A new report by Nestlé Professional’s Chef has found that eight in 10 people working in professional kitchens have experienced poor mental health during their careers.
Almost half (48%) believe that not enough is being done to support their mental wellbeing in the workplace.
The research shows that the top factors currently contributing to stress are staff shortages (58%), lack of time (43%) and limited budgets (42%).
Lack of daylight was also cited, with 41% saying it negatively impacted on their wellbeing.
With 73% of chefs admitting to calling in sick due to stress, the research has revealed the negative impact on wider business operations.
Looking at how to reduce stress levels and increase employee satisfaction, creativity was identified as a key factor, with 87% of chefs agreeing that more freedom to be creative in the kitchen would help. However, 85% also said that their creativity is being stifled by other pressures in the kitchen.
“Being a chef is, I think, one of the most intensely satisfying jobs there is, but it comes at a price,” comments Andrej Prokes, consultant chef at Nestlé Professional. “As you’d expect, working at pace in a busy kitchen comes with its challenges, especially when you are putting your heart and soul into creating the perfect dish. However, that price should not be the mental health of chefs and too often these days, it is.
“Chef’s survey results clearly demonstrate that mental health is a significant issue affecting chefs across the UK and with the support of industry experts, professionals and campaigners, this report goes a long way to understanding the causes and what more can be done to raise awareness, improve communication across the industry and probably most significantly, reduce stress levels leading to mental health issues. For me, it’s a must-read for anyone running or working in a professional kitchen.”