Galvin Restaurants’ Recipe For Success: Sponsoring Hospitality Workers With Nation.better

UK sponsor international employees
UK sponsor international employees

Galvin Restaurants’ Recipe For Success: Sponsoring Hospitality Workers With Nation.better

Galvin Restaurants is a family-run collection of restaurants founded in 2005 by Michelin star brothers – Chris & Jeff Galvin. Their first restaurant was opened in the same year on Baker Street. The variety of restaurants offer diners the opportunity to enjoy an array of dining experiences from French bistrot to modern English grills.

Company: Galvin Restaurants  

Industry: Hospitality

Total employees: 150 

Total sponsored employees: 10

Immigration route: Skilled Worker visa

Why did Galvin Restaurants turn to international recruitment?

Galvin restaurants were significantly impacted by the pandemic. As the hospitality industry grappled with lockdowns and restrictions, the restaurant group found themselves needing to restructure their teams. Furthermore, various international hospitality employees found themselves stuck abroad or decided not to return to the UK due to rising costs of living. This resulted in a shortage of skilled workers once pandemic restrictions were eased, and finally lifted.  

Source: More hospitality businesses obtain Sponsor licence

As a Michelin-starred restaurant group, relying on temporary staffing solutions from agencies was not a sustainable option. The pressure to find and retain professional staff extended to the kitchen staff as chef jobs became increasingly competitive resulting in higher salary incentives to retain staff. Realising the UK labour market could not cater to their professional needs, Galvin Restaurants turned to international recruitment.  

Why did Galvin Restaurants partner with Nation.better?

Nation.better was referred to Galvin Restaurants by a mutual business contact. Ultimately in July 2022, Nation.better supported the group in obtaining a Sponsor Licence, so they could start hiring international chefs and other hospitality professionals. 

Source: More chefs are recruited via Skilled Worker route

The decision to expand their recruitment strategy to an international scale was not taken lightly. Their main concerns were associated with accessing the international labour market, the complexity of the Home Office procedures and policies on immigration law, or where to find the right candidates for the opened skilled positions. The group initially sought help from recruitment agencies, but the uncertainty about compliantly sponsoring visa-holding candidates’ was a principal concern, therefore they turned to Nation.better. 

Galvin restaurants were satisfied that Nation.better could provide them with tailored support and guidance on how to start recruiting internationally with our comprehensive immigration services. Through our automated Eligibility Check, we ensure that all candidates our clients hire via the Skilled Worker route are fully eligible, and the employer stays compliant with the Home Office requirements. The Eligibility Check report includes an overview of the visa application process, application timeline, and the candidates’ visa eligibility, therefore all stages are transparently communicated to the business and the overall immigration process is seamless. 

Skilled worker visa for chefs
Source: Using Skilled Worker route to hire chefs became necessary for hospitality industry to overcome skills shortage

Furthermore, the restaurant group expressed that scheduling remote interviews for kitchen positions was very challenging given that they had to devise a better strategy to assess candidates’ culinary skills. However, this challenge was addressed by introducing tailored interview questions crafted by highly trained chefs – this allowed the recruitment team to assess their expertise, skills and technique. 

As the restaurants’ teams continue to diversify with internationally talented chefs, Galvin restaurants expressed the adaptability of internationally talented chefs was not a challenge. The company offers migration support for each sponsored chef as well as training to ensure they adapt to their position. Yet with candidates migrating to the UK from Dubai, Maldives and other parts of the world they already possess international culinary experience, allowing them to adapt to new cuisines and culinary styles fairly quickly. 

How did Nation.better support Galvin Restaurants?

In the challenging landscape of international recruitment, Galvin Restaurants relied on Nation.better’s legal expertise to obtain a Sponsor Licence. We have leveraged technology to create a digital platform that streamlines and simplifies Sponsor Licence and visa application processes, allowing businesses like Galvin Restaurants to navigate the complexities of immigration with ease and confidence. 

Since obtaining its Sponsor Licence, the group has sponsored 10 skilled Chefs, from a both global and national talent pool. Here at Nation.better we support businesses to streamline their candidate’s Skilled Worker visa regardless of whether they are applying from inside or outside of the UK. 

Galvin restaurants are now in touch with our team regarding our recruitment services. We have a database full of qualified professionals eligible for sponsorship in their respective fields.

What are the main results?

Galvin Restaurants are satisfied with the results that have been achieved so far – the retention rate has improved, team morale has been boosted, and staff are collaborating effectively which is driving the business forward.

UK skilled worker visa restaurant
Source: Andreea Cotet, Head of People at Galvin Restaurants

The restaurant group was very “happy with the immigration support they received” from Nation.better team. Our immigration advisors provided clear and straightforward guidance, making the process smoother and more efficient. Our immigration advisor, Oxana quickly became a valued partner in the company’s immigration endeavours. With her kind demeanour and comprehensive knowledge our partnership has flourished. 

How can Nation.better assist you?

In the challenging realm of fine dining, Galvin Restaurants’ partnership with Nation.better has proven to be a recipe for success. By embracing international recruitment and obtaining a Sponsor Licence, they have not only overcome challenges but have also elevated their culinary journey to new heights.

Unlock international recruitment for your business, starting with a free consultation with our team. 

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