Stonegate’s recipe for chef retention


STONEGATE Pub Company claims to have reduced its chef turnover by 32% through an apprenticeship programme.

The company, which employs a kitchen workforce of 2600 across more than 700 pubs, developed the programme in conjunction with training firm Remit Group. It is part of Stonegate’s wider development scheme, Albert’s Theory of Progression, which covers all front and back-of-house roles within the business.

In addition to improving chef retention Stonegate claims to have increased food margins by 1.8% in its sites as a result of the chef apprenticeship scheme.

Jemelle Bish, apprenticeship manager at Stonegate, said: “The industry as a whole tends to struggle with recruitment and retention when it comes to back-of-house roles. The competition is tough, chefs are always in demand, and a lot of the time they chose alternative roles.

“The success of the chef apprenticeship programme has been seen at all levels. We have seen a 1.8% improvement in food margin in sites with apprentice chefs on the programme, repaying the apprenticeship levy investment many times over. Not to mention the success we have seen in chef retention too – with chef turnover reducing by 32%.”

Stonegate operates a number of managed pub brands across the UK, including Slug & Lettuce and Walkabout.