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Why should anyone work here?

The answer to that question is one of the most important things for people who run or manage restaurants to know, because if you can’t explain it how will anyone else know the answer? Sometimes when I get asked that I apologise that my answer is boring, because it’s basically that everyone is really nice and it’s a stable place to work. Today we’re trying to go a bit further with ‘stability’ by saying that we’ll honour ‘furlough’ out of our own pockets for anyone who joins now but doesn’t qualify for the government scheme.

Most restaurant companies give you a different answer from ‘nice’ and ‘stable’. They give you ‘fun’ and ‘opportunity’, and don’t get me wrong those things are true here. We fill 80% of our senior jobs through promotion, and we give you loads of development. Work in hospitality is generally fun, but why would you join a company just for a good staff party once or twice a year?

I apologise for my answer because the following stuff is not particularly racy: critical illness cover, benefit to your families if you die, access to healthcare and counselling, decent maternity/paternity, compassionate leave for family problems, decent hours, healthy staff food, extra support at Christmas. It is, however, the kind of thing people learn to appreciate, the kind of thing that means people stay at Hawksmoor for a long time. It’s the kind of thing that helped us be listed as one of the best employers in the country for 10 years in a row based on anonymous feedback from our staff.

Today hospitality has a massive recruitment problem. Many people have gone back to their countries (and won’t be ‘replaced’ by people coming over from the EU), some have left cities and gone back ‘home’, and many have left the industry. Perhaps they found other jobs, perhaps they felt the industry lacked security at a time when many business and staff feel scapegoated or underappreciated by the government. When the Home Secretary calls you ‘low skilled’ and you know you are anything but, that’s an understandable reaction.

Furlough is currently a big impediment to joining a company in hospitality. If you’re new you don’t qualify, which goes right to the heart of stability at a time when Covid still makes working life feel a little volatile. So Hawksmoor is going to cover furlough (80% of average hours) for anyone who for any reason needs to self-isolate. It’ll kick in as soon as you’ve passed your month’s probation, and we hope that it will help people take that final step into a new job.

As I always say (and have done recently in an Instagram Q&A on the subject, saved on our highlights) don’t take our word for whether Hawksmoor is a good employer, ask around. Check our awards and our Glassdoor reviews. At the moment ‘nice’ and ‘stable’ (alongside all that other good stuff) sounds pretty good.