Kitchen isolation enables abuse, research shows

According to a study by Cardiff University, which surveyed 47 chefs in restaurants in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America, the physical isolation of chefs in kitchens paves the way for bad behavior and a culture of abuse. Saying working long hours, often in cramped and windowless kitchens, away from public scrutiny, creates a feeling of “the rules don’t apply”, scholars are calling for an end to this toxic and outdated culture in the industry.

Violence and abusive behavior have long been brought with it as a factor driving youth away from the hospitality industry, and many leading chefs believe it is time to make changes to the system. One of the authors of the study, Dr. “People think what they see on TV is exaggerated, but what happens is often more severe and has a huge impact on the mental health and well-being of these young, talented people,” Rebecca Scott said.

The research also revealed that some chefs would not and would not tolerate harassment outside the kitchen but found it “acceptable and normal” in the kitchen setting.