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The Chef Partnership Industry Report - Executive Summary

Updated: Jan 27, 2022


The Chef Partnership Industry Report Executive Summary- Why can’t you keep your chefs?

Research Study - Powered by Humdex

(January 2021)


The Chef Partnership has partnered with Humdex to create a report to explore the wellbeing and retention issues affecting the hospitality industry today. In the media it's clear that lots of attention has been paid to hospitality wellbeing and retention, but not a lot of direct action to improve the state of affairs is being taken. At The Chef Partnership we want to challenge the status quo, we do not accept that because it’s always been this way, it should continue to do so. The study has shown us that there is an issue with investment and wellbeing within the industry, and if we don’t take steps to get ahead of the retention crisis it’s only going to get worse.

The purpose of the study was to better understand the key development and wellbeing issues facing restaurateurs and chefs in a modern brigade – find out where the stress points are and discover a tangible way forward for restaurateurs and chefs.

The results may be surprising to some people, but for those in the front lines of the restaurateur trade they will only confirm some assumptions. Our research shows a shocking “74% of chefs have called in sick to work due to stress”, and almost “1 in 5 hospitality businesses (19%) had “low confidence” that their business would survive the next 3 months.” These findings alone are alarming for the industry, as it points towards a declining workforce and more pressures on those who stay in the industry, which increases stress, leading to absence which leads to staff exits and the retention cycle continues.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom – there is a direct link between happiness and productivity “workers are 13% more productive when happy” and that investing in your chefs is the best way to increase retention and make successful brigades. For example, “94% of employees said they would stay at a company longer if they were offered opportunities to learn and grow.” This clearly shows us that there are opportunities on both sides of the retention crisis - Restaurateurs have a simple way to keep the talent they have, and chefs are crying out for investment and development.

Following the results of this study we believe that simply by investing in the below, restaurateurs can play a critical role in stabilising the industry and increase retention drastically:

  • Providing an environment to grow, through mediums such as mentoring schemes.

  • Investing in your chefs by giving them personal skills training such as leadership, stress management and team working skills

  • and looking after their mental and physical wellbeing both by ensuring a fully staffed brigades and implementing mental health support systems

In conclusion: By taking some simple steps and looking after and investing in our chefs, we can ensure higher retention, less overall cost to the business and faster and more successful kitchens.

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