We have all watched those cooking shows on television where the chefs are under pressure to get the meals out on time and having to deal with unreasonable managers and hopeless staff.
That’s on television, does that happen in real life?
So is being a chef stressful?
Yes, being a chef can be stressful. The stress is caused by long hours, the stress of managing lunch and dinner rush, where you have to get the meals out on time. Then there are additional challenges a chef has to deal with, such as kitchen hands not turning to work without proper notice.
So now the main question has been answered let’s discuss the main reasons being a chef is stressful
Chefs work long hours causes stress
Very few chefs work 40 hour weeks. Most chefs will tell you they work 60-80 hours per week and this includes long hours no the weekend.
The hours can be exhausting!!
Being a chef is not just about cooking the meals, it also involves checking inventory, sourcing, and ordering food.
It also involves the preparation, cutting the veggies, making the sources.
All these tasks take time.
Chefs having to deal with difficult management causes stress
Having to deal with difficult management is the main cause of stress for a chef.
Dealing with unreasonable demands, having management interfere in the menu or operation of the kitchen is the main cause of conflict and stress between management and a chef.
Another common complaint, when management cut cost by reducing the number of kitchen hands or junior chefs.
This increases the workload on the chef who has to take on more work, and increasing the number of hours, the intensity of workload, and inevitably stress.
Troublesome kitchen staff can be stressful
So it’s Saturday night, the restaurant is fully booked. The food is prepped, all ready to go when your kitchen hand calls in sick at the last minute.
As a chef, this is extremely frustrating and stressful, as you now realize you and your team will need to work extra hard.
Then there are the chefs, cooks, kitchen hands who are either lazy or hopeless or both.
Having to deal with poor quality results in the kitchen from other team members can be stressful.
Chefs became a chef because they have a passion for food, not a second thought was given that they would have to deal with managing people in the kitchen.
Not everyone has the ability or desire to deal with conflict in the kitchen.
Avoidance of conflict can be just a stressful as having conflict in the kitchen.
Difficult customers can be stressful
Fussy customers sending a meal back to the kitchen, complaining and asking it to be cooked further, or asking for an alternative meal because they didn’t like what they received can be frustrating.
Some people will never be happy !!
The good news though, difficult customers (although noisy) are the few, with most customers be really good.
There Is Always an Emergency, that causes stress
Things don’t just get challenging when another cook is on leave.
If your producer gets the order wrong, you might be headed towards a stressful day.
And if the sink is leaking or the toilet has been clogged, the day could turn into a crisis.
In other words, a chef has to deal with emergencies quite often.
After reading all these reasons for being stressed, if you are wondering why chefs do it, the answer is very simple.
They are passionate about it.