Hourly Pay for Chefs Jumps by Up to 20% Amid Staff Shortages

Average hourly pay for temporary chefs has risen by as much as 20% in parts of the UK over the past year, data released by Indeed Flex, the online staffing platform for temporary work, has revealed.

Indeed Flex’s analysis of tens of thousands of chef shifts posted on its platform reveal that hourly pay for temporary chefs has risen by 11% across the UK on average, compared to 5% for other restaurant roles.

Such is the demand for professional cooks, chef job postings on Indeed Flex are up 97% on average across the UK compared to last year — but not all chefs are working the long, unsociable hours commonly associated with the job.

There are signs that chefs value the extra flexibility they gain through temping rather than working full-time. More than half (57%) of chefs taking shifts through Indeed Flex are choosing to work more sociable hours, such as a conventional 9-5 schedule, compared to the 43% who work late nights.

Data from the ONS shows the hospitality industry currently has 146,000 vacancies, though this is down on the record-high 173,000 vacancies seen this summer2.

The festive season is critical for the hospitality sector, which will be hoping for a bumper end to 2022 following two Covid-impacted Christmases. However, the cost of living crisis could further hamper the hard-hit industry as its ‘make or break’ season begins.

Towns and cities with biggest hourly pay rise for chefs in 2022 v 2021

Novo Constare, CEO and Co-founder of Indeed Flex, said:
“Times have been tough for the hospitality industry ever since the pandemic began, and unfortunately it continues to wrestle with an acute shortage of staff.

“Intense competition among employers for skilled staff has driven up hourly pay rates for temp workers across the board. Chefs are especially sought after, and can reap big rewards with their expertise.

“Meanwhile for businesses that are struggling to recruit full-time staff, being able to turn to temporary workers has proved a lifeline — as it enables them to fill shifts as and when required. They can also scale their workforce up and down, depending on when they are busiest.

“For the chefs themselves, flexible work offers a chance to do something not everyone in their profession can — work sociable hours and choose exactly when they want to work.”