Restaurant owner finds creative solution to shortage of staff

Owner Leon van Bourgonje (left) signs contract with manager director of ROC Peter Bon (right

Restaurant De Eendracht and ROC Hilversum combine their powers and start hospitality academy ‘On The Job De Eendracht’ from September this year. The hospitality branche has shortage of staff after the corona crisis. While ROC Hilversum fulfills the need of students to have more practical experience during their study, restaurant De Eendracht achieves more experienced staff out of the collaboration.

After being (partly) closed for months, restaurants re-opened again understaffed. FNV Horeca states the branch misses almost 100.000 employees. From next weekend restaurants and pubs are opening inside again and closing time is pushed to 10 pm. While corona measurements loosen up restaurant owners have to be creative finding employees.

Co-owner of restaurants De Eendracht, Leon van Bourgonje, experiences the same problem.”We mostly have shortage of experienced staff like cooks and waiters that graduated and have work experience,” he tells. “ROC will teach theory and we will teach the practical skills, so that students have all the knowledge to start a job at one of our restaurants.”

De Eendracht is located in cities and towns around Amsterdam in Weesp, Abcoude, Maarssen, Hilversum, Blaricum and Alkmaar. “We have quite a big team of employees, which we call our family,” Leon tells. “Normally we don’t have shortage of staff because if one location is in need of employees we simply look if another location can miss someone.”

Last year managers and chefs of De Eendracht locations learned how to be a tutor for the students. “We already worked together with ROC as trainee post where students put in to practice what they have learned at school,” Leon explains. “Our own academy is the next step and a perfect change for students to advance within our company.”

Besides fulfilling jobs at De Eendracht, the study is also an asset for ROC. Peter Bon, project leader of the academy tels: “MBO College Hilversum believes in education that should be as ‘lifelike’ as possible and as close as possible to practice. That is why we like to organize our education in close collaboration with regional companies such as De Eendracht restaurants.”

At the ‘On The Job’ study of ROC Hilversum and De Eendracht students learn to be a host or cook. The students work 4 days in one of the locations of De Eendracht and have 1 lecture day at De Eendracht Hilversum. After the academy they will have their MBO 2 degree and are able to start MBO 3 ‘Allround Hospitality Employee’.