Falcourt Inn restaurant faces closure with no chef
One report warns that by 2020 N.S. will be short 3,000 tourism sector workers
A fine-dining restaurant in the Annapolis Valley is closing because it can't find a qualified chef, another casualty in Nova Scotia's hotel and restaurant sector labour shortage.
The sounds and sweet smells in the kitchen at the Falcourt Inn in Nictaux will cease after Saturday.
Sous chef Lisa Bruce is going back to school and the head chef left for Ottawa in June.
Since March, the owners have been trying to find a Red Seal chef to fill the role, with no luck.
"It's been extremely frustrating because we're actually celebrating our 20th anniversary in September and this is the first time we've not had anyone to work on the kitchen," said owner Derek Legard.
That means the Perfect Pear restaurant will have to close, throwing a number of staff out of work.
The job pays about $36,000 annually and Legard says there has been interest from chefs overseas, but he's leery of going the temporary foreign worker route.
"Just to see if we qualified to go into the program it's a $1,000 fee. Even if you don't get accepted into the program it's non-refundable," he said.
He adds the federal government has introduced far-tighter rules recently.
Legard says he's not the only one facing the challenge.
Both the restaurant industry and tourism associations are warning of significant labour shortages particularly in rural Nova Scotia.
One report from the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council warns that by 2020 the province will be short 3,000 tourism sector workers.
In New Minas the Slumber Inn has been looking for a night auditor and two more front desk workers since May. General manager Loretta Buchanan says the issue is finding people with computer and people skills along with at least a Grade 12 education.
The Perfect Pear restaurant says they're hopeful someone will come along, making the closure only a temporary one.