Should talented chefs be employed from abroad?


Should talented chefs be employed from abroad?

Should talented chefs be employed from abroad?

A well respected
Indian restaurant group has abandoned plans to extend its business in the
UK due to immigration laws meaning it cannot bring chefs across from
India to work in its establishments.

But is the fact that Masala World is restricted in this way good or bad for the
hospitality industry, Britain and the economy?

The UK is in a situation where there is mass unemployment and it needs to encourage
businesses to employ its citizens, especially the younger generation. Masala World is in need of chefs with specific skills and it appears that it does not feel it can find them in the UK, reports Big Hospitality. So instead of encouraging the business to employ more home grown talent it has prevented the company from expanding in the UK and bringing growth to the economy.

It is overseas destinations which are therefore benefitting from Masala World's expansion plans over the UK. The legislation is relatively new, having been introduced in April last year, but is particularly restrictive for restaurants wanting to employ chefs from abroad. Namita Panjabi, of Masala World, said: "The legislation makes it impossible for us to employ people to actually cook the food. Gourmet ethnic restaurants need cooks that understand the difference between mediocre and great tastes, and that generally takes significant immersion in the cuisine."

Masala World is not the only company which has found problems occurring due to the new rules, with the Hakkasan Group and Busaba Eathai chain also coming up against problems. Alan Yau, of Busaba Eathai, said: "The legislation has made it very difficult to open more Busabas and has squeezed the quality of authentic offers across the sector."

He has decided to modify the menu under the legislation so that it relies less heavily on Thai chefs, but not all companies are prepared to do this. The Asian casual dining sector is one which has growing significantly in recent years, but this has slowed due to the new rules, which are restricting an area with potential to help the economy grow.

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