For many years, Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) has invested in the South African culinary industry, by providing training and competitions, but now they believe it is time to start a movement in SA kitchens. They believe Fair Kitchens is a must for the industry – an opportunity to understand and support the physical and mental wellbeing of our chefs. They believe it is their duty to care for the next generation of chefs and cooks in South Africa.
Many chefs and cooks work behind the scenes and lead lonely lives late at night and miss their family and special occasions. In fact, studies show that:
But it’s okay to need help and reach out – UFS wants to make kitchens a safe place to talk and ask for help, driving team discussions, sharing and caring for one another. They want to change the culinary industry for the better. They want to encourage SA chefs and cooks to join their movement, which provides support to kitchens to create positive working environments where staff happiness is important (and which will result in diner happiness and satisfaction as well). They want to make sure that chefs can be heard and that they have someone to talk to about their issues, be they financial, mental, related to alcohol abuse or loneliness.
That is why they have launched the Fair Kitchens toll-free helpline: in partnership with The South African Depression & Anxiety Group (SADAG), it is a dedicated 24/7 helpline available to all team members when they need it the most.
Working in the food service industry is tough, from the long hours and constant pressure to the late shifts and other challenges, and local research shows that stress-related illness and mental health are often not spoken about and addressed.
Through the Fair Kitchens helpline, 0800 006 333, there is now help available at the end of the line. The free 24/7 toll-free line offers a first-line intervention from trained staff to provide free telephonic counselling, containment, crisis intervention and support nationwide.
The dedicated service connects people in the food service industry with the resources they need to improve their mental wellbeing.
The services range from being admitted into a hospital or finding a mental health NGO to joining free support groups nearby and accessing face-to-face counselling.
If you need support, dial the Fair Kitchens help now on 0800 006 333.
Unilever Food Solutions is the out-of-home team at Unilever that focusses on product solutions for chefs and cooks in hotels, restaurants, delis and catering establishments. Besides offering great product solutions from brands such as Knorr, Hellmann’s and Robertsons, we support chefs with online or face-to-face training, inspiration and recipe solutions. Chefs and cooks can visit ufs.com for recipes, training and support.