227 Byres Road
Glasgow, G12 8UD
Tel.: 0141 334 3811
The surge in the number of food programmes on television seen over recent years, giving birth to the celebrity chef phenomenon, has meant that the focus on food has never been so sharp as it is today, as evidenced in the number of new restaurants opening their doors to discerning diners in Glasgow of late.
Not only has Glaswegian’s healthy appetite for dining out led to a burgeoning restaurant scene, but it has prompted many more school-leavers than ever before to consider pursuing a career in the catering and hospitality sector, lured, no doubt, by the heady mixture of fame and financial rewards that such a career can offer.
For whilst catering has traditionally suffered from a perception of offering mostly low paid, part-time jobs to unskilled candidates, the current focus on food has led to a growing recognition that there are genuine career opportunities to be had for those candidates with the requisite skills, ambition and attitude to carve out a successful and prosperous career for themselves in catering.
But though many youngsters in Scotland attend food colleges, not all graduates will choose to work in Scotland. In common with any other business sector, the catering trade has its own drain on skills to contend with, as chefs and others are lured to work in restaurants in London, New York or elsewhere by the prospects of more enticing, and perhaps lucrative, career opportunities.
Nevertheless, career opportunities in the local hospitality trade have never been so good. Indeed, where once restaurateurs could pick and choose from a menu of prospective waiters eager to secure employment, the boot is now on the other foot with talented waiters better placed than ever before to pick and choose where they would like to work and whom they would like to work for.
Not only is the restaurant trade thriving on the back of a healthy demand from diners for more and better restaurants, but quality standards are rising too – not only in terms of the food served up to hungry customers, but also in terms of the calibre of catering staff and the wages such staff can command.
Where waitering, for example, was once considered as little other than a stop gap dead end job, today it is recognised as a career offering genuine opportunities for progress for those individuals with the requisite attributes.
The virtuous circle that presently characterises the catering trade – a greater interest in food from the general public leading more diners to eat out, leading to more restaurants, attracting more recruits into the industry, raising quality standards to everyone’s benefit – has meant that the hospitality sector can now provide rewarding careers for those individuals prepared to put in the long hours and to do the work required to reap the rewards on offer.
Enlightened restaurateurs recognise the ability of their staff – whether cleaners, kitchen or waitering staff – and prize those employees who can complement the requisite skills required to succeed in their particular duties and responsibilities with the right attitude and focus on customer care.
As a service industry, customer care is the axis around which the catering sector revolves. Repeat trade is important to every restaurant and customer loyalty to a favoured eating place is likely to be tested if there is an obvious high turnover in kitchen and waitering personnel resulting in inconsistent quality standards.
That’s why enlightened restaurateurs invest in their employees, not only by offering them attractive terms and conditions, but also through the provision of opportunities for career progression as well as access to training programmes designed to expand and develop their skills base. That produces the dream win:win:win scenario within which employees, restaurateurs and, most importantly, diners, all benefit as a consequence.
And it is because of our recognition of the important part played by all the employees in determining the success of any catering venture, that we have deliberately chosen to employ in-house staff for our latest restaurant, Paperinos West, on Glasgow’s Byres Road. That’s why we have managed our recruitment strategy over the last six months by deliberately appointing more staff than absolutely necessary for our existing outlets, so that we are able to deliver to our customers the best quality service from our newest venture right from the outset.
Glasgow’s discerning diners have developed an acute taste for quality food and service of late. With the calibre of recruits coming into the catering trade now higher than ever before, Glasgow’s restaurants are better placed than ever before to satisfy this appetite for excellence.
Sandro Giovanazzi is a director at Paperinos West End