Of the 269 London chefs surveyed, nearly half said they work between 48 and 60 hours a week, with 14% working 60 hours-plus. 69% of chefs believe long hours culture is harming their health, what's more, almost three quarters said they have had had an accident or a near miss at work due to fatigue, while half have suffered from depression from being overworked.
To cope, 29% admitted to using alcohol to get them through a shift, while 56% said they take painkillers or other stimulants (41%).
While Unite's survey is just a snapshot of a small population of chefs in a hyper-competitive food city, it's doubtful these kinds of figures are an anomaly.
Indeed, members of Unite recently held a candle-lit vigil to remember chefs around the world who have been injured or died at work, including Benoit Violierfrom the three Michelin star Restaurant de l'Hôtel de Ville in Lausanne, Switzerland, who commited suicide in 2016, andNathan Laity, a senior sous chef at the Tate Modern in London who died due to blood poisoning from untreated tonsilitis after working 27, 14 hour days in a row.
A number of high profile chefs have also opened up about their battles with mental health recently, including Califonia-based chef Daniel Patterson.
Staff shortages are hitting the hospitality sector hard, prompting some restaurants to look outside the industry to train those without restaurant experience for life in the kitchen. Andrew Friedman finds out more.