Can’t Find a Chef? Better Take the Heat Out of the Kitchen!

Rippe’s President & Executive Principal, Steven P. Carlson weighs in on the latest issue of Gaming & Leisure® with ‘Can’t Find a Chef? Better Take the Heat Out of the Kitchen’.

We’ve all heard the saying, “If you can’t stand the heat, then you better get out of the kitchen.” I’ve been thinking about that saying lately as we try to figure out where all the kitchen workers have gone. I’ve read many stories about the lack of applicants for positions in kitchens and while I don’t have direct evidence that kitchen environments are one of the reasons for the lack of applicants, it makes sense to look at what we can do to improve those environments.

It’s time to look at the assumptions that have always been made about kitchens. One of my golf partners is fond of saying, “We are put on earth to suffer.” While that may be the case for golf, it shouldn’t mean some staff should have to work in a hot, smelly, grease-laden environment while others enjoy clean, fresh 70-degree air. Just a couple of weeks ago I had a mechanical engineer ask, “Do you really want to air-condition the kitchen?” If we were discussing the design of the HR offices or executive suite, I don’t think this question would come up.

I used the example to help us re-think the assumptions we have made about kitchen environments. There are three factors affecting the quality of the kitchen environment: heat, odor and air-borne particulates. For this article I’m going to focus on how ventless cooking can reduce or eliminate odor and airborne particulates.


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