The Dutch catering industry is currently suffering from an acute staffing shortage. So much so that entrepreneurs and restaurant owners have been forced to bring in cooks from Portugal, Spain, and Greece.
The catering industry is allowed to open again, but it hasn’t been plain sailing — many restaurants are severely understaffed.
Dick van Ostaden who works at the recruitment company ‘Cooks from Spain’ tells the NOS that “the influx into professional catering training courses is minimal, and is currently at 30% of its capacity.”
As a result, he has been receiving requests for staff from a wide range of establishments. He’s provided staff for “street corner eateries, to five-star hotels in Amsterdam and Michelin restaurants.”
The coronavirus crisis took a toll
The existing dilemma was intensified during coronavirus. A lot of Dutch staff left the catering industry during lockdown and haven’t been inclined to make their way back to the kitchen.
Hendrik Karabagias, a restaurant owner from Zwolle tells the NOS, “The RIVM and the GGD pay better, and we can’t compete with that.
The demanding schedule also means that many people prefer the idea of working an office job to literally slaving over a hot stove for hours on end.
New ways of operating
In Zwolle, Karabagias has been experimenting with new ways to deal with the staffing shortage. He has placed a tablet on every table so that customers can order their food and drinks themselves without a waiter having to walk back and forth several times. (It works but we miss the friendly faces.)
Some restaurants in the Netherlands have also been offering signing bonuses of a few hundred euros to try and attract new staff — or poach them from their competition. That works too.
What are your thoughts on this crisis in catering? Tell us in the comments below!
Feature Image: Michael Browning/Unsplash