Restaurants dish up jobs offer

Allam Shah Ullah in the family restuarant, Cutlers Spice, in Leighton Road, Sheffield.
Allam Shah Ullah in the family restuarant, Cutlers Spice, in Leighton Road, Sheffield.

Sheffield’s Asian restaurants are crying out for kitchen staff to help meet demand...

The city’s restaurateurs claim jobs are there, but there’s a serious shortage of candidates willing to fill them.

Respected chef Allam Shah Ullah, whose family owns Cutlers Spice at Gleadless, says: “It annoys me that my parents have to work so hard at their age to keep the restaurant going. When we first opened three years ago, my father, our head chef, was working around eight hours a day; now it’s up to 15 – and I might as well just live at the restaurant.”

Abdul Malik of Shapla and Saj Quader of Butlers Balti are also having problems recruiting the staff they need.

Part of the problem, they claim, is that youngsters are over-qualified, or reluctant to take on jobs with unsocial hours.

“I’ve always got an advert in the job centre... People ring for an interview but then can’t even be bothered to turn up,” says Allam.

Bringing in workers from overseas to fill the gaps is not an option with the current immigration laws.

Small businesses face particular difficulties because any overseas workers who can legally work in the UK are snapped up by the big chains and hotels.

“This staff shortage is affecting restaurants up and down the country – and not least in Sheffield,” says Allam.

“You can’t have good food without good quality produce. But no matter how good your produce or your restaurant, the food is only as good as the person who cooks it.”