Ben Shwery, chef owner of Attica, set fire to the flames when he took to instagram in September of 2017 to note that his own personal success has come at the steep price of working 75 hour working weeks from the age of fourteen . Shewry has made it clear, that the old militaristic style of work for chefs will no longer be welcomed in his kitchen. “Are the old ways of flogging yourself and having no life outside of the kitchen right? In my opinion, no,” he posted to Instagram.
In early 2017 Shewry’s actions spoke louder than his social media post, when he officially introduced the 48-hour work week at Attica, Australia’s best restaurant. Four days on and three days off is the new name of game. But has the shortened work week proven to be effective? Ultimately, is quality work time truly better than quantity?
If awards speak louder than words, than the answer is definitively, yes. As of 2018, the culinary experts at ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ have ranked Attica #20 for best restaurants in the world! That is officially twelve places higher than the rank Attica has been placed at for the past four years.
In a city like Melbourne, where great restaurants are plentiful and standards for quality food are high, will Shewry’s push for work-life balance take effect at other restaurants?
At Octopus Hospitality & Events we understand the value of quality work. We are lucky to be based in a city with so many talented hospitality professionals, and understand it is our job as employers to ensure that quality is maintained through realistic working hours.
Below are the top three reasons we at Octopus Hospitality & Events endorse an appropriate work-life balance:
- Increases productivity and consequently avoids burnouts
- Engaged Staff makes for better service
- Increases work satisfaction and helps achieve career longevity
Thanks to Ben Shewry who has set the stage for ensuring work-life balance is adhered to. Hats off to the chef!
Looking for help?
Australian charity R U OK? has teamed up with hospitality training provider ‘Allara Learning’ to develop an online course designed to help those who may be struggling. In a recent survey conducted by R U OK?, the data found that 80% of hospitality professionals had mental health issues.
How to notice someone is struggle, how to find the right space and time to ask ‘are you okay?’, how to navigate a conversation if someone says “I’m not okay” – are some of the questions this course will help you answer.
For more information check out: https://www.ruok.org.au