The immigration rules make a distinction between chefs working at takeaway establishments and those working at restaurants.

If the job requires five or more years’ relevant experience in a role of at least equivalent status to the one in which they are proposing to start, and the job is not at a fast food outlet, a standard fare outlet or a takeaway outlet, then the job will fall into the chef roles on the Shortage Occupation list.

This has been the subject of High Court cases recently. Chefs argued that excluding those working at restaurants which provided high quality cuisine, but which incidentally happened to offer a takeaway service, was arbitrary and unreasonable. They argued that all skilled chef roles should be on the Shortage Occupation list, and that the focus should be on the nature of the establishment rather than the fact that it also incidentally provides takeaway food.

However, the court found in favour of the Secretary of State. The exclusion of jobs in takeaway, fast food and standard fare outlets from the Shortage Occupation list was found to be justified. The court accepted evidence that takeaway establishments were generally not associated with the finest cuisine requiring highly skilled chefs.

In view of the rise in numbers of gig economy delivery drivers delivering takeaways from fine dining establishments, this is surely an issue which will rumble on.