News & Insights
“High levels of stress and mental illness have been affecting our industry long before COVID-19 but this research demonstrates how brutal these past two years have been for hospitality owners.”
This was the reaction of Kris Hall, founder of The Burnt Chef Project, an organisation which offers mental health support to those in the hospitality industry, to a new study conducted by research consultancy Censuswide, in collaboration with online food ordering software company Flipdish, in which nearly a third of hospitality business managers surveyed reported that their mental health is currently worse than it was in 2020.
This study comes after a challenging couple of months for hospitality businesses, who have faced problems recruiting enough staff to deal with demand following the easing of restrictions last July. In addition to rising business costs including rising energy bills, which is an issue the majority of businesses, regardless of the sector they’re in, continue to be affected by.
In addition, a survey conducted in 2021 by the Burnt Chef Project found that a fifth of hospitality workers were thinking about leaving their current post. Meanwhile, four-fifths of those surveyed in a separate study for the group in 2020 reported as having experienced mental health issues as a result of their work.
Long and antisocial hours were among the key reasons people cited as to why they were considering quitting their current role.
In the recent Censuswide and Flipdish study, nearly half of those hospitality business managers surveyed reported that they were having to ask their staff to work longer hours, as a result of the ongoing recruitment crisis the UK hospitality sector continues to face.
Merly Kammerling, founder of Me, Myself and Mind, another organisation which provides mental health support to workers in the hospitality industry, explains that over the last two years, when hospitality businesses were mandated to close because of the COVID-19 restrictions, employees were able to have “time off with their loved ones”, and therefore in a lot of cases, “it is hard for them to go back to the demands of the hospitality sector.”
Fionn Hart, UK Area Manager at Flipdish, explained how “restaurant, pub and bar operators have a difficult balancing act to perform.”
Whilst they are offering promotions “to get new customers through the door” they face “reduced staff numbers on the ground to serve them”, he pointed out.
Mr Hart calls on the government to “open its eyes to the pressures on the hospitality workforce, who are battling to protect their mental wellbeing whilst also keeping their businesses afloat.”
“It’s become clear that financial aid for the sector simply isn’t enough”, he finished by saying.