control and that could be potential risks to business. While they cannot be controlled, they can be contained in advance and SWOT analysis will identify contingency plans that can be put to action.

  1. What are your competitors doing?
  2. What obstacles face your business?
  3. Are there shifts in consumer behaviour, economy, local/national government etc?
  4. Are there any changes in products, services or technology that may threaten you?

Internal Factors include

Financial resources

Human resources

Physical resources

Any access to natural resources

External Factors include

Market trends, technology and new products

Economic trends, local and national


Strengths and Weaknesses tend to be analysis of present factors, while opportunities and threats are in the future

After your SWOT

Once you have completed a SWOT analysis, develop short and long term strategies from it. Use your effort and the results to develop strategies which will envelop and maximise positivity within the business and minimise the negative ones.

  • Split into short and long term.
  • Concentrate on what should be addresses immediately and action this.
  • What needs to be further researched?
  • What needs to be planned further?

The below are templates which you are free to download and edit. We highly recommend concentrating on the quality of the content above all else. From feedback, clients appreciate the personalised touch. Photos of individual stores and the specific brand are encouraged to get you SWOT analysis across.

Download SWOT Analysis templates

Word format

PDF format

Powerpoint format