Job Profile: Ski Chalet Couple
As if finding a talented chef, willing to give up their local job in favour of a six month winter stint in the Alps, wasn't difficult enough, imagine trying to convince them to bring their partner along. Not to sit around on the slopes while their other half works hard though, no, said partner has to have experience of hospitality, working front of house or similar. We have of course just described the role of the 'chalet couple' - perhaps the most difficult and highly prized role we recruit each season.
Some ski chalet companies employ a single host, who becomes responsible for running the chalet, from cooking the meals to cleaning the bathroom each morning. We talked more about the chalet host last week. Today, we are focusing on the chalets that split the job into two roles: the chef and the host. Let's find out more about the work involved and the type of people who would make great chalet couples.
Do you have to be a couple as in married?
Although described as a job for a couple, you don't actually have to be a couple in the traditional sense. Two friends who have good experience of working together as a team, in the types of roles that would equip you for a season in a ski chalet, may put you higher on the interview shortlist than a husband and wife who have the right skills, but who have never worked together. We have successfully recruited pairs of friends for this role on numerous occasions.
Type of people this role would suit
If we were to choose character traits that would make the perfect chalet couple, we would certainly request people who are: Experience in Customer Service. Each week's new guests are going to bring a new set of challenges that will test your service skills throughout the ski season.
You should certainly both be able to work off your own initiative and be Self Motivated. The chalet owners will give you details of what is expected of you as part of your pre-season training, but once the snow starts falling and the first guests arrive, you will be on your own for much of the time. Finally we'd suggest that you will thrive in this role if you are Personable. Perhaps the kind of couple who have a busy social life and who enjoy entertaining and hosting dinner parties for friends.
This half of the chalet couple job is suitable for someone who is willing to pitch in with a bit of everything. You need to work together as a team so you will find yourself shopping for ingredients, helping your partner in the kitchen, serving the meals, cleaning, driving guests to and from resort (especially if your chalet isn't a stone's throw from the piste), and general admin duties. You are going to be interacting with the guests as their main point of contact, so no hiding away in the kitchen for you! As well as all of the traits mentioned above, you should expect to work hard to keep the chalet clean and tidy, providing the most enjoyable experience possible for your guests.
The level of experience required varies from employer to employer and most will detail their requirements in the job profile they post with us. Chalets marketing themselves as foodie destinations can be quite demanding and expect high standards. Other employers may simply request that you can demonstrate some previous experience of cookery. Chalet couples rarely find that time splits itself neatly into fifty per cent food and fifty percent hosting. You will both end up helping the other out in order to make the chalet run efficiently.
What will you get out of it
If working as a ski chalet couple is sounding a bit like hard work, we aren't going to trick you into thinking it isn't. However, there are lots of reasons why you should definitely send your joint CVs to the roles advertised below. Working a ski season is the kind of experience you will remember for the rest of your life and being able to share that experience with a friend or partner makes it even more special. Working hours can be long in terms of getting up early and getting to bed late, but as well as a full day off each week, how many other jobs allow you a three or four hour lunch break, during which you can make use of complimentary ski hire and free lift passes.
Tips and advice
Make sure you send both CVs. Some people apply with their own CV and then give the email address or phone number of the other person. This is not a good application - give the employer everything they need in order to consider you a great candidate.
Read the job description. Most employers will tell you exactly what type of applicant they wish to hear from. If the chalet couple role is perfect for your and your friend or partner, make sure they know why in your covering letter, and back that up with a couple of strong CVs. If you can do that, you make it difficult for them to ignore you.
Do your research. This tip may be important for your initial application, but it is vital for any interview or menu plan they may request from you. Find out as much about the company as possible. Show them that you understand how they like their chalet to be run. As well as their website, make sure to read through their social media accounts to build up a picture of what they are about. Being able to demonstrate and understanding of their company will impress.