Healthy scheduling: happy life, happy chefs, happy kitchens

Restaurant hours mean that, as a chef, your work hours clash with others’ leisure time. This can impact a kitchen team’s ability to take downtime with their friends and family, which leads to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

How can you keep your restaurant running smoothly while also ensuring your team are physically, emotionally and mentally fit and have a life outside of the kitchen? 

Here is some advice from a few of our #FairKitchens colleagues:

Offer a four day schedule

"We all know that restaurants have slim margins and the hours are long, but that doesn't mean everyone has to work five days a week. By offering a four day schedule to managers and other salaried employees, the hours are still long, but recovery is long too. People are more likely to be on their A-game when more rest is encouraged." - Lauren Feldman, Co-owner, Valley Bar + Bottle

Sequential days off

"We try to make sure days off are sequential for our full-time staff. We also do our best not to deny any requests off. As a team, we are all at our best when everyone is well-rested and spends time with family and friends. These opportunities create enriched, happier people, which makes our team stronger and the work environment that much healthier.” – Caleb Ganzer, Wine Director and Managing Partner, Compagnie des Vins Surnaturel

Work productively, not longer

“To keep our team motivated, we normally run a 32-36 hour work week - after a certain amount of hours you're simply not productive, and we want to make sure our team come in refreshed and ready to go. This isn’t always possible in busier times, but it’s about being flexible.” – Joe Tripodi, Director of Food and Beverage, Buck Hill Falls

Could you change the way you schedule your business? How else could you make your kitchen fair(er)? Find more solutions here