'You realise that you spend your life with people who are not your family and you leave your family behind'

The  Staff Canteen

Daniel Clifford and Claude Bosi Discuss Work-Life Balance in the latest episode of Grilled by The Staff Canteen

Hospitality has time and time again had to grapple with the question of how to balance your work and the rest of your life. This topic came up in the most recent episode of The Staff Canteen's Grilled podcast, with returning co-host and chef owner of two Michelin-starred Midsummer HouseDaniel Clifford, and his guest, chef owner of two-Michelin starred Claude Bosi at Bibendum, Claude Bosi.

Daniel starting the conversation by positing that 'it’s not only the expectation of the customer' but also the expectation they put on themselves as chefs that caused them to let their balance be off-kilter.

“I’ve dedicated so much to the restaurant but so little to my family,” he said. “And my family are now starting to appreciate the restaurant, but they also want more of my time. My kids are getting older and it’s harder to weigh it out.”

Claude agreed and went on to discuss how sometimes it takes 'something big' to make you realise how important life outside the restaurant is. Talking about some recent news he said it was the 'biggest shock of his life', saying: "It's the first time in 20 years I actually didn’t give a f**k about the restaurant.

“You realise that you spend your life with people who are not your family, and you leave your family behind. It’s tough.”

Daniel discussed the many family events he has had to miss because of the restaurant. Given this experience, his advice to younger chefs would be, 'don’t miss those things'.

“The truth is," said Claude, "you can never be where you are if you have worked part-time. 

"Everything you’re chasing, everything you try to achieve in life. Ah, sh*t, in the end, I’ve got three beautiful kids and a wife I love to bits and what is really important in life? I love my job and I would never give up on what I’m doing."

But, he added, that as you get older, 'you revise your life'.

Both chefs admitted it's all too easy to give everything to their restaurants and that striking a balance is hard.

Daniel said: "The restaurant is the restaurant, and your family life is your family life. I think It’s very difficult to get a balance but if you can achieve it, you’re the winner in everything and I think that’s the ultimate goal now.”


If you have been affected by the topics discussed in the above article, you may find support from the following groups and helplines:

  • Hospitality Action 24/7 helpline: 0808 802 0282 
  • The Samaritans 24/7 helpine: 116 123
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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 21st October 2021

'You realise that you spend your life with people who are not your family and you leave your family behind'