Alcoholism in the hospitality industry

“Chefs are nearly twice as likely to be addicted to alcohol and drugs as the wider population and 9% more vulnerable to suicide”

Chef Craig Strippel shares his story of recovering from alcoholism and how he actually tried to take his own life. He now is working in the kitchen again but as a KP after seeking help from charity Addaction which is one of the UK’s leading drug, alcohol and mental health charities. He is now often found to be getting up early to go for a run. Many chefs who are well known in the industry such as Tom Kerridge and the late Anthony Bourdain have also talked about having issues with alcohol and drugs. You can read more about Craig’s story here:

However it seems this is not just a UK wide problem “ In 2015, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration reported that employees in restaurants and hotels had the highest rates of substance abuse out of the entire American workforce.”

Many kitchen staff spend more time at work than they do at home especially at this time during the busy season when some establishments can be understaffed. Some chefs feel that alcohol and sometimes drugs can be something to turn to which can help them get through the hard and long shifts. We hope that the industry is changing and we see more and more chefs striving for health including exercise and healthy eating to get them through the harder days. Almost gone are the times when chefs are getting burn out before reaching the age of 30. The industry is striving for better working terms and conditions more and more, so this doesn’t happen. However everyday brings its problems and charities like Addaction are doing fantastic work.

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