Much has been written about the challenges of balancing work and life in the restaurant industry for chefs and kitchen staff, but more attention needs to be given to the managers.
The restaurant industry is widely recognised as one of the most demanding and stressful sectors. Both restaurant managers and kitchen staff encounter numerous challenges in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Ensuring the well-being and satisfaction of not only the staff but also the managers themselves is crucial. So, let’s dive into the common issues that impact the work-life balance of both restaurant managers and their staff, and we’ll discuss how kitchen staffing agencies can play a role in helping them overcome these challenges.
1. Long and Irregular Hours
One of the main challenges that restaurant managers face is the long and irregular hours that they and their staff have to work. According to a survey by Toast, the average restaurant manager works 60 hours per week, while the average restaurant employee works 50 hours per week. These hours often include weekends, holidays, and late nights, which can interfere with their personal and family life.
Some of the adverse effects of working long and irregular hours include:
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Increased risk of physical and mental health problems
- Reduced productivity and performance
- Lower morale and motivation
- Higher turnover and absenteeism
To cope with these effects, restaurant managers need to find ways to balance their work and personal obligations, such as:
- Setting boundaries and limits on their availability
- Delegating tasks and responsibilities to their staff or external partners
- Scheduling regular breaks and time off for themselves and their staff
- Communicating clearly and honestly with their staff, customers, and family
- Seeking professional help or support if needed
2. High Stress Levels
Another challenge that restaurant managers face is the high stress levels that they and their staff experience daily. The restaurant industry is fast-paced, competitive, and unpredictable, which can create a lot of pressure and anxiety for everyone involved. Some of the familiar sources of stress in the restaurant industry include:
- Customer complaints and expectations
- Food safety and quality standards
- Staff conflicts and turnover
- Inventory and budget management
- Marketing and promotion
To manage these stressors, restaurant managers need to develop coping skills and strategies, such as:
- Practising relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga
- Maintaining a positive attitude and outlook
- Seeking feedback and learning from mistakes
- Celebrating successes and achievements
- Encouraging teamwork and collaboration among staff
3. Lack of Career Development
A third challenge that restaurant managers face is the need for career development opportunities they and their staff have. The restaurant industry is often seen as a low-skill, low-wage, and low-status sector, which can limit the growth potential and satisfaction of those working there. Some of the barriers to career development in the restaurant industry include:
- Lack of formal education or training
- Lack of recognition or rewards
- Lack of mentorship or guidance
- Lack of diversity or inclusion
- Lack of mobility or advancement
To overcome these barriers, restaurant managers need to create a culture of learning and development, such as:
- Providing ongoing training and education for themselves and their staff
- Offering incentives and benefits for performance and loyalty
- Providing feedback and coaching for improvement and growth
- Creating a diverse and inclusive work environment
- Creating opportunities for promotion or transfer within or outside the organisation
RELATED READ: Why Chefs Should Speak Up About Their Mental Health
How Kitchen Staffing Agencies Can Help
One of the ways that restaurant managers can address these challenges is by partnering with kitchen staffing agencies. Kitchen staffing agencies are specialised firms that provide temporary or permanent staff for restaurants and other food service establishments.
Some of the benefits of using kitchen staffing agencies include:
- Saving time and money on hiring, training, payroll, taxes, insurance, etc.
- Accessing a pool of qualified, experienced, and vetted staff
- Having flexibility and scalability to meet changing demand or needs
- Reducing stress and workload for managers and staff
- Improving customer satisfaction and retention
By using kitchen staffing agencies, restaurant managers can focus more on their core business functions, such as menu planning, quality control, customer service, etc., while ensuring that their staff are well-supported, motivated, and productive.
Restaurant managers face many challenges when balancing their work and life in the industry. These challenges include long and irregular hours, high-stress levels, and lack of career development opportunities. However, these challenges can be overcome by balancing their personal and professional obligations, developing coping skills and strategies, and creating a culture of learning and development.
Additionally, kitchen staffing agencies can help restaurant managers by providing them with temporary or permanent staff who are qualified, experienced, and vetted. This kind of support is what we at AnytimeStaff aim to provide. We collaborate with numerous restaurants and venues in Perth and throughout Western Australia. Specialising in short-term chef hires, our team comprises skilled professionals ready to support and enhance your business. With the following:
- peak periods
- events/private parties and celebrations/pizza chefs
- fill in for an emergency or annual leaves
- start-up team for opening venues
If professional kitchen staff is what you need, give us a call.
That’s it for this week.
As always, professional chefs are on call at Anytime Staff!
Ciao for now,