Burnout is experienced during long working hours, which is something that Chefs and food service operation staff are familiar with.


Yet no matter how much they are aware of it, this industry demands so much of its workers that it remains a challenge to address.

We have been there – that initial stage of being zealous and in love with our work, but if we are not careful, that excitement and passion can lead to a vicious, toxic cycle of resentment. Making you less and less inspired to work each day, and for some, it can even lead to you becoming a shell of your former self. Burnout is a state where a person is experiencing a culmination of all the effects of stress, slowly and with a more damaging effect, 

Now and then, we in this industry need reminders that overworking ourselves does us physiological and psychological harm. 


Here are some of what you can do to reduce overworking your kitchen staff:


1. Review your staffing lineup and schedule


How you staff your shifts will directly reflect on your bottom line. Labour costs typically account for about 20 to 30 per cent of your total revenue. If you overstaff, you spend unnecessarily on labour. However, when you are understaffed, you risk causing your employees to burn out. 

Seeing a tight kitchen lineup with a basic number of employees to handle the shifts is unsurprising. There are no “spare” or on-call employees to call when someone goes on leave or AWOL. Most food service operations do the best with what staffing they have. 

There is no “correct” or “incorrect” approach to this. Still, a general rule is to review your restaurant analytics and labour reports to see if you allocate your labour budget wisely, as reflected by your staff lineup and schedule. 

For times when there is no available staff to take over, a wise option to consider is to work with chef and staffing agencies to hire one for a few hours to keep your kitchen operation running smoothly. An advantage to hiring staff from reputable agencies is that you hire skilled people who can take over roles until the operation recovers. 


2. Get or give staff time offs


Chefs are notorious for working long hours and never taking time off, even if taking time off is considered a top technique for fighting burnout. 

Some chefs had to force themselves to schedule days offs for themselves and their staff. 

Physically removing yourself from your work area can be a way to refresh not only your body but also the way you look and approach your work. And if they do go out, spending time with people outside work is more likely to provide that sort of reboot and recharge that you need,


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3. Delegate tasks


Burnout can result when you are taking too much responsibility than you can handle. This is especially common to people in leadership positions who struggle to assign part of their responsibilities to another person. 

It is challenging, but as with any job, a well-trained staff can contribute to an efficient operation, thereby reducing stress for everyone in the team. Bonus points if the staff can handle more than one responsibility to step up and handle additional roles when necessary. 

Delegation helps get things done and empowers employees by giving them greater autonomy. No leader can always do everything, and delegation is vital for boosting team and organisational performance and efficiency.


4. Address issues ASAP


It is important to note that burnout is a gradual process, so when issues arise, it is best to handle them ASAP. It is stressful to catch up on piling work, and it is wiser to attend to them immediately. 

Creating to-do lists can help manage daily activities and minimise overlooking specific tasks. 

Encourage a sense of urgency in your team so that when something needs to be done, everyone will have an attitude of getting to it as soon as possible, 


5. CrossTrain to multitask 


When your kitchen staff is trained to handle multiple roles, they can help fill the void in a schedule until another staff can take over. Cross-training will enable you to build a team that can step-in in various roles when needed.


In Summary:


Burnout is a crisis that many chefs and kitchen staff encounter. It affects people physically, emotionally, psychologically and even more. It affects work performance and relationships too. 

No one can deny that it is a challenge to overcome because burnout is often noticeable when it happens. It stems not just from the workplace but also from personal issues, But adopting habits and practices in the workplace where you have some sense of control can help. 

If you are looking for skilled chefs and kitchen staff based in Perth and Western Australia for your staffing needs, give us a call at Anytime Staff.

We have a roster of professional chefs and kitchen staff that are available as short-term hires for :

  • peak periods
  • events/private parties and celebrations/pizza chefs
  • fill in for an emergency or annual leaves
  • start-up team for opening venues  

As part of our team, we have polite, professional Kitchen Stewards to assist you in cleaning and organising your kitchens. 

Anytime staff can also assist you in looking for permanent hires by facilitating your recruitment process.

We also offer a Consulting Service to assist you in opening or running the cafe or restaurant of your dreams. 


That’s it for this week.

As always, professional chefs are on call at Anytime Staff!

Ciao for now,


If you are interested in joining our team, read here for more info!

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