March 9, 2022
A NEW KITCHEN WITH THE HEALTH & WELLBEING OF OUR CHEFS AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE DESIGN.
It fair to say that it’s no secret that the hospitality industry is experiencing huge staff shortages. There are many factors that have contributed to this, Covid and Brexit being the main two,but at NoTwenty9 we like to be proactive and reactive to a situation, there is no point on dwelling why staff moved out of the industry so now instead we need to look at ways we can maintain those who do still have passion for it and toencourage a generation of new professionals.
Staff shortages has woken the industry up to re-evaluate how we can create a better working environment, a better work lifebalance, and ensure fair pay for hours worked.
It’s not the unsociable hours anymore, let’s face it manyindustries are expected to offer a service out of the once 9-5 tradition, whether that’s supermarkets, insurance companies, hairdressers, vets, electricians, transportation, and even builders, as consumers we all expect access to what we require outside of those hours.
So, what are the issues and how have we addressed them?
FAIR PAY & OPENING HOURS.
We introduced fair pay a couple of years ago now, it seemed wrong that our industry expected Chefs and Front of House to sign up to a 48-hour contract and then expect them to workwell over 60 hours for the same salary. At NoTwenty9 we pay for EVERY hour worked. If people choose to have an agreed limit to their hours to ensure they can balance their home commitments, and this results in having to reduce our openingweek from seven day to five then that’s what we do. As our team builds our opening hours increase, it’s simple.
WORKING CONDITIONS & PRACTICES.
Chefs love to be creative but that doesn’t mean that we should put ourselves under huge amounts of pressure to completelengthy preparation lists whilst still stressing about offering a busy breakfast, lunch, and dinner service. Great seasonal and local produce can sing without froths and foams, and chefs can be just as creative and talented having a reserved hand and knowing when to allow the flavours to do the work, that is a skill. We have a truly unique style of cooking at NoTwenty9 using wood and charcoal and the flavours this method of cooking offers shouldn’t be shadowed by over complicated and time-consuming garnishes, our development kitchen will work on natural flavours and a restrained hand.
Heat, long hours on the feet or just the pockets of intensity in service can cause our stress levels to soar, we have really tried to identify how to eliminate as many of these factors as possible or at least make a start in reducing them.
We are currently completing a state-of-the-art kitchen and considering our existing kitchen is only four years old and extremely well maintained this is an investment born for the health of our Chefs. Our decision to move from gas to induction hob cooking offers many benefits to our Kitchen Brigade and here is how:
CLEAN DOWN time is hugely reduced as you don’t have to wait for the conventional gas burners to cool down and the flat surfaces are far easier to clean and wipe down. From an economical and sustainable view 90% of the energy from induction goes directly to the cooking process rather than 40% when cooking on gas.
NOISE with gas you have to an extraction system, the noise generated by these fans can be very stressful, as service intensifies, cooking intensifies and extraction is increased making it difficult to concentrate and communicate, the sigh of relief from chefs when these are turned off after service is audible. Heat and noise have a huge factor on stress levels.With induction cooking the extraction requirements are significantly reduced.
BODY STRESS is significant when standing on your feet over work benches for extended periods of time. At NoTwenty9 we have ensured our new pass and benches offersa comfortable height to help reduce back and knee issues, a brand-new flooring is being installed using a material to relieve pressure as well as supplying footwear andrecommending that chefs move away from unsupportive Chef crocs to kitchen shoes.
NATURAL LIGHT & THE GREAT OUTDOORS meansour bodies produce increased levels ofvitamin D which works to increase serotonin levels and combat the effects of high levels of stress and mental health issues. Kitchens are often lit by fluorescent tubing with little or no natural light. We have now opened another section of the kitchen allowing light to stream in from glass doors and sky lights and gives a much better feel of space and light. We have skylights in the kitchen that can offer natural light over working stations too. We have an amazing outdoor kitchen that can offer the same menu as our indoor kitchen which means in the finer weather Chefs get to enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, and natural light the outdoor kitchen offers. It also provides a more relaxed environment and Chefs often get immediate gratitude from their customers as they are more accessible.
‘THE BASE’ is our dedicated preparation kitchen and is the foundation of the restaurant, without a great base there is nothing to build on. ‘The Base’ has a huge walk-in fridge and freezer making it very easy to access ingredients and store preparation for service which relieves the stress of searching for things mid service in limited storage situations. With its own island cook suite housing an induction hob, fridges, blast chillers and carefully designed fish and meat stations, a Chef can dedicate and concentrate on the preparation required for the service Chefs. Some Chefs love prep, and some love the thrill of service and plating dishes, this set up means we can allow them to work where they are happiest and most productive without interrupting each other’s section.
TIME OUT as our adjoining beauty salon offers a wide range of treatments to encourage relaxation and assist with stress and anxiety. Our team has full access to massages, Reiki,Indian head massages and even pedicures.
FUEL is essential and as our cars won’t run without it why should our bodies? Staff are encouraged to take advantages of staff meals on duty. This helps with energy levels, gives us time off the floor and to enjoy a more sociable time spent with our collegues. We do not wish our team to live off energy drinks for short term energy boosts and totally discourage these.
Recognising the above we hope to offer a healthier and happier working environment with positivity as we see more ways to improve.
If you are looking to join the Hospitality Industry or move within, we truly believe we are investing in our team.
For the right people there are the right positions, if you are interested in joining our team, please email email@example.com