April 14, 2023
In my 20 years experience in the restaurant business, I’ve seen some of the best chefs in the game burn out. I’ve witnessed shocking verbal abuse from “leaders” on both sides of the swinging doors, and I see this abusive behaviour repeated and reproduced year after year. I’ve worked in the dining rooms where it’s normal for everybody on the floor to crack their first beer at 9 pm; I’ve worked in the kitchens where the dishwasher is the crew hookup, and the whole brigade does rails at the bar after close. Every night. And this is all either considered normal, or cool or swept under the rug.
When I’ve had the chance to step away from the long hours and constant sense of pressing urgency of restaurant work, I’ve always asked myself, “Why does it have to be this way?” I love cuisine, hospitality, my coworkers. I love being inside a restaurant. But why do I have to constantly battle burnout, isolation, substance use, and sacrifice my personal life just to be a professional at the work I love?
I jumped on this opportunity to help improve the psychological health and safety of tourism & hospitality workplaces because I hope to help make this industry I love a better place to work. I hope to help leaders improve staff morale and retention; I hope I can help everybody find ways to work more sustainably, hold self-respecting boundaries around their work, and lead more balanced lives. I hope I can help today’s young chefs come up through kitchens that don’t treat them as emotionless and disposable, and help people who love doing this work to have sustainable careers, and stop burning out.
Looking to connect with Shane Lobsinger? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org