#FairKitchens: Chefs & experts team up to develop free leadership training

Liz Naven

Fair Kitchens

Premium Supplier 9th September 2021
Liz Naven

Fair Kitchens

Premium Supplier

#FairKitchens: Chefs & experts team up to develop free leadership training

 #FairKitchens believes effective leadership is key to creating positive kitchen culture and retaining staff

#FairKitchens, a global movement driving change to secure a healthier and more sustainable foodservice industry, is today launching a new leadership training programme, free to any hospitality business employee. Entitled ‘Leading a Fair Kitchen’, the programme aims to improve working environments and address staff retention issues by empowering leaders with insight and practical tips from others in the industry. The training is presented by Unilever Food Solutions, one of the co-founders of #FairKitchens, in collaboration with The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), which lent its expertise as an industry service.

More than 30 chefs and experts across the world worked together to create this free, online programme, which combines a series of short videos and actions to complete afterwards. Available for Chefs and Operators with any level of leadership responsibilities, the programme is designed to teach participants how to be effective leaders.

Participants will learn from leaders who prioritise their people, such as Michelin-starred Chris Galvin, President of the American Culinary Federation Kimberly Brock Brown, James Khoza, President of the South African Chefs Association and Princess of Shoreditch Head Chef Ruth Hansom. Hospitality Action and Westminster Kingsway College also contributed their expertise, and the Craft Guild of Chefs has endorsed the training.

In addition to helping individuals fulfil their leadership responsibilities, #FairKitchens aims to accelerate culture change from the top, and give leaders alternatives to simply mirroring the behaviours of Head Chefs in the kitchens they grew up in. By sharing honest reflections, lessons learned along the way, and practical tips, the training is designed to help leaders create an open, inclusive and fair environment for their teams.

Several operators have already taken the training and will be asking their teams to do the same such as CH&CO, Brakes and Care UK.

Leading a Fair Kitchen covers seven modules – one introductory module around 4 minutes in length, and six more detailed modules which take between 30-35 minutes to complete.

● Module 1 (Introduction): What is Leadership
● Module 2: Self Awareness and Self-Management
● Module 3: Communication
● Module 4: Recruitment and Onboarding
● Module 5: Building Diverse Talent and Teams
● Module 6: Wellbeing
● Module 7: Crisis Management

Each detailed module recommends learning actions for the participants to complete afterwards. Following a short assessment at the end of the modules, participants may earn a Certificate of Completion.

Alex Hall, Executive Chef and Culinary Team Leader for Unilever Away From Home

“With staffing levels continuing to pose a challenge, we want to help leaders build the best possible environment for their teams. In this training #FairKitchens ambassadors, partners and friends from all over the world share their experiences of good kitchen leadership so others can learn and reflect on their own practices. The end result covers everything from how to give individuals ownership and spot wellbeing problems, to talking openly about decisions that need to be made, so you can do what’s best for the whole team.”

Ruth Hansom, who contributed to the training said:
“I think this conversation about leadership is crucial right now to stop talented people being lost to other industries. We have to start putting our teams first. If we stretch people to the max they just burn out and staffing problems get even worse. Many of those who’ve left won’t have been nurtured or led well.”

Chris Galvin added:
“So much conflict in the kitchen happens because of poor leadership. We owe it to our teams to do better, to learn how to support their performance and help them develop. A happy team will always produce good results if they’re well-trained and well-led. Good leadership is about understanding the heartbeat of the team, what motivates people and getting to the route of problems quickly.”

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