Orchard Hotel in Sydney offers $5000 to find a chef

An Aussie pub has offered a $5000 finder’s fee to anyone who can find its next head chef.

Orchard Hotel in Sydney made the bold move in August – offering $2500 if the referred chef was the chosen applicant and a further $2500 upon the chef finishing their probation period.

Publican Matt Docker told 9 News he has a new head chef starting this month but finding and keeping good staff was tough.

“It’s a shocker,” he said.

“It’s almost like every week I’ve got a staff member leaving because they’ve got a better option.

“To be honest, I probably paid a bit more than I wanted to for a head chef, but I was quite vulnerable, and it’s one of the most important positions.”

Mr Docker said as well as the offer, he had also forked out $1500 to promote the advert on a jobs board website.

But the incentives don’t stop in the pub’s kitchen, with the publican offering a $300 referral bonus for bar staff.

He told 9 Newsof the struggle to keep the bar staffed, as well as the kitchen.

“About four or five weeks ago, I had to shut the public bar. I just wouldn’t even open it some days because I didn’t have enough staff in the roster to build a shift,” he said.

Mr Docker’s other pub, the Earlwood Hotel in south west Sydney, had also been hit with a staffing crisis.

“My general manager is basically at his wit’s end because he can’t fill his rosters,” he said.

“He needs someone on the bar, so what he is doing is filling in as a bartender. He is doing his job and then an eight-hour bar shift.”

It comes amid a busy ramp-up following the pandemic, which has left New South Wales “chronically” short of hospitality workers.

Australian Hotels Association NSW CEO John Whelan said in September that the hospitality sector was suffering from worker shortages.

“There’s been a chronic shortage of hospitality workers in NSW for a long time – and that’s only been exacerbated by the pandemic,” Mr Whelan said.

In September, Australia’s hospitality sector was reportedly “tens of thousands” of workers short.

Read related topics:Sydney

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