Hire A Sushi Chef For An Event – Since the 1980s, when the United States saw a Japanese food boom, hiring Japanese sushi chefs has become a challenge for Japanese restaurant owners. In this article, we’ll talk about the job market for Japanese sushi chefs, how to hire them, and how to attract potential candidates.
■ Number of Sushi Chefs in Japan According to a 2014 survey by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, there were 24,000 sushi restaurants in Japan. As of June 2021, 33,000 sushi restaurants are listed on Tabelog, one of the most popular restaurants in Japan. Assuming an average of 2-3 sushi chefs per restaurant, there may be 50,000 to 100,000 sushi chefs nationwide.
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■ Age groups Many restaurant owners find it difficult to find sushi chefs in their twenties. In Japan, where the problem of low birth rate and aging population is a persistent problem, in 2021 the average Japanese age will be almost 50 years old. This year, only 1.2 million people turned 50 years old. A million people turning 20 years old. In fact, most of the sushi chefs are 40-60 years old.
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Although the number of young people is dwindling, the sushi industry itself has been developing since the 2010s, with Edo-style sushi becoming popular and gourmets from overseas flocking to Japan. Indeed, a new generation of sushi chefs are opening their own restaurants in their thirties.
■ Median Income According to the National Tax Service’s 2020 Income Survey, the average annual income of Japanese people is ¥4.36 million (about US$40,000). As for sushi chefs, young chefs with little experience earn 2.5 – 3.5 million Yen (about 22,000 – 32,000 USD).
The owner of a popular kaiten-sushi restaurant (a restaurant that serves sushi on an automatic conveyor belt) or an experienced chef at a high-end sushi restaurant can earn between 6 and 10 million yen (approximately 55,000 to 91,000 US dollars).
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■ English Language It is said that 10-20% of the Japanese population can speak English, so it is difficult to find a sushi chef in Japan who speaks English well.
■ Job ads in magazines / websites The most common way to attract job applicants is to post in Japanese on job websites that focus on food service. Since people in Japan still rely on print media in various ways, magazines that specialize in jobs are also effective.
■ Direct message via social networks You can also find a sushi chef you are interested in and send a direct message for a private conversation. In Japan, Facebook is mainly used by people between the ages of 30 and 50, while people in their 20s and 30s use Instagram.
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■ Cooking School Ads If you are looking for young chefs in their twenties, you can advertise in cooking schools.
■ Become a restaurant regular Some restaurant owners become restaurant regulars when they find a sushi chef they want to hire. They go to the restaurant for a long time, contact the chef and wait until the chef is ready to go to the next job.
■ Attend job fairs If you want to connect with as many people as possible, we recommend signing up for a food industry job fair.
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■ Hiring a Recruitment Agency If you’re looking for strong candidates, don’t spend a lot of time on the job, or none of your employees speak Japanese, it’s best to hire a recruitment agency. Usually, the agency gets paid after hiring new employees, so you don’t pay any fees until then.
Agencies vary, but if you want to find top chefs, we recommend an agency that specializes in sushi chefs. Conventional agencies do not have a database of sushi chefs and start hiring candidates when they find a job. There are no networks in these institutions either.
On the other hand, Washoku Agent already has a database of sushi chefs. Even if you don’t find the perfect candidate in our database, we can find qualified sushi chefs from our unique network that cannot be accessed by conventional advertising agencies.
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■ Salary Everyone wants to earn more than the current salary. However, when you talk about salary, you need to explain the details of gross income, net income after tax deductions and the country’s cost of living to avoid problems later.
In addition, some chefs want to try themselves in a pleasant environment abroad, even with a low salary. If you can’t offer a competitive salary, you may want to look for other functions to focus on.
■ Work environment and benefits You may have benefits such as a good work-life balance, weekend activities, health insurance or a comfortable home offer.
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While Westerners spend Christmas with their families, the Japanese usually return home on New Year’s Eve or onon (a holiday season when ancestors are believed to return home).
■ Support between employment and arrival Everything is new for sushi chefs working abroad for the first time. You should thoroughly explain the process from the official job offer to their arrival in the country with a visa.
They feel even more secure if someone from the restaurant picks them up at the airport.
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■ Status and ingredients What are the controls and what are the ingredients in the status proposal? One way to engage candidates is to ask them what position or content they would like to challenge, so you can consider their perspective on the job.
■ Japanese-speaking staff Having a Japanese-speaking staff member can provide a sense of security for an applicant who is not fluent in other languages.
“I have an idea of the chefs I’m looking for, but I don’t know how to find them.
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“We’ve tried to hire on our own in the past but failed, so this time we want to find a really skilled sushi chef.
“Since none of the staff speak Japanese, we want to completely outsource the hiring of Japanese chefs.”
If you have problems hiring Japanese sushi chefs, contact a Washoku agent!
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