Recruitment Success Stories: Liz from Bendigo - "Now I can just run the pub and let my chefs cook" | TSS Recruitment

Recruitment Success Stories: Liz from Bendigo - "Now I can just run the pub and let my chefs cook"

  • Andrew Silverman

A large part of our business is getting out onto the road and visiting clients in regional areas. The work we do is incredibly important to our clients, our candidates and to us so it’s imperative that communication and feedback doesn’t stop once a successful placement is made.

We get a great deal of pleasure hearing our success stories first hand. Meeting our clients and candidates around Australia reinforces what a difference the 457 program can make not only to a business but also to the lives of our overseas applicants.

Recently I went on a road trip through Heathcote, Bendigo and Marong in Victoria. A large proportion of the trip was meeting prospective clients, those sadly suffering when it comes to staffing levels and retention.

One particular pub owner is currently awaiting the arrival of her 7th Head Chef in just two years. Her previous two chefs lasted 3 months and 2 months respectively. That’s a new Head Chef every 12 weeks!

Those numbers may surprise you but for us at TSS it’s a story we hear too often. Despite our empathy as hospitality professionals many business owners are somewhat immune to its gravity. The part that does surprise us is the sheer amount of business owners with a seemingly nonchalant preparedness to continue through what is a vicious cycle of chef appointment failures.

In early 2015 I received a call from Liz, the Venue Manager of a hotel near Bendigo. Here was another publican who had clearly run out of options.

Chef walk outs, food quality complaints, chefs poached by competitors and numerous terminations, each case more sinister than the last – and those were just some of the seemingly endless horror stories she had experienced in the previous 12 months alone.

This had become an unstable business that was unraveling at a worrying rate the result of which saw disgruntled staff, customers deserting them in droves and dwindling takings creating a business that was fast becoming unsustainable.

As is almost always the case they had to start thinking outside the box. If they continued to approach staff appointments in the same fashion their results would more than likely remain the same. Employing a chef from offshore on a 457 visa was the only thing left to try and it simply had to work.

Through TSS, a chef from the Philippines was appointed and the difference was instant. He not only brought a work ethic they hadn’t seen prior but an enthusiasm for his cooking they were convinced no longer existed. The kitchen now had a motivated and experienced chef who effortlessly took to the hotel like a fish to water.

The bonus was that he also brought all he had learned in roles held around the world including experience cooking a range of different cuisines, adding new and exciting elements to the existing menu.

It wasn’t long before Liz appointed a second and third chef from overseas with one of them taking over the role of Head Chef. With 3 dedicated and experienced Filipino chefs presiding over the kitchen food sales soared within a few short months, a 25% increase with that figure continuing to grow.

16 months down the track and Liz and her team are back on track, unburdened by their plague of flippant and lacklustre staff.

“I can’t possibly thank TSS enough” Liz explained.

“The difference these boys have made to this business cannot be measured. We just love them and not sure how we ever survived before them”.

“They are a pleasure to deal with, always smiling and nothing is ever too difficult for them. Every day they are here and every day they are on time.”

“We used to have complaints about our food all day every day. We just don’t get any now. It’s made my life so much easier because I can just run the pub and let my chefs cook”.

Chefs Cidriel, Antonio and Franky today run the kitchen providing full a la carte service 7 days and nights a week while catering for numerous private functions – a service previously cancelled due to an inability to maintain appropriate staffing levels.

Head Chef Cidriel now lives in his own apartment with his wife and children who have joined him in Australia, with the kids settled into a local primary school. Speaking to Cidriel he couldn’t be happier!

“I love it here and my wife and children love it too. Liz has been so good to me and my family so it is my pleasure to look after her. We are settled now in our own apartment and we are not going anywhere”.

Chefs Antonio and Franky continue to share a house together. Having purchased their own cars they make frequent trips to Melbourne to experience the great restaurants around the city to gain further knowledge and inspiration for their own work.

At TSS we love seeing the difference our work makes to so many people. The 457 program is not for everyone but for businesses particularly in regional areas where it can be a constant struggle it sure beats 7 Head Chefs in 2 years.