As a Chef, you're up against many challenges throughout your career. These are 5 big problems I think we face as Chefs.
1. Unsociable hours
I believe this is the biggest reason most Chefs throw the towel in. As a chef, you have to get used to the fact that while everyone is out and about having fun or on holiday, you're not. Friday and Saturday nights are your busiest time. Due to the hours you work, you are likely to miss out on many events with family and friends.
Pay is a significant factor for most careers/jobs. The average salary in the UK for someone in full-time employment is around £35,000, whereas the average salary for a Chef is around £25,000. That is a huge difference. It means to be a Chef, it's got to be more about the passion and enjoyment of what you do rather than how much you earn.
3. The new generation
I've found that over the last few years in the military, the new generation has a different mentality. There is a fair few of them that seem to be after an easy ride and do not want to work hard to achieve anything. They don't like being told what to do, and they expect everything to be easy. It is a real shame.
Mental health is being made more aware by the day and being a chef is a stressful job. Chefs need to be mindful of this and find ways to destress in their time off. Make sure you look after yourself.
5. Allergies and dietary requirements
Now, as I understand that allergies can be really serious for people with them and that everyone has a choice about their diets and lifestyle. As a chef, I still find it a nightmare sometimes. It wasn't that long ago that they weren't really well known. These days loads of people are 'gluten-free' or giving the 'vegan lifestyle' a go. This is difficult for chefs as we have to cater for so much more than we used to.
Despite all these, as I said earlier, being a chef is about passion. It's about a love of food and enjoying what you do. It's about creating a new dish you're really proud of, and the smile on customers faces and that they're enjoying what you've prepared for them. Despite all of the problems we face as a chef, I can't see myself doing anything else!