Chef Network Ireland have taken a stand for change in the workplace by creating a charter offering best practice guidelines for restaurants, notably addressing work-life balance. These are their recommendations:

Being Considerate and Recognising Needs

  • Rostering that is fair & considerate: as far in advance as possible, two days off together
  • Listen to people’s needs – Be flexible and open to alternative hours
  • Consider ways to improve quality of life for staff: 4-day week

Promoting Wellbeing

  • Ensure staff take their breaks, holidays and don’t work excessive hours
  • Provide a place to eat and encourage nutritious meals
  • Encourage health & wellness activities and mental health awareness

Respecting Staff’s Personal Time & Space

  • When someone is off, they’re off
  • Organise handovers so everyone is up to speed
  • Compensate staff for time spent on training

What they’ve listed is so valuable – this should be a given in any kitchen, but sadly, that is not the case. We can hold strong visions for what our customers should experience when they taste our food, but not for the experience of the person preparing it.

Isn’t it time we realised that they’re both intrinsically linked, chefs?

Chef Network Ireland workplace charter

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