The Burlington Restaurant at The Devonshire Arms Hotel and Spa in Bolton Abbey has become the next property to pioneer a four-day working week for its chefs.
The move represents an investment by Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants Group, owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, totalling around £100k per annum, with new chef positions being created to support the change.
The Burlington’s kitchen brigade will increase from 11 to 15, with an apprentice chef position included in the mix.
The revised working hours is a ‘pilot scheme’ which will apply to only the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, ‘The Burlington’, at this stage.
Chefs will work 48 hours a week, over four days on ‘straight shifts’, allowing them to reclaim a healthier way of living, doing the job that they love, whilst having time to enjoy life outside of work too.
The change in working hours at ‘The Burlington’ coincides with the restaurant’s search for a new head chef, to replace Paul Evans, who will leave the business later this month.
A number of other benefits have also been introduced to improve staff welfare, including improved standards of staff accommodation, an hourly rate of pay which is above the minimum wage, removal of ‘split shifts’, full allocation of the 5% service charge to staff, and discounts on eating out and attractions across all businesses in the group, social outings and events.
General manager of The Devonshire Arms Hotel and Spa, Adam Dyke, commented:“The introduction of shorter hours in The Burlington is a ground breaking move, which demonstrates our commitment to the sustainability of the hospitality industry, as well as putting the welfare of our chefs first and foremost – we wish to reward our chefs in a manner commensurate to their talents and hard work. For many years chefs have notoriously received a raw deal, working ridiculous hours for the love of the job was standard practise. Smart operators are starting to recognise that action needs to be taken to address the balance. So at ‘The Dev’, we’re acting proactively to ensure that we are seen as one of the industry leaders – as far as I know we are the first hotel in the North of England to take this step.”
The four red-star Devonshire Arms Hotel and Spa, has recently won several awards, including The White Rose Awards, 2016, ‘Large Hotel of the Year’ and The Yorkshire Post Oliver Awards, 2016, ‘Best Hotel Restaurant’.
The hotel is part of The Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants Group, which has several properties located across the Duke of Devonshire’s estates in Yorkshire and Derbyshire, including The Devonshire Fell and two inns, also known as The Devonshire Arms, on the Chatsworth Estate.
The news follows the announcement that the Grove of Narberth in Pembrokeshire is to condense its chefs’ working hours into four days, marking the first business in Wales to make the move.