The Legacy Lives On

The loss of chef legend Anthony Bourdain has left the hospitality industry and foodie community devasted. He was a great chef and an incredible advocate for the industry we all love so much, and his presence will be sorely missed. Best known for his culinary achievements, TV shows and cooking and travel books, Bourdain may leave behind an even bigger and more important legacy by shining a light on the struggles faced by those suffering from mental health issues and alcoholism.

Just last week, off the back of Bourdain’s death, Andrew Clarke opened up about his struggle with depression. He highlighted the fact that 1 in 4 people will suffer from mental health issues this year. Couple that with results from a recent survey The Change Group conducted which found that 83% of those working within hospitality said they feel stressed at work and 15% admitting they do nothing about it. Some respondents identified that they use sleep (9%), meditation (4%) and exercise (12%) to deal with stress but most said they use less healthy methods to relieve stress including smoking (23%) and drinking (22%).

Nearly half (45%) of The Change Group survey respondents said that they are stressed due to working long and unsociable hours, 19% attribute their stress to a demanding employer and 18% to a stressful kitchen environment.

With so many hospitality staff feeling stressed and perhaps overworked, it is more important now than ever before to focus on mental health issues and the need to support employees and create a workplace which promotes wellness.

So how do you go about doing this? People suffering from mental health issues are often less forthcoming than those with physical ailments and often will need to be reassured that opening up about a mental health issue is not only acceptable, it’s encouraged. As a manager or employer, it’s vital you understand the signs of depression and anxiety and know how to deal with employees that are showing these signs.

Utilising organisations like Hospitality Action, Mind and Time to Change is a great place to start as they offer vital support to those suffering from mental health issues. Offering other benefits to employees such as subsidised gym memberships, meditation classes, reduced working hours, flexible working hours, additional annual leave, on-site massage, break-out areas and most importantly, a culture that encourages openness about all health issues.

As a specialist luxury and hospitality recruitment agency, we are very committed to helping drive what we are calling the “wellness movement”. We want to work with organisations that look after their staff and value all they do to drive their businesses forward. We want to represent talent that feel they are supported in their roles and enjoy going to work every day. We believe that if everyone in the hospitality industry begins to focus more on the wellness of its people, we can help those suffering from mental health issues and perhaps prevent the statistics from rising any further.

If you are interested in working with a recruitment agency that truly cares about its candidates, give us a call on 02079236021 or email us to discuss your hospitality recruitment requirements.

Photo cred: Getty Images