News - Image - Why are Cooks in short supply in Canada

Before the Covid-19 crisis, there was a relatively high demand for cooks in Canada, with around 68,000 vacancies in the hospitality and foodservice sectors. This number has almost doubled today with around 130,000 unfilled positions. This huge labor shortage is affecting the growth and productivity of multiple businesses in the country.

Due to the high demand of orders in restaurants, the cooks find it very hard to cope-up with it and sometimes they are unable to meet the demands; Among the few restaurants that luckily get an experienced cook, face multiple issues such as constant re-hiring or finding various ways to get the cooks to keep working for them, such as incentivizing them more often.

Thousands of people who used to be cooks in the pre-pandemic period have changed their profession or have started their businesses to make ends meet. Since then, they haven’t looked back at the restaurant life, hence reducing the number of cooks available and looking for employment in the country during the post-pandemic period.

The fact that many cooks have moved on to work in other sectors, and the high rate of unemployment in this part of the hospitality industry have hurt the economy. This is mainly due to the low rate of immigrants present in the country and the continuous ageing population.

As the years pass, the demand for cooks in Canada will only increase. It is a multicultural country with more than fifty different communities residing there, who like to explore foreign cuisines. So, to cater to those needs many restaurants open up and look to hire foreign cooks.

Restaurants in New Brunswick had to work a half-day or even close on a few days a week because the owners weren’t getting any adequate cooks in the province. Therefore, they have decided to bring in temporary foreign workers from other countries such as India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal… but they were facing difficulties in the immigration and hiring process due to the tedious paperwork involved.

To improve the situation as soon as possible the Canadian government has implemented a few policies, in addition to that the restaurant owners have come up with more innovative ways to hire and retain the cooks.

Hundreds of restaurant owners are offering dental benefits, flexible working hours, and multiple bonuses besides the higher pay. The owners are also encouraged by the government to hire foreign workers, temporary foreign workers, and international students or former international students, which will help them get a permanent residency and benefit the Canadian economy.

Multiple support and training programs have been set for the potential cooks to enhance their skills and get hired quickly by Canadian employers.

Since 2021 the Canadian immigration department has been speeding up issuing work visas allowing experienced and skilled cooks to enter the country and work willingly with Canadian employers in their restaurants.

What is the average salary of a cook in Canada?

The annual salary of a cook in Canada can range between twenty-five thousand Canadian dollars to thirty-five thousand Canadian dollars.

The hourly pay can range between thirteen dollars to twenty dollars an hour

Are cooks considered as skilled workers in Canada?

Yes, cooks who apply under the express entry BC skilled worker program are considered skilled workers. They must meet certain requirements such as having two years of work experience and other qualifications

Which provinces in Canada have the high demand for cooks?

The top provinces that require cooks urgently are:

  • Alberta
  • Manitoba
  • Saskatchewan
  • New Brunswick


What are the different types of pathways to immigrate to Canada as a cook?

The cook/ chef has four options to choose from when considering moving to Canada as a skilled worker.

  • Express entry program (Point based system, that considers the CRA scores of the candidate based on their education, work experience, language knowledge, age and more).
  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (launched in 2016 by the Atlantic provincial governments) aims to provide an easy pathway to permanent residence for foreign graduates from Canadian educational institutes or skilled foreign workers for only 4 of the provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edwards Island AND Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program (community driven program aimed to distribute the benefits of economic immigration to minor that require skilled foreign workers who want to live and work in Canada).
  • Provincial Nominee Program (When the candidate has a specialized skill which is required by a particular Province and have a job offer from that Province)

What are the requirements for cooks to be eligible to move to Canada?

  • Education: Senior secondary (10+2)
  • Experience: 2 to 3 years
  • English requirements: CLB 5

To work as a cook in Canada, you will need at least two years of experience in a paid job that was earned during the last five years before your application. As for how much you can earn as a cook, as an entry-level cook with a few years of experience you can earn 28,000$ a year, with five or more years of experience you can earn 31,000$ a year, but in some places pay more for cooks than others.


What are the benefits of moving to Canada as a cook?

  • Easily get the PR
  • Enter and leave the country at any moment
  • Get easy access to education in Canada
  • Receive healthcare benefits
  • Receive social benefits
  • Get a chance to apply for citizenship after four years

The main applicant (cook) and his family will benefit from it as well.

Why Canada needs cooks from foreign countries?

  • Reduce the aging population in the Canadian provinces
  • Achieve the labour market annual goals
  • Meet market labour needs
  • Boosting economic trade and increase productivity
  • Support the education system in Canada by encouraging international students to enrol in the Canadian universities

How can Vazir Group help you move to Canada?

Our Immigration experts will guide you and support you throughout the entire process. They will first check your eligibility, assess you, and share with you a detailed report with the appropriate steps to take to have a smooth and seamless immigration process.

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