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Calls for more mental health support for hospitality workers

Image of chef working
Gareth Harrison / Unsplash

News round-up / by Conor D'Andrade

Flipdish, a company that operates an online ordering system for restaurants, has released findings that reveal the extent of poor mental health among UK restaurant owners, with the pandemic and staff shortages being cited as the biggest causes of stress.

200 restaurant owners were surveyed, with 37% stating that staff shortages had caused significant stress. Almost 47% of owners have requested staff to work extra hours and have also worked longer hours themselves. As a result, 39% also felt that the government should be providing extra support to attract people back into the hospitality sector.

Worryingly, 29% reported that their mental health is in the worst state it has ever been in. Unsurprisingly then, 32% reported that there is no mental health support within the industry and more should be offered by the government.

Flipdish’s UK country manager, Fionn Hart, said: “The talent crisis, inflation, VAT rises, inconsistent restrictions and low cash reserves have given restaurant owners sleepless nights. As restrictions were completely lifted earlier in the year, office parties and social gatherings are on the rise causing a spike in the number of customers coming through the door.

“It’s time the government opens its eyes to the pressures on the hospitality workforce, who are battling to protect their mental wellbeing whilst also keeping their businesses afloat. It's become clear that financial aid for the sector simply isn’t enough.”

Outcry continues over government plans for mandatory calorie listings

More mental health campaigners are speaking out against the government’s plans to put calories on menus. It has been suggested as a means of combating obesity, but many have pointed out the dangers of calorie counting.

Image of Cara Lisette

Cara Lisette is an eating disorder campaigner who has heavily criticised the government's new plans for making calorie listings on menus mandatory. Image courtesy of Yahoo News.

Cara Lisette, who campaigns for mental health and lives with anorexia, has suggested that the requirement for restaurants to label menus with calories would be extremely triggering for people with eating disorders.

The idea has been decried since its announcement in 2021, with the eating disorder charity Beat quickly reporting that 93% of people with an existing or past eating disorder said the plan would have a negative impact on them if carried out.

Spike in house prices fuelling rise in mental health issues for young people in Wales

Monmouthshire Housing Association has found that the housing crisis in Wales has had the biggest impact on young people’s mental health, where house prices have grown the fastest in the UK.

Vicki Smith of the Monmouthshire Housing Association told the Financial Times:

“We have experienced a significant change in how applicants present when they communicate with us since the start of the pandemic, their mental health is adversely affected and occasionally they are disclosing suicidal thoughts. The worry of paying their rent is a huge concern."

David James finds affordable homes for local residents on behalf of Monmouthshire Council and highlighted the major issue of local house prices not matching local wages:

“The housing market is no longer priced for local people, but is driven by people moving from elsewhere, this has had a massive impact on the ability of local first-time buyers to own a home of their own.”

With house prices rising rapidly across the UK, it’s to be expected that a similar pattern can be observed in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.


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