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It’s Christmaaaaas….oh wait I’m a Chef!

Written on 21-Nov-2017

As a chef you will generally work fairly long and unsociable hours, often doing a little (or a lot) of overtime. But throw in Christmas party season and it all goes a bit crazy!

But how much does it impact chefs and their experience at Christmas? To answer that question we did a short survey with our chefs and our social network, to find out.

We were sad to see that the majority of those surveyed, nearly 80%, said that as a chef they feel like they miss out on Christmas. That correlates to the nearly three quarters that have missed more than 10 Christmas Days due to work.

Now some don’t mind, but for others it means missing out on the kids opening their presents, not seeing friends/family and generally missing out on the festivities that most people see as synonymous with Christmas.

But even if you don’t work Christmas Day (if you’re lucky that your kitchen doesn’t open), 13% of you said that during December you work more than 90 hours a week, meaning that you will miss out on any ‘run up’ to Christmas.

But it isn’t all doom and gloom. When we asked what it is you love about Christmas, more than half (56%) said family, and surprisingly just 9% said food. Maybe that’s because by December 25th you are sick of the sight of turkey and cranberries!

But among some of your best experiences was the comradery in the kitchens which one chef described as ‘unparalleled at Christmas’, and generally working with great teams who smash it every service.

So, what was the point in this? It underlines what we at CJUK have championed for some time. That there is a better way for Chefs and that the industry needs to start giving a focus to the chef experience and not just the customer experience.

There is a chronic chef shortage, with more and more people leaving the industry. A lifestyle of excessive hours with no work/life balance is not sustainable.

Finally, to all those chefs working crazy hours this December, we tip our toque blanche to you.

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