What you need to know

The Need-To-Know Guide to Becoming a Relief Chef in 2020

What are Relief Chefs and why are they needed?

With good permanent chefs in short supply, 2020 is going to see huge demand for Relief Chefs, and the benefits to you of trading in residency for relief could be significant.

A Relief Chef typically performs temporary work cover in all types of catering kitchens, taking on various tasks or focusing on one particular section. The nature of being a Relief Chef is that you move from one kitchen to another, so it particularly suits those chefs that are experienced, calm and professional. Here at Goldstar Recruitment, we are seeing more and more Senior and Executive Level Chefs interested in Relief work. 

Kitchens may need to seek out Relief Chefs for all sorts of reasons. For example, to cover staff holidays, sickness or during a recruitment period. They may also just need an extra pair of hands in the kitchen, perhaps at a busy time of year or around an event.

The Benefits of Working as a Relief Chef

It is no surprise to hear that many chefs find their pay often doesn’t reflect the long hours  and key challenge of working in a permanent role. Others will thrive on stability, getting to know a core team and being able to work up the ranks. At the end of the day, it all comes down to what you are looking for from your work and what stage you’re at in your career. Here are some of the key benefits to becoming a Relief Chef:

1) Choose your hours for a better work-life balance

Do you have a young family, or have you spent years working weekends and you’ve now decided you want more flexible working hours on your own terms? Well, the good news about working as a Relief Chef is that you say when you’re available and the work will fit in with that. At Goldstar Recruitment, we always have a need for Relief Chefs so it means that we can keep you busy for the hours you want to work. This flexibility will undoubtedly mean that you are able to continue doing what you love but with the added benefit of a better work-life balance, being able to spend time with your family or having more time for yourself. 

2) Get paid for all the hours you work

It is common knowledge that while permanent chef salaries reflect a 40-hour week, the reality is that most chefs end up working more like 80 hours per week. So, for all those late nights and overtime, it’s no surprise that as a Relief Chef you can end up being financially better off, getting paid for every hour that you work. As a Goldstar relief chef you can expect to be paid between £11 – £15 per hour depending on what level of chef you’ll be working as and where the work is located. As long as you’re keen, flexible and reliable, you’ll be kept busy and earning a healthy wage!

3) Keep it all about the cooking and less about the politics

Most chefs choose to do what they do because they love to cook and they love the buzz of the commercial kitchen. But like all workplaces, kitchens can come with stress and politics which can take the fun out of the job. A reason why some of our senior and executive chefs have switched to relief work in recent years is that they find it is the best way of doing what they love (cooking!) whilst being able to avoid the day-to-day ‘kitchen politics.’

4) Experience new ways of working, new kitchens and new people

Just like anything, people find that repetition can sometimes reduce motivation and the opportunity for new challenges. Many chefs love the variety that comes with relief work as it means they are constantly working in new environments, learning new skills and meeting new people. This is great for both more and less experienced chefs for different reasons, and even if relief work is temporary, many find that doing it for a period of time can really add to their skillset and give them that all important kitchen buzz. 

At Goldstar, we work with a huge variety of different locations, placing hundreds of chefs in restaurants, gastro pubs, universities, colleges and schools which means no two jobs are ever the same. There might even be the opportunity for ‘live in’ accommodation during the job if it’s for more than one day. 

For this reason, relief work is great for seasoned chefs that have spent years in one kitchen and want to mix things up, and also a great solution for those starting out who want to have a go at working in different sectors to see what environment they like best. 

New IR35 Legislation You need to take note of

We couldn’t write this post on everything you need to know about becoming a relief chef without mentioning the all important new IR35 government legislation that will be introduced from 6 April 2020.

More information on preparing for the changes to the off payroll working rules can be found at gov.uk, but essentially what you need to know as Relief Chefs is that as a freelancer you will need to obtain work through PAYE come April as opposed to through a Limited Company.Using an agency to obtain relief chef work means you will be treated as an employee for tax purposes, and income tax and national insurance will be deducted at source. This is the best way for you to ensure that you are compliant and protected.

What sets Goldstar apart from other agencies?

At Goldstar, we have more work lined up than ever in 2020 so we are always on the lookout for keen and reliable Relief Chefs who we can position in the kitchens that will suit them best. We get to know all our Relief Chefs incredibly well, making sure they are well looked after. As a result, we have a great reputation in and around Oxfordshire, along the M4 corridor and throughout the Cotswolds, for supplying only the very best.

Some of the reasons for you to consider Goldstar as your agency are:

  1. We provide Chef whites and even arrange for your knives to be sharpened.
  2. We offer weekly pay as well as a referral bonus.
  3. We work with clients in different environments such as Colleges, Hotels, Restaurants, Hotels. Private Houses and Events.
  4. We manage your rotas. You tell us when you are free and we arrange the rest.
  5. We work in partnership with you, matching you with the most suitable clients and keeping you busy. 
  6. We are aware of all the new IR35 legislation and can offer advice to keep you compliant and protected.

Our dedicated catering and hospitality recruitment team are here and willing to chat to you about becoming a Relief Chef. We also supply Permanent Chefs and managers so if you are currently seeking your next role, get in touch by sending an email to oxford@goldstarrecruit.co.uk or give us a call on 01993 225 075.

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