A 3 way conversation about wages in the pizza industry

Posted on Monday, March 15, 2021 by Alan Pizzaiolo TribeNo comments

This week, like another week really, there was a thread about wages in the pizza sector. This time though it inspired some constructive conversation and here at Pizzaiolo Tribe we like a good, constructive, sensible conversation.

So here are 3 different views, from a pizzaiolo, a pizzeria owner and an impartial entity (Pizzaiolo Tribe)

Pizzaiolo (Adrian):

May I ask the group moderator a politely worded question?
How do you feel about the current crop of very poorly paid job offers for our specialist skill?
Most recently a 9p above minimum wage offer!
£10 seems a common offer, which a couple of years ago out side of the south of England and London you could have lived on. But given the lack of difference between the NMW and this offer what can be done to encourage recognition of our skill as worthy of at least reasonable pay?
In 1986 Belfast I was paid £10 per hour net to only spin pizza. In 2020, 36 years later to spin pizza £10 is the "Gross" offer why? Can any one offer conversation on this issue.
Thanks to Administration for this group

Pizzeria owner (Isa):

You are looking at the matter only from the employee's point of view.
When employers make offers these are usually general adverts. Specific job offers will be made after the trial.
I hired "pizza chef" who could not put 5 pizzas at the same time in the oven. Some who could keep with the standard dough, after a week they felt they could add Oil 'because they saw it in other places', people who can't deal with busy time so they need a help, lately many who need metal plates to cook pizzas otherwise the bases burn 🤔, people who waste so much food, or do not prepare enough. I am not even going on cleanliness etc..
Honestly, I speak on behalf of many: I am happy to pay a professional £15/h (or target contracts) but you guys are making a cartel including amateurs who are exploiting the situation. You are guilty because you now bond altogether and don't check skills assuming that every pizza chef is actually a pizza chef, but in the domain there are so many scams who are nothing but time wasters and ruin the category, waste people's time and money. If you are a gain for any entrepreneur, she/he will recognise it and award you with a good contract from the beginning. I honestly now put a hand on my forehead, when I think of hiring a pizza chef I have headache 😅. Surely there is the need of some changes for the sake or real professionals and employees.
I hope I got the point of your question.

Pizzaiolo Tribe:

with Marco Fuso we briefly bounced the idea of creating a "charter" that pizzerias would sign to, that would signal that you are applying for work for a decent employer. As Isa said most employers would be more than happy to pay above the rate advertised, if the pizzaiolo can add value to the business. I wrote several blog posts on this topic at pizzaiolotribe.com/resources/blog. One of the problems is that the profession has no barriers to entry (like say a plumber or electrician), no recognised certificates and basically anyone can claim to be a pizzaiolo. Very few people unlike chefs, start making pizza at 15 and choose this as a profession. Very few people put in the hours necessary to keep up with new trends, technical and technological improvements etc. Very few people ask themselves how can I add value to this business. There is loads of unprofessionalism in our sector. What we call Pizzaiolo 2.0 will be the pizzaiolo of the future, someone that can make different doughs, come up with new ideas, use technology, keep an eye on labour and food costs. For this sort of pizzaiolo work will be always available and salaries will be always satisfactory


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