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23 Nov 2023

The Burnt Chef Project's Kris Hall on the launch of the Love Hospitality gala dinner and the importance of open conversations about mental health

The Burnt Chef Project's Kris Hall on the launch of the Love Hospitality gala dinner and the importance of open conversations about mental health

HRC catches up with Kris Hall, CEO & Founder of globally recognised non-profit The Burnt Chef Project, to learn more about the gala dinner taking place alongside this year's show on Monday 25 March 2024 and the importance of having open and honest conversations about mental health in hospitality. 

Why has Burnt Chef Project decided to hold the gala dinner alongside HRC next year?

Launching Love Hospitality, our second gala dinner is a really proud moment for all involved with The Burnt Chef Project. Following the success of our first event, Out of the Shadows, in November 2022, we have been looking at how we can deliver an event on an even bigger scale. Thanks to our returning headline sponsor, Unox and the support of HRC, ExCeL Hospitality and Talent Hive, we’re now able to do just that. Holding our event alongside the UK's largest foodservice trade show is such a natural fit enabling us to raise further awareness about the mental health challenges our industry faces and ultimately drive conversation on a huge platform.

Why was the dinner first launched? 

Our inaugural gala dinner, titled ‘Out of the Shadows’ gave us a chance to reminisce, raise awareness and celebrate the work done by the project since it launched. The night offered a rare chance for many to stop and reflect on the need for mental health support and the effort to eliminate mental health stigma in our industry whilst also raising vital funds for delivering our ever growing bank of free to access tools and resources for the industry. 

What can attendees expect from the 2024 dinner? 

Love Hospitality is a celebration! Showcasing all that's good in hospitality, and all that can be achieved by our collective commitment. Because, let's face it- there's so much to love about hospitality! We're back bigger, bolder and with even more to revel in! We're looking forward to welcoming nearly 400 hospitality professionals to our gala and a night filled with entertainment and celebration.

We look forward to sharing more of our Love Hospitality themed menu and the familiar faces who will be joining us throughout the night. First up, we're pleased to announce the launch of Hospitality's Mental Health Heroes Awards which will be open for entries in mid-November with winners announced on the night - keep a lookout on socials and press for further details!  

Why is it important to keep talking about mental health in the hospitality sector?  

It's no secret our industry has pressures you wouldn't find in other roles. Hospitality environments produce physical stressors - light, noise, heat - but combined with often long antisocial hours often seen as a badge of honour it's no wonder mental health hasn't always been prioritised. That's changing but we need to keep the conversation flowing. Mental health is something we all live with. As with our physical health, we may have periods of great health or sometimes we may experience difficulties but whatever period you're in, mental health needs to be nurtured and looked after.

When we have open and honest conversations about our mental health, we begin to get the best out of our teams including our leaders. Creating environments which are understanding and supportive of employees' mental health can lead to improved performance, better retention and overall wellbeing. When we look to prevent, protect and promote mental health at work by addressing the risks and giving people the tools they need, we start to break down stereotypes, improve relationships, aid recovery and reduce stigma. We're turning a big ship here and that takes collaboration and commitment from everyone involved. 

What else is coming up for Burnt Chef over the next six months? 

We are launching free to access modules on personal resilience and coping skills for colleges, we have launched Menopause for managers, Burnout and drugs and alcohol workshops, we have further wellbeing modules to launch on The Burnt Chef Academy, new fundraising challenges being added all the time, obviously the gala and we're so excited to launch our Hospitality's Mental Health Heroes Awards which will naturally link into our very exciting accreditation. Watch out 2024!

How can hospitality professionals find out more about supporting the dinner? 

Whether you're looking to attend, host a table or perhaps look to sponsor part of the event, register your details here https://www.theburntchefproject.com/gala-2024 or contact marketing@theburntchefproject.com.

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