A quarter of Chefs have suffered physical abuse and 53% of Chefs feel pushed to breaking point. These are not good statistics. But they do give an accurate indication of the pressures felt by Chefs in one of the most stressful industries in the world.
In fact, there have been a number of high-profile incidents that have shone the light on some of the more unsavoury conditions of the food industry. The culinary world was shaken to its core in June 2018 when news hit that Anthony Bourdain, lauded celebrity Chef, took his own life. His death brought to light the difficulties faced by Chefs in their demanding careers. But he isn’t the first or last Chef to take his own life. A Times Magazine article reports that: better kitchen culture can only serve to make our industry better tomorrow than it is today.
"BULLYING, STRESS, LONG HOURS AND CONSTANT SCRUTINY BY RESTAURANT INSPECTORS HAVE BEEN BLAMED FOR GREATER NUMBERS OF SCOTLAND’S CULINARY ELITE DECIDING TO END IT ALL ... BEING A CHEF IS NOW ONE OF THE MOST SUICIDE-PRONE OCCUPATIONS."
There’s no denying it. Being a Chef is a tough gig. The hours are long, tensions high and motivation low.
Sometimes, being a Chef can feel like the most difficult job in the world. That’s why it’s so important to foster a healthy kitchen culture that inspires and encourages your staff.
A healthy and happy culture makes for a healthier and happier business: your staff will be stable, your team happy and productive, and your guests will receive the best quality offering your team can provide. Who wouldn’t like to work in an environment like that?
BE A PART OF THE CHANGE WITH #FAIRKITCHENS
Around the world, Chefs are embracing a new global movement that seeks to make the culinary industry a better place to work. Called #FairKitchens, the movement aims to create environments where staff happiness is as important as diner satisfaction. The #FairKitchens Code is the starting point of the movement. Its values are the ingredients of a happy kitchen: passion and communication, teamwork and time for individuals. The goal is respect. The goal is to work as T.E.A.M.S..
Speak out when you have something to say and make sure others do the same. This is how to prevent resentment from building up.
Train, mentor and inspire your staff. Fuel their flame and keep reminding them why they joined the industry – for the love of food, making people happy and unleashing their creativity.
Act As One
No matter the ethnicity, gender or religion of your staff, remember that you share the same goal. Respect each other, hold back from abuse and ask your colleagues if they’re okay. Be there for each other – work as a team to achieve the wonderful.
It’s important to make time for breaks – for fresh air and daylight. Rest, relax and recharge to keep motivation and productivity levels high. Plan for reasonable shifts – let your staff have time off with their family.
Say ‘Good Job’
When someone in your team does a good job, commend them for it. A pat on the back, and acknowledgement of something good can make someone’s day.