The hospitality industry has been my entire life for 22 years – my blood, sweat and tears! Many tears… đź¤Łđź¤Ł but many good times and life long friends made. You know what? I love it, I love hospitality! I love the people, the creativity and the opportunities it has given me and I am desperate for it to thrive again and it will!

But what will the collateral damage be to our people? Are we heading back to work after this pandemic like bulls in a china shop unprepared for what’s to come with the same old mentality of business and clients first? Are we resilient enough as people to mobilise a whole industry and come out mentally and physically unaffected? We need to consider the damage Covid-19 has already done to the mental health of our industry. This pandemic may have added to the suffering some of our people already battle and also triggered mind health problems in people who have never experienced them before.

Moving forward, wellbeing of our staff should be top priority even before our clients’ needs. We are an industry that drills high performance into our people. What we need is “healthy” high performance and we need to promote this now. We need to get rid of old stereotypes and open up to a whole new way of life and a new culture. We need to show students in schools and colleges, and current workers we are dedicated to our people 100% and that our commitment to our people doesn’t end when their shifts do.

Let’s not just say it, let’s do it!

I want you all to ask yourselves these questions:

  • How do we choose what to put in place and why?
  • Are our existing practices truly effective?
  • How many of our people will they help?
  • Do our implementations service all our needs?
  • What outcome do we want to achieve?
  • Are we achieving what we want?

There is one common mistake many businesses make when putting wellbeing initiatives into place. We generally always start with what I call added value, what we need to look at is strategic necessity first. Some of us never even get to strategic necessity because we may not know what it is in relation to wellbeing, what needs to be addressed first or we are simply more interested in ticking other boxes.

A harsh but true reality.

I hope that as an industry our agendas change, after all… Our people are our backbone and for far too long they never came first !

There are many companies out there doing a great job when it comes to wellbeing of the workforce, unfortunately a few great ones is not enough we need to move forward as an industry !


Shane Cooke

Chef / Workplace Wellbeing Master Practitioner / MHFA / Founder of Jasper Wellbeing

For information on workplace resilience and wellbeing visit –