With award winning 4-star accommodation and a Certificate of Excellence for both the hotel and Riviera Bar and Grill restaurant, Sanctuary Inn Tamworth have really made a name for themselves.
The factors that contribute to the success of a property are many and varied but for Robert Page and Georgie Pontoni, co-managers at Sanctuary Inn, an integral part of that success is kitchen stability brought about by the introduction of chefs from overseas.
“Before TSS we were using Seek and Indeed to advertise locally and neither of those sites work up here” says Robert.
By the end of 2016, Sanctuary Inn had become an approved sponsor and only six months later their first Nepalese Chef de Partie, Kamal had arrived after eight years working in Dubai.
Kamal would become the first of several overseas chefs sponsored at Sanctuary Inn and would also go on to become Head Chef.
“The chefs through TSS are excellent and not only bring a work ethic so hard to find but a culinary know-how that hasn’t been experienced in Tamworth before” says Georgie.
“More importantly though, they don’t take their job or being in Australia for granted. They respect the opportunity, employer, kitchen and the other staff”
The introduction of overseas chefs into the business has not just brought balance to the kitchen but has allowed Robert and Georgie to concentrate on doing what they do best – running the business.
“If we didn’t have overseas chefs in our kitchen, we wouldn’t be in the position we are now. It’s that simple” says Rob.
As Georgie says though, the success of the process is a two-way street and its important employers are aware of the things they can do to help.
“The chefs need help when they arrive which can be time consuming so employers need to be prepared to put time and effort into helping them adjust”.
“We helped with everything from providing temporary accommodation to bank accounts before moving them into their own place and assisting with furniture” says Georgie.
For now, Sanctuary Inn wouldn’t have it any other way.
“The government need to understand we are all for hiring locals but for us and other businesses like us, overseas chefs are not a want, they are a need. We need them just to function” says Robert.
“We’d be lost without them”.