With food intolerance’s and dietary requirements on the rise, we recently conducted some research to see the approach fine dining pubs and restaurants are taking to facilitate the ever-rising demand for alternative dishes and how strongly this is being implemented in kitchens across the UK.
Although the results of the survey are not shocking by any means, we do think they highlight the importance of hiring staff who are educated on nutritional information and know the impact food intolerance’s can have on patrons.
The research revealed that while more than 95% of chefs report that their restaurant caters for food intolerance’s and healthy eating, and half are providing on the job training on diet and nutrition, almost one in five chefs (18%) have worked in kitchens that operate a ‘soft’ policy on food intolerance’s.
This means that many of London’s fast paced eateries sometimes serve food prepared with small amounts of, for example, animal stock in vegetarian meals or of wheat in dishes labelled as gluten free. This is not a deliberate policy – this happens accidentally because of the speed with which employees have to work in busy and often understaffed kitchens.
The good news is that almost 50% of chefs said they had received on the job training in diet and nutrition and just over a third chefs (37%) said they had learned about these topics as part of a formal chef training course or through attending a separate course specifically on diet and nutrition (15%). However, 5% of chefs claim to have had no formal training on nutrition and diet at all.
Taking into consideration the immense 360% increase in the number of vegans and vegetarians in the UK, we asked how many restaurants offered vegan and vegetarian options to their customers:
As many as 48% of chefs working at fine dining establishments say their restaurant offers vegetarian options, and 42% offer vegan dishes. A third of chefs said their restaurant took part in ‘Veganuary’, a campaign that encourages people to try vegan food during January.
Whilst an increasing amount of restaurants are making calorie information more visible, the majority of chefs (69%) think that restaurants should provide diners with more nutritional information such as calorie count, sugar and salt content.
With the rise in hospitality establishments choosing to conduct recruitment via apps where staff are very rarely screened, or reference checked, we do worry about the standard of cooking, health and hygiene in the UK. We believe that in order to maintain a high standard in kitchens, those responsible for hospitality recruitment need to think about everything from working hours of staff, remuneration, company culture and the training and development they offer – especially when it comes to nutrition and dietary requirements.
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We work with some of the best restaurant and hotel groups in the world, all of which offer outstanding training and development opportunities, good remuneration and competitive benefit packages. If you are interested in chef’s jobs in hotels or chef jobs in restaurants, give us a call on 02079236021 or submit your CV.