We cannot accept that overtime and discrimination is the way to Michelin stars
In my industry, there is a shortage of skilled chefs. Skilled waiters are on the red list. Many do not understand why few young people want to become waiters, because the profession is hugely exciting. What can we do to get more people to choose our fantastic industry?
First, we must take better care of our employees. We must offer better conditions for pay, rosters and behaviour. I get sad when I watch the new TV series «The Bear», a series that plays on the negative sides of our profession, with stress, insults and a bad working environment. Under such conditions I would not work.
I recently DN interview with Filip Bendi, Norway’s representative for Bocuse d’Or, he shared experiences from New York and Copenhagen which were not pleasant reading. In Norway, we also have challenges, especially with working days that are too long. During an inspection, our company was slapped for this by the Norwegian Labor Inspection Authority, but after deliberate work over time, we have got a better company – in every way.
We must put an end to 80-hour work weeks with a poor working environment. It is not healthy, and not sustainable.
Bransjen vår eats chefs and waiters for lunch, lunch and dinner. We cannot accept that overtime and discrimination are the way to Michelin stars. The industry and the media have put sustainable food and drink on the agenda, but now we have to talk more about the employees’ sustainability.
Many businesses have fine and orderly working conditions. On my own behalf, I can say that it is easier to run a restaurant with staff who work less than 40 hours a week, with a quick roster, work contracts and predictability that opens up a life outside the job. If we behave properly in the farms, it is also hoped that press and TV series creators can start telling the good stories from our industry.
We in charge must work for increased prices and better occupancy, so that we can pay our employees better. It works and has employees who thrive, accept and make a profit. This is shown by the accounts of many good Norwegian hotels and restaurants.
Your employees thrive, come back, and high turnover solves many challenges.
Young adults must be given the right to vocational training even if they have used up their legal right to higher education. If it was arranged for six months of intensive training at a vocational school followed by a year’s apprenticeship, it could provide many new and committed employees.
We must also use the resources our new compatriots have. First, everyone must learn Norwegian, then go to school and continue to learn. At Statholdergaarden, we have had apprentices from Afghanistan, Syria, Thailand, the Philippines, Iceland and Denmark, all of whom are proud and skilled cooks and waiters today.
Norway must think more about controlled labor immigration. We have too few hands for the job at AS Norge. There is no mistake in a colorful community where old and new compatriots work side by side. Our industry is proof of that.
Guests and tasks are enough. We just need people.
We must therefore create safe workplaces where employees can thrive, develop and work for a long time. This is the way to a sustainable travel lifestyle.
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