The New Kid on the Block in Personal Development

In this article, we embark on an exploration of positive mental health awareness in the context of hospitality and talk with Joanne Kernan about how it feels to be Chief Ambassador for The Burnt Chef Project.

Mental health is a fairly new concept in terms of personal development. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the phrase ‘mental health’ was akin to the supernatural or witchcraft. Mental health had such negative undertones that anyone who showed symptoms was either killed or locked away.

It wasn’t until 1983 that the Mental Health Act was introduced to establish rights and equal opportunities for people with mental health illnesses. Fast forward to today, and our view of mental health has changed significantly due to advances in knowledge.

Positive mental health awareness

Positive Mental Health Awareness and Hospitality

In the bustling realm of hospitality, where extraordinary moments are served alongside delicious dishes and cocktails, there’s a hidden facet often overlooked—the mental well-being of the very individuals who craft these moments. At Platinum, we recognise that behind the smiles, the impeccable service, and the ambience of hospitality establishments, there lies a dedicated workforce that bears both the joys and challenges of the industry.

In 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic and the fallout from Brexit joined forces to shake the hospitality industry to its core and resulted in the loss of many hospitality workers. Disrupting the hospitality industry, many businesses were forced to close temporarily or permanently. In addition, hospitality was also hit hard by the fallout from Brexit. Migrant workers from the EU faced new barriers to living and working in the UK. Many chose to return to their home countries, resulting in a labour shortage in the hospitality industry.

The combined impact of these two events has been harmful to the mental health of hospitality workers. Many have reported feeling stressed, anxious, and depressed, as well as facing financial difficulties, job insecurity, and uncertainty about the future.

But the sector is determined to bounce back, stronger than ever. Hospitality businesses across the UK are taking giant leaps forward in the fight to improve positive mental health awareness. Both employers and employees are playing a vital role in creating a more supportive and inclusive workplace.

See also: Mental Health Day UK – Hospitality Edition

The Burnt Chef Project

Hospitality Support: The Burnt Chef Project

The Burnt Chef Project, a non-profit social enterprise, is dedicated to supporting hospitality workers. They provide tools, services, and training to help workers manage stress, burnout, and other mental health challenges. Their Burnt Chef Journal Podcast is also a popular resource, offering stories of hope and resilience.

The Burnt Chef Project is committed to building the capability of owners, line managers, and employees to create a better workplace culture. They are also working to enhance awareness of mental health and the importance of having open conversations about it. 

“I’ve been working closely within the hospitality industry for around 9 years and have seen first-hand the struggles of mental health issues within the trade with both clients and friends. Margins are slim and with an increased focus on saving money both employers and employees feel the effect of this on their mental health.” – Kris Hall, Founder.

Best mental health podcasts

Best Mental Health Podcasts

Check out our top list of mental health podcasts including The Burnt Chef Journal!

Hospitality Support: The South Coast

Platinum’s Joanne Kernan, regional assistant team manager, is now the Burnt Chef Chief Ambassador for the South Coast. It’s a perfect fit for Jo, who has seen how poor management and stigma have affected the chefs she now works with after years in the hospitality industry.

In her own words, Jo shares her personal experiences with mental health in hospitality and explains why she is proud to be a spokesperson for an organisation that is having a positive impact on the industry she loves.

“I’ve worked in the hospitality industry since 2005 when I supplied fresh produce to hospitality businesses. I worked directly with chefs at many of the South Coast’s hotels and restaurants, which led me to Platinum Recruitment. I still supply many of the same businesses, but now I offer them quality chefs and kitchen staff to support their brigades instead of fresh produce.”

Changes in Hospitality

“The hospitality industry has always been high-pressure, but the last few years have made it even tougher. The pandemic has taken its toll, and staff retention has been a major challenge. During the lockdowns, our industry lost some of its best chefs to mental health problems.

What I love about The Burnt Chef Project is that it focuses on the well-being of staff over profit. They are making a real difference by educating and re-educating those in hospitality.

Understanding that staff members are human beings with lives, families, and bills to pay makes a big difference. Hospitality staff are not just commodities to be exploited. The Burnt Chef Project highlights this by offering resources and training to businesses and managers in need.”


The hospitality industry is a vibrant and dynamic one, but it can also be challenging. For those who work tirelessly to create memorable experiences for others, it’s essential to prioritise their mental well-being.

Addressing problems and improving positive mental health awareness is a crucial ingredient in the recipe for success for any establishment. Organisations such as The Burnt Chef Project are doing valuable work in the fight for awareness and are an invaluable source of help and support for those in hospitality.

If you would like to find out more about The Burnt Chef Project, please visit their website.

Why not get in touch with Jo Kernan to discuss her work with the charity or to see how she can help you with jobs or staff in Dorset?

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