Peter Avis, Galvin at Windows: Staffing issues 'not a crisis' but 'the biggest opportunity our industry has ever had'

The Staff Canteen

On Monday 16th May, The Galvin at Windows Team is hosting a Chef recruitment day 

Taking place at The Mayfair restaurant and bar situated on the 28th floor of the London Hilton, the event is open to anyone interested in being a chef, whether they are already qualified or still a student. 

The general manager of Galvin at Windows, Peter Avis, explained his hope was that this event would "showcase the great opportunities" within the hospitality sector, "not just in Hilton."

"I personally believe the time has come for us as industry leaders to showcase the great things about being a chef."

Attendees will be invited to join in with three masterclasses, each of which will be hosted by chefs - Davis Jaram, Steven Trig, and Coryn Fahey - focusing on a particular topic: butchery, chocolate, and fishmongery. After this, the potential recruits will be treated to a four-course meal.

Not A crisis, but 'the biggest opportunity our industry has ever really had'

Peter doesn't shy from the reality that staffing is one of the industry's most pressing issues for the industry at the moment, he chooses to view the situation for its potential. He said: "I think the landscape we're in now is a very critical one, I personally don't see it as a crisis; I personally see it as the biggest opportunity our industry has ever had." 

"Because I'm a lad from Liverpool that washed dishes that went on to great success who is now a general manager, I think my position on what is deemed as a staffing crisis is [that it's] a new opportunity for us to engage with British talent."

Whatever the possibilities, challenges undeniably lie ahead. Being in London, Peter has seen just how fierce the competition for jobs is with people constantly trying to out-compete each other.

A hyper-competitive market

He said: "I've got competitors who are literally circling my business like sharks at the moment and people that I deem as trusted colleagues and friends within the industry I'm now finding out they're approaching my staff and offering them salaries that I can't compete with. I think that's where the loyalty and professionalism are starting to be questioned and I think that's a big concern."

However, even given all this competition and people offering increasingly higher salaries for jobs in the industry, Peter isn't discouraged.

He said: "We're talking a lot in our industry, right now about the money and about the pay. I talk a lot more about how people are looking for value as well. They're looking for opportunities in the businesses they're in, they're looking for training, they're looking for mentorship, and they're looking for mental health support."

"I think, as leaders, there are many things you can offer to your team to retain them. Okay, it's great to offer more money, but, I think, as a sector, we've got to be careful because what will happen is those with lots of revenue and lots of money in the bank, they are the ones that are going to get the staff and the ones that don't are going to be the losers."

Changing the competition

So, that is where this event comes in. While the event is first and foremost a recruitment event. It is also trying to remind everyone why it is that people work in the hospitality industry.

Peter said, "I think the fact that we've been through a pandemic and we're coming into this new landscape, I think we've all forgotten why we do what we do. We do it because we love people, we love food, we love serving people."

So, with this event, the hope is that it'll remind people that, in Peter's words, "There are great opportunities and there's a great career to be had as a chef."

If you are interested in being a part of this event more information can be found here.

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th May 2022

Peter Avis, Galvin at Windows: Staffing issues 'not a crisis' but 'the biggest opportunity our industry has ever had'