The Caterer

Burnt Chef project to tackle mental health in the sector

24 June 2019 by
Burnt Chef project to tackle mental health in the sector

Supplier and photographer Kris Hall has launched a campaign to combat mental health issues in the hospitality industry.

Through the Burnt Chef project, Hall hopes to improve working conditions within the trade, raise awareness of mental health issues, and raise money for Mind mental health charity.

Starting with his freelance photography business, Nose 2 Tail Photography, last year he started taking black and white portrait photographs of chefs wishing to support the project to raise awareness and spark conversations regarding mental health.

Hall, who works at a Bournemouth-based foodservice firm, said: "I've been working closely with the chefs for around eight years and have seen first-hand the struggles of mental health issues within the trade with both clients and friends.

"Long antisocial hours, tough environmental conditions and pressures to perform are just some of the issues that hospitality professionals are fighting against on a daily basis. Years of these conditions provide a hotbed of mental health issues such as anxiety, stress, alcohol abuse, drug abuse and depression. Not to mention the impact of these conditions attributing to the breakdown of relationships with husbands, wives, spouses and families."

Hall and chef Pete Tofis of Toff Chef Event Catering (pictured) aim to raise money through boxing matches and marathons as well as exhibitions of the photographs, and the campaign is asking business owners to pledge to allow chefs three consecutive days off at least twice a month.

Hall added: "The industry and business owners need to start taking more responsibility for the ongoing health and state of mind of their workforce to ensure high levels of retention and continued strong employment continues."

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