Waitrose to train 100 fishmongers & butchers as it celebrates 40 years of service counters

Waitrose has announced plans to train 100 more fishmongers and butchers as it celebrates 40 years since the opening of its first service counters. Partners will be taught traditional butchery and fishmonger skills, as well as expert knowledge to help customers when choosing meat and fresh fish.

Partners joining the Level 2 Butcher and Fishmonger Apprenticeship scheme will learn traditional craft skills including knife skills, meat and fish knowledge and provenance, cooking techniques, seasonality, market pricing, sustainability and availability.

The company aims to enrol 100 existing Partners of all ages, as new apprentices, to support our quality food strategy.

It will enable Partners to continue to showcase knowledge and passion for food, and reflect the growing consumer appetite for high levels of service and expert guidance on the fish and meat they buy – from where the produce is from, to how to prepare and cook it.

Natalie Mitchell, Director of Own Brand at Waitrose, said, “Over the last year we have seen more people scratch cooking, especially during lockdown. Our customers have become more knowledgeable and willing to try different types of fish and less known cuts of meat which are found on our counters so there couldn't be a better time to start this initiative.”

Maryanne Alexander, Food Service Performance Development Manager for Waitrose, said, “This is a perfect mix of investing in our Partners with customers at the heart of everything we do. These apprenticeships are a game-changer, as our meat and fish service counters are the platform for us to showcase our passion for food and service.”

“An apprenticeship is an amazing chance to develop transferable skills, to work towards a recognised qualification and share a wealth of knowledge with customers.”

This is the next phase after we announced in 2019 a pilot to raise the expertise of all Partners working on service counters to an even higher level. We initially trained 20 fishmongers and butchers, and trained a further 200 existing Partners over the following two years.