Retailers eat away restaurant talent | business | Hindustan Times
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Retailers eat away restaurant talent

business Updated: Oct 20, 2007 00:56 IST
Ruchi Hajela
Ruchi Hajela
Hindustan Times
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There are some things on the corporate menu that are simply not affordable -- for the restaurant owner. Young managers qualified to work in restaurants are being poached away by the booming retail industry, leaving old patrons in the lurch.

Hotel management graduates are finding greener pastures than having to wait in lounges or tables.

"Getting the right fit for the company is so difficult that we now even consider plain graduates and train them to suit our requirement,” Ajeet Chauhan, vice-president, human resources, at fast food and restaurant chain Nirula’s told Hindustan Times.

Executives of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) said both entry-level and mid-level staff were difficult to get as retailers are pumping in big money with aggressive growth prospects to match.

"The restaurant industry is worth Rs 200 crore and we are competing with retail whose worth (revenues) runs into almost Rs 25,000 crore. Therefore, offering matching salaries at the entry level staff is almost impossible," said a senior HR executive on condition of anonymity.

Chauhan said an entry-level restaurant manager gets around Rs 8,000 per month, while a similar entry level position with a retail chain can get one as much as Rs 22,000 in the current market.

Apart from a better salary package, job perception is another reason why trained graduates prefer to get associated with a retail chain than with a restaurant chain.

"The skill requirements of both retail and restaurant industries being the same, the former offers added attraction of higher self worth and the perception of a white collar job," says T Sreedhar, Managing Director of human resource service firm Talent Management International.