,UK

Wagamama warns of price hikes as it faces recruitment struggles

CEO Thomas Heier also revealed plans to expand the 147-strong UK chain.

Wagamama said it is facing difficulty in hiring chefs across nearly a fifth of its restaurants as the sector battles amidst a "perfect storm" of supply chain and staff woes.

Thomas Heier, the Pan-Asian group’s recently appointed chief executive, detailed that he was struggling to fill chef vacancies in around 30 sites.

Brexit, he said, was impacting the number of European workers looking for jobs in the UK, but also cited tough competition in the recruitment market as logistics firms are resorting to wage hikes and cash bonuses to respond to lorry and delivery driver shortages.

“We’ve seen a reduction in our EU workforce in particular, but the other thing we’re seeing is increased competition from logistics and delivery firms who are struggling with an increased number of vacancies,” Heier said to the PA news agency.

“It’s a perfect storm of higher than normal demand, with supply chain challenges in the mix and a shortage of staff on the logistics side,” he added.

Whilst the business is not in a position where it is desperately short of chefs or ingredients, Heier warned it could lead to rising food prices.

“I don’t think we or anyone else are out of the water yet,” he shared.

Heier also revealed plans to expand the 147-strong UK chain, aiming to have another 40 sites over the next five years, including delivery kitchens.

Join QSRMedia UK community
Since you're here...

...there are many ways you can work with us to advertise your company and connect to your customers. Our team can help you dight and create an advertising campaign, in print and digital, on this website and in print magazine.

We can also organize a real life or digital event for you and find thought leader speakers as well as industry leaders, who could be your potential partners, to join the event. We also run some awards programmes which give you an opportunity to be recognized for your achievements during the year and you can join this as a participant or a sponsor.

Let us help you drive your business forward with a good partnership!

The restaurant will have a floor dedicated to takeaway transactions.
It is seeking franchisees interested in single or multi-unit operations immediately.
The pizza franchise already has over 500 stores in the UK.
The pop-up arrives roughly five months after the chain tried one in Cologne, Germany.
The chain’s rollout of outlets will see them reach nearly 100 UK sites by the end of summer 2022.
The chain, whose city centre outlets were hit hard by COVID-19 restrictions, describes the move as the next step in its ‘transformation” strategy.
This will be the brand’s 74th UK restaurant opening.
Flipdish UK country manager Fionn Hart makes a case for digital interface solutions as an answer.
The CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index predicts continued inflation over the remainder of 2021.
It is slated to have 100 restaurants over the next five years as part of a master franchise deal.
Its founder says the chain’s on the road to recovery.