Leading northern hospitality operator The Inn Collection Group is carving out a fresh way to counter a national shortage of chefs in the trade by growing talent from within.
The pubco has appointed Richard Moore as group development chef following the culinary exponent’s promotion from his role as head chef at the operator’s £4.5m The Commissioners Quay Inn in Blyth, Northumberland
Having worked in some of London’s leading hotel kitchens and headed up the brigade in Newcastle-upon-Tyne’s Theatre Royal for 11-years, where he cooked for royalty including Prince Charles as well as some of the biggest names in UK acting, Mr Moore has set his sights on nurturing new and existing talent in kitchens across the group’s 10-strong and growing estate.
He also plans to set up a chef’s training programme as the group continues its growth journey to more than double its portfolio by 2022.
Mr Moore said: “It’s no secret that there is a chronic shortage of chefs nationally. Long working hours and often unrealistic expectations has seen a dip in young people moving into the hospitality sector.
“The future of the hospitality industry and businesses like The Inn Collection Group lies in the hands of young people coming through. If you have the right environment, training and atmosphere, then people will want to get into the hospitality sector and, more importantly, feel valued and want to stay.”
“Years ago young people, myself included, viewed going into a professional kitchen as a fantastic achievement. We need to revitalise that spirit, to open young people’s eyes to the genuine opportunities available within the industry and to encourage them to see a career as a chef as one worthy of their time and energy. I am extremely excited about taking on the challenge of building on our already strong creative team and nurturing our existing and future young talent.”
Mr Moore is already in talks with Northumberland College in Ashington to set up a new chef training programme for The Inn Collection Group and to introduce kitchen apprenticeships to the company, which currently employs 370 staff across its ten-strong sites.
Around 70 more jobs are set to be created with the opening of The Ambleside Inn in Ambleside in December and The Coniston Inn in Coniston in Spring 2020, both in the Lake District.
Food has become a massively important area for the group as its business has grown and it remains focused on delivering a midmarket offering encompassing freshly-prepared food cooked and eaten in intimate and relaxing surroundings.
The Alchemy-backed group will continue to seek out new development opportunities in the Lake District and Yorkshire as well as within its north east England heartland where the group has inns in Northumberland and County Durham.