Hell’s Kitchen may not be any recruiter’s idea of a branding campaign, but no one can argue that job applicants don’t get a realistic feel for working for Gordon Ramsay, a boss with a mouth like the British soccer club player he once was.
In a single hour’s episode he can berate and belittle every member of the cast of the reality cooking show, most of whom manage to avoid walking out on him and the chance at a chef’s job paying deep into six-figures. Soon to begin its sixth season, Hell’s Kitchen and its restaurant makeover counterpart, Kitchen Nightmares, have made Ramsay a pop cultural figure in the U.S., in addition to the celebrity chef and millionaire restaurateur he already was.
The shows, which launched first in the United Kingdom, have also turned tens of thousands of Brits onto Caterer.com. The hospitality-focused U.K. job board, part of the Totaljobs Group of the Reed Elsevier publishing company, has seen its traffic quadruple since its ads parodying Ramsay began spreading on You Tube.
On You Tube the ads have attracted hundreds of thousands of viewers each. One of them, Little Gordon — Part 1, where a child actor with a remarkable resemblance to the chef dumps his lunch out as tells his mother the food is “embarassing” (among other things), may well have broken a million views by the time you read this.
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If you’ve seen either of Ramsay’s shows (and there’s a good chance you have, since Hell’s Kitchen in particular has a large audience), then the videos will be immediately recognizable. If not, the humor might not be so obvious. But for Caterer.com it was probably a safe bet that anyone interested in a career in restaurants, hotels, catering, and other hospitality-related jobs in the U.K. would be familiar with Ramsay. (His own restaurants, incidentally, have earned a total of 16 Michelin stars to date.)
Meanwhile, a well produced, if more traditional promotional video for the job site has fetched only 6,800 views.