84% of hospitality professionals say it’s invaluable to form friendships at work

84% of hospitality professionals say it’s invaluable to form friendships at work

New research reveals that friendships are the lifeblood of the sector

  • Establishing a support network is vital in the hospitality sector, as friendships better teamwork (71%), reduce workplace stress (62%) and enhance customer service (46%)
  • A vast majority (93%) of hospitality professionals would even stay longer in their role if they had a close friend in their team
  • To celebrate the sector’s friendships, BRITA Professional and The Burnt Chef Project are giving away a money-can’t-buy prize to a pair of best friends working in hospitality

New research has revealed that three-quarters (77%) of hospitality employees have a work best friend and that these relationships are essential in developing support networks and fostering better collaboration in the sector.

The research, conducted by BRITA Professional in partnership with The Burnt Chef Project, found that strong support systems are intrinsic to quality work, with over half (51%) of employees recognising that they are more efficient, productive and energetic when working with their best friend. A further 46% stated that their customer service also improves.

This is underpinned by a shared sense of understanding, including:

  • Appreciating each other’s strengths (74%)
  • Knowingtheir weaknesses (47%)
  • Acting as a calming presence in stressful situations (58%)

Friendships are also key to good mental health, as nearly two-thirds (62%) of UK hospitality professionals say working with their best friend helps to minimise stress, while one in two (50%) acknowledge the anxiety-reducing benefits.

Without these means of support, sector workers warn they would feel isolated (57%), bored (48%), and lonely (49%) at work. What’s more, they caution that businesses may see reduced performance as teamwork (51%), morale (44%) and engagement (37%) suffer.

These relationships are so vital they can also affect presenteeism and loyalty:

  •  93% of hospitality professionals would stay longer in their role if they had close friendships within their team
  • Over one-third (38%) would be more likely to call in sick if their best friend wasn’t at work

Despite this, one in six (16%) employers don’t throw social events for their staff, while the majority (54%) of businesses only run socials once a quarter or less. Furthermore, according to another survey conducted by The Burnt Chef Project 72% said they “never” or “not very often” spend time outside of work as a team.

While there are numerous benefits, businesses also need to be conscious of the pressures that friendships can have on employees, such as extra pressure not to let their team down (10%) and making it harder to take time off (9%).

Kris Hall, CEO and Founder of The Burnt Chef Project, said: “The research conducted in partnership with BRITA Professional continues to highlight one of the many reasons that a career in hospitality should be considered by all, something we are intensely committed to at The Burnt Chef Project. The relationships forged within hospitality are strong, life-long bonds and now the data shown in this research backs this up.

“This data has done a great job of really highlighting the importance to our wellbeing of establishing a close-knit tribe and the benefits of promoting a healthy workplace culture focused on connection to begin combating workplace stress.”

Best friendships aren’t the only perfect pairings that drive success in the industry. Professionals say it’s also vital to buy the perfect equipment (70%), find the ideal suppliers (60%), and one in three (31%) state reliable equipment servicing is a key consideration. They even place establishing sustainable business partnerships high up the agenda (41%).

Due to the sheer scale of workload operators face each day, essential tasks like regular equipment maintenance can often be forgotten. Suppliers who offer preventative care which is tailored to individual business needs, like BRITA Managed Services, can help to avoid costly disruption to service and provide ongoing support – helping to spot and solve a small issue before it becomes a large problem.

Chris Fay C.F.S.P, Business Account Manager at BRITA Professional, comments: “The friendships forming quietly in UK hospitality venues have a loud impact on the sector. We know the power that establishing the right partnerships and connections can have, both within teams and with third-party suppliers, especially considering the challenges facing the industry today. That’s why we want to celebrate the exceptionality of the sector’s perfect pairings through our latest competition.”

In celebration of the industry’s friendships, BRITA Professional and The Burnt Chef Project have launched a competition for best friends to win a money-can’t-buy experience at Whatley Manor. To enter simply visit https://www.brita.co.uk/perfect-pairings and share the contact details of you and your hospitality work best friend and what your favourite thing about working together is by 11.59pm on 31st January.