S.Pellegrino Young Chefs survey reveals hope for the future despite pandemic

In November 2020, the first S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Monitor was sent by email to respondents all across the world. The email reached over 1,800 chefs, who are at different levels in their career.

This first edition of the survey aims to monitor the professional conditions and sentiments of chefs aged 18 to 34 years around the world. The survey is part of the S.Pellegrino Young Chefs award programme, committed to nurturing the next generation of visionary chefs.

Close to 62% of the respondents had worked in the industry for an average of 8.6 years. Additionally, just over 42% were at Executive or Head Chef level with an average of 21.8 years of work experience.

Unsurprisingly, the global pandemic has hit young chefs hard: just over 30% are receiving their usual salary while over 1 in 5 are unemployed, largely due to the crisis. What’s more, over three-quarters are concerned about losing their jobs because of it.

What does that future look like? Environmental concerns, the pandemic and increasingly demanding consumers are the top three factors that will affect the role of the chef, according to young chefs. Post-COVID, improved business models for restaurants, better training opportunities and employment benefits are the changes they want to see most.

Training and life-long learning were important focuses for young chefs. However, only 46% undertake additional courses in an average two-year period. The rising cost of courses and time away from work was cited as the main reasons for not participating in more frequent training.

Despite the impact of the pandemic, chefs under 35 years are optimistic and see a future in the industry, with many looking to open their own restaurants. Almost a quarter of respondents would like to see changes to restaurant business models, particularly in a post-pandemic age. Better health and unemployment benefits in the future are important to 1 in 5 chefs.

Visit the S.Pellegrino website to read the full survey results and to access learning resources online.


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